Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Runners in a row on the road dotted with white breath

--Hidehito Yasui (Osaka)

* * *

calling my own name

to hear what it sounds like

a dew drenched bullfinch

--Paul Conneally (Loughborough, U.K.)

* * *

Night dissolved--

the crystal singing

lark

--Pasquale Asprea (Genova, Italy)

* * *

Youngest leaves

glossier than the rest

newest office recruits

--Mercy Ikuri (Narok, Kenya)

* * *

through the mist

another mountaintop

career path

--Earl Livings (Melbourne, Australia)

* * *

As a maple

on the field of hope

believe all possibilities

--Jia Ru (Jinan, China)

* * *

From the shade tree--

top of the blossoming plum

pierces the sun

--Miljenko Simunovic (Ivanic Grad, Croatia)

* * *

Resuming my walks

as winter comes to an end--

meeting new neighbors

--Priscilla Lignori (Montgomery, New York)

* * *

Spring fever

marathon runners

flood the street

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Battered and broken

the masked crusaders defy

this pollen nation

--Antonia Cavcic (Tokyo)

------------------------------

FROM THE NOTEBOOK

------------------------------

City bus

wrapped with kid’s paintings--

bringing spring

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

Today marks the first day of the school year in Japan. The haikuist brightens when he sees his regular commuter bus in Nagoya covered in colorful hearts, faces and flowers drawn by children. Hadrian Mojica enjoys painting at Sollars Elementary School in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. A proud mom, Christina Sng smiles at colorful paintings on display in Singapore.

Glittering sky

the moon a white

speck on a black canvas

* * *

Painting

the sky green

kindergartener

Paul Geiger checks on his goldfish in Sebastopol, California. Jeanne Jorgensen awaits the first butterfly in Edmonton, Alberta.

the koi

pond thaws

green pads

* * *

A dormant cocoon

between cacti buds

early April sun

Eleven-year-old Claire Bowman looks one month down the road. Her classmate, Jonas Woodbury, can’t seem to take his eyes off tonight’s waxing gibbous moon.

Night sky

I see beyond

another moon

* * *

the glowing moon

always in the sight

of man

Jennifer Hambrick penned this one-line poem to connect the full moon of April with a woman going into labor: pink moon breach birth

Dorota Ocinska recalls being lured by a moon in Lodz, Poland. Eleven-year-old Jose Rubio might become a cook of Michelin-star caliber.

childhood

fishing from crooked willow for

blue moon

* * *

Stars

with a pinch

of sickle moon

The next haiku is by 10-year-old Ece Cehreli, who studies at Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle in Ankara, Turkey.

shamrock forest

in search for treasures

with greedy dwarfs

It may have rained in Malta soon after Francis Attard observed cirrus clouds form this moon halo: black swan moonlit its aura shapes one cold outline.

Eleven-year-old Claire Bowman can’t believe her eyes in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Yutaka Kitajima can’t quite make out the lines of a riverbank in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture. But his keen sense of smell allowed him to divine a tree.

Cherry blossoms

the flowing river

kissed with pink

* * *

Veiled in mist

the rapid river

sounds louder

* * *

Plum blossoms

detected at once

misty yard

Lucia Fontana found gold and lead in Milan, Italy. Bella-Rose Jones found silver and copper in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Marco Fraticelli mailed out greeting cards with a photo of a tropical beach and a haiku suggesting there’s never enough time in the day to do everything. Charles Trumbell received an electronic salutation in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Sun’s embrace

a snow moon melts

in gold and grey

* * *

Shadow of the silver oak

on dawn’s

copper meadow

* * *

too soon

the morning moon

becomes sunset

* * *

“heartfelt greetings”

for the holidays in his

mass e-mail message

Simon Hanson is scuba diving in Queensland, Australia. As the sun sinks into the sea, Alexey Andreev senses that its last light seems to glow green. This green flash is caused by light refracting in the atmosphere. Waiting in the village of Riomaggiore on the Italian Riviera’s rugged coast of Cinque Terre, Romano Zeraschi comes to realize that the event is rarely seen.

Jetty pylons

shafts of sunlight and shadow

descend into green water

* * *

late diving

a green ray shows

the way home

* * *

facing sunset . ..

I too am waiting

for a green ray

Haikuists have been capturing such moments in time for centuries. Often lead by masters, with their shared schools of thought each haiku generation has created a unique spirit, a taste, or climate that set it apart from all other times. Today writers around the globe are sharing vibrant haiku moments about what they find relevant in their lives.

Ian Willey claims, “The Asahi Haikuist Network is probably the most international of all the haiku journals, and the one which, I feel, most closely taps into events in the news and the general zeitgeist of our turbulent age.”

third week of classes

the French teacher’s tan

still going strong

Regularly featured haikuists in this column are aged from 10 to 90 and live in hundreds of cities from Akron to Zagreb. Elementary school teacher Patrick Sweeney recently reported “the kids are all excited!” and “are thrilled!” and “love to write haiku!” Craig W. Steele has been an avid reader and contributor to this column from Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. Writing from Nagoya, Isao Soematsu puts history in perspective. Thomas Canull moves to the music of our generation in Carmel, Indiana. John Zheng dances in Mississippi. Beate Conrad enjoys springtime in Germany.

more than twenty years . ..

each haiku as exciting

as the first

* * *

Birth of Asahi Haikuist

celebrates 50th anniversary

of War’s end

* * *

22 years strong

turning words into music

for the mind and soul

* * *

for twenty-two years

selecting haiku capturing

cherry blossoms, too

Charlotte Digregorio savors haiku from recent issues, saying “I reread each poem a few times to get the full impact.” Satoru Kanematsu offers readers a chance to reread a collection of the haiku he has written for this column since November 2013. He’ll forward a free copy of a simply bound, well-designed 74-page “Four Seasons” with Japanese translations to readers of the Asahi Haikuist Network who send prepaid postage or a stamped, self-addressed, envelope (SASE) to him at: 4-23-13 Yobitsugi, Minami-ku, Nagoya, 457-0014, Japan.

Dreams I had

sixty years ago

winter buds

Ramona Linke leaves us with this one-word haiku: Sakura . ..

The sun rises early at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears April 21. Readers are invited to send haiku on a postcard in support of the Earth Day theme of “Environmental and Climate Literacy” to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or please e-mail your haiku 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.