Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr flamingos--sunrise

--Romano Zeraschi (Parma, Italy)

* * *

Shafts of sunrise--

gather over the lake

flamingo-shaped clouds

--Natalia Kuznetsova (Moscow, Russia)

* * *

Wild plum--

the first sunbeam

on her bridal veil

--Maria Laura Valente (Cesena, Italy)

* * *

Wrapped in snow

with ribbons of ice and water

Parliament Hill

--Bryan Cook (Ottawa, Ontario)

* * *

Colors of dawn

seem reluctant to seep

into the frigid air

--Jeanne Jorgensen (Edmonton, Alberta)

* * *

carousel . ..

granddaughter insists

on the pink pony

--Mohammad Azim Khan (Peshawar, Pakistan)

* * *

Into the frosty grove

looking for primroses--

Who sights the first, a lucky year

--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

* * *

Sasanquas

bloom and fall unnoticed

end of the road

--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

* * *

winter sunset

cutting off

the hospital band

--Bruce H. Feingold (Berkeley, California)

* * *

Moonset--

now just the whiteness

of plum blossoms

--Marina Bellini (Bagnolo San Vito, Italy)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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In the thaw

I’ll come back for sure

grandma dear

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

The haikuist promises to go to the “Setsubun” festival in his hometown today, the last day of winter according to the traditional Japanese calendar. To celebrate the thought of warmer weather, haikuists have selected the names of various pinks--from bright tulip to sweet papaya--to embellish their haiku. Kenyan haikuist Mercy Ikuri swims in Senegal’s Lac Rose, whose water is deliciously colored a blushing pink shade of lemonade.

Cooling myself

in one big pink ice cream

Lake Retba

The color pink is derived from the flower Dianthus, which has frilled zigzag edges as if it were cut with pinking scissors. Native to Europe and Asia, a few species grow in Africa, where Adjei Agyei-Baah was uplifted by its Zeus-like powers.

hospice garden

filling the emptiness

one pink after another

Italian poet Pasquale Asprea explains why the color pink is so alluring.

deep pink at sunset--

it is in the shades

the difference

In the skies tonight, the copper-bright planet of love and beauty Venus subdues Mars the reddish-orange god of war. These planets almost touch each other--although astronomically speaking they are nearly 126 million miles apart in space--because from Earth they appear together at a 5-degree angle. Sheila K. Barksdale found a convenient viewing spot in Gotherington, U.K., to observe the pink, purple and blue rings of her favorite planet: snowmelt finding a tree stump to sit on to find Saturn.

Watching skyward from Ploiesti, Romania, Steliana Voicu keeps her eyes on a star cluster in the constellation of Taurus.

Spring insomnia--

the cherry tree

full of Pleiades

Haikuists tend to associate the pale red color with charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity and the romantic. Unpredictable spring storms change Kitajima’s mood. Maria Cristina Parvu feels reticent this morning in Bucharest, Romania. Vasile Moldovan is moved by a whisper pink hue in the same city.

Sasanqua

anxious for sunlight

capricious

* * *

pink sky--

Heaven’s roses

cry at dawn

* * *

only a whisper

and on her sad face

a pink smile

Isao Soematsu celebrates 50 wonderful years with a golden bubbly rose in Nagoya. Evgeny Ivanov bids farewell to a winter bee in Russia. Muscovite Nikolay Grankin envies the warmth of Africa and its bright flamingos. Krzysztof Kokot paints with shades of pink-colored oil enamels in Nowy Targ, Poland. Justice Joseph Prah sends a refreshing weather report from Ghana.

Golden anniversary--

four glasses of pink champagne

for us and children

* * *

Golden sunset--

the last bee

on pink gladiolus

* * *

Sunset

watching on TV

the pink flamingos

* * *

Flamingos--

brush-stroked

pink smudges

* * *

Weather report

clouds of pink roses

change the air

Dorota Ocinska applies a glamorous pink blush in Lodz, Poland.

Cherry blossom

yet a bit more rouge

on the cheeks

Iris inhales a pink breeze in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture.

Winter cherry

bloom in pale pink

sunny scent

Marek Kozubek was gently kissed in Bangkok, Thailand. Ana Drobot wonders what color she’ll wear for dinner in Bucharest, Romania. Marta Chocilowska enjoys a fresh berry and peppermint ice dessert at a table for two by the window of a retro pink restaurant in Warsaw.

Winter butterfly?

her pink lipstick

on my cheek

* * *

Removing

my pink lipstick--

sunset

* * *

Strawberry Moon--

in our parfait glasses

the ice cream melts

A pinkish glow at her kitchen window catches the attention of Debbie Strange in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Anna Cates chuckles at the sight of a roly-poly raspberry-red headed bird in her Wilmington, Ohio, garden.

pink garnets

crabapple jelly jars

in the window

* * *

shadowy snow

below the crabapple

a glutted finch

Christina Sng reminisces the days when she wore a smart Parisian pink outfit in Singapore. Her only regret is that she “never wore pink after 16 and my daughter is always decked out in pink from top to toe!”

Pink dress

feeling 16

again

Out for a stroll, Mohammad Azim Khan holds onto his breath in Peshawar, Pakistan.

Pink geranium

she pauses by

the window box

Elisa Allo is happy to see her potted Christmas cacti take bloom in Zug, Switzerland. Originating in Brazil, the plants are called Flor de Maio (May flowers) to reflect the period in which they blossom in the Southern Hemisphere.

Cactus flowers--

the first snow

turns pink

In Massa Carrara, Italy, Maria Teresa Sisti admires flowers indoors. Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo caresses a baby in Italy. In Mumbai, Kala Ramesh announces the birth of her granddaughter Athira--a name inspired from jasmine. Indra Neil offers a bedside gift in Rajahmundry, India.

Stork in flight--

a pink cyclamen

just born

* * *

Tender blossom--

the rose cheeks

of a newborn child

* * *

first cry

near the mother’s bed

pink balloons

Itoko Suzuki prays in Shizuoka. Ed Bremson counts his blessings for a splendid subtle pink sunset in Raleigh, North Carolina. Alan Summers suggests, “The brilliant blue in ice is like hidden stories.” Murasaki Sagano sniffs at an aromatic pinkish blue hue. Her penname means the color violet.

Gray to pink

a moment to pray in sunset

for the new year

* * *

Sunset sky

thank you God, for choosing pink

to go with blue

* * *

Indigo ice

the light patina

of your tales

* * *

Unseen gift

scent in a dark room

hyacinth

Melanie Vance takes heart from a bouquet of vintage cut roses in Dallas, Texas. Paul Geiger notes that a pink ribbon is the symbol of breast cancer awareness. Jennifer Hambrick refers to it as a modern day woman’s Sword of Damocles--the sense of impending doom.

Pink roses--

only hope

in the cancer clinic

* * *

Pink

the ribbon--on a shapeless jersey

cancer

* * *

Suspicious

of every pink ribbon

mound of earth

With her two feet firmly planted at the base of the Dolomites, Moretto proclaims the Italian Alps at the UNESCO World Heritage Site “are our mountains, humanity’s heritage.” She adores the way the stone turns a lovely reddish pink at dusk because of its iron ore content.

The Dolomites

at dusk--peaks

of hope

Vacationing away from Ottawa, Bryan Cook burnishes his haiku the color of a Caribbean sun-washed pink. Higher than usual ocean temperatures have killed much of Japan’s largest coral reef and the pink corals have been bleached white by global warming.

Conch shell heart

blushed

by Pacific sunrises

Teiichi Suzuki went grocery shopping in Osaka. In Saskatchewan, Helen E. Herr decorated her bathroom in salmon-pink. In Queensland, Simon Hanson had long believed angels were pure white.

In the eyes

of salted pink salmon--

the deep sea

* * *

as steam rises

salmon spawn

on the shower curtain

* * *

Steamy sauna

a flesh coloured angel

enters the door

In Fairlawn, Ohio, Valentina Ranaldi-Adams began and ended her day in picturesque pink. Geethanjali Rajan celebrated the Hindu festival of Pongal after the solstice when the sun entered the zodiac sign of Capricorn. Canadian haikuist kjmunro waves goodbye from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

winter solstice

sky edged with pink

morning and eve

* * *

a lone star

adorns the salmon sky

winter solstice

* * *

pink jet trail

as you ride off

into the sunset

The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Feb. 17. Readers are invited to send haiku about the color green on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (mcmurray@fka.att.ne.jp).

* * *

David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is also the editor of OUTREACH, a bi-monthly column featuring international teachers in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).

McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.

McMurray judges haiku contests organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, and Seinan Jo Gakuin University.

McMurray's books include: "Canada Project in Kyushu" Vol. 1 (2006) - Vol. 7 (2011), Pukeko: Fukuoka; "Haiku in English as a Japanese Language" (2003), Pukeko: Kitakyushu; and "Hospital Departmental Operations--A Guide for Trustees and Managers," Canadian Hospital Association: Ottawa, Canada.