Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Dear husband named “T” the freshest tea this morning for my shining knight

--Aira Hara (Nagoya)

* * *

summer drought

the clack

of wooden swords

--Stephen Toft (Lancaster, U.K.)

* * *

Ballet shows--

the way I imagined love

in childhood

--Ana Drobot (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

Quiet mewling

beyond the monastery wall

Children’s Day

--Marta Chocilowska (Warsaw, Poland)

* * *

Mew, mew, mew

kitten adopted

by a girl

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Miiaooow . ..

the cat stares into a bottle of milk

in the hands of a baby

--Slobodan Pupovac (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

first laugh

I can hear my daughter


--Lee Nash (Poitou-Charentes, France)

* * *


first grade teacher greets

her new class

--Dottie Piet (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

* * *

shouts of children

still remain on the grounds

a red sunset

--Sayaka Ishiguro (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

* * *


children are shouting

catch up!

--Nikolay Grankin (Krasnodar, Russia)

* * *




balmy breeze

the wedding veil streams

bluer skies

--Aya Ito (Kagoshima)

A music professor, the haikuist attended the wedding ceremony for her protege on May 5. Perhaps the bride’s doctoral thesis will include observations on the love between Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck Schumann which inspired their music, muse and marriage. The haiku alludes to colorful carp streamers that spiritedly flutter in the winds during Golden Week. Aira Hara threw a bouquet and a heartfelt wish at her marriage reception today in Nagoya.

Dear sister on this

my wedding day in prayers--

angel smiles for you

Jeanne Jorgensen ended a heavenly evening in Edmonton, Alberta.

Outdoor wedding

the Perseid shower

when fireworks end

Nikolay Grankin contemplates why reading a book is no match for playing outside in Krasnodar, Russia. Ramona Linke knows the best time to read books to children in Beesenstedt, Germany.

sunny day

I wipe the dust off

the children’s books

* * *

bedtime story--

in the child’s blue eyes

all the universe

Books that list haiku season words for Japan are traditionally centered on the climate and culture of the Kyoto area. However, stretching long from north to south, the Japanese archipelago features diverse natural climates. Satoru Kanematsu measures the comings and goings from his chosen epicenter, Nagoya castle. Eleonore Nickolay remarks on a premature arrival in France.

The donjon--

school outing pupils

ebb and flow

* * *

lilacs buds

softly they caress

their preemie

Lucia Fontana’s recalls when her name first shone like sunshine on morning dew in Milan, Italy.

dew sparkle

she calls me “mamma”

for the first time

Maria Laura Valente and her daughter celebrate their birthdays on the same day. This haiku commemorates their first birthday together. Kanematsu has made many birthday wishes.

a candle

on her first birthday cake--

dandelion blooms

* * *

A fair wind--

dandelion fluff,

bon voyage

Eva Limbach from Saarbrucken, Germany, delicately intertwines two languages in her haiku about the Japanese art (golden joinery) of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold and silver. Yutaka Kitajima is likely telling his grandson the tale of the golden goose during these Golden Week holidays in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture. Devin Harrison shrewdly observes a new twist to an old wives’ tale on Vancouver Island, Canada.

father’s tales

about childhood days--


* * *

Fresh verdure

the toddler pursues


* * *

by the fountain

a toddler pockets

his pennies

Eufemia Griffo intertwines English with the Neapolitan and Italian word for street urchins.

Scugnizzi . ..

the little hands beg

for candy

Finding children enough food to eat is a worry for Linke. In Italy, Angela Giordano realizes many families are financially unable to make ends meet by the end of the month and are forced to go begging. Griffo ends the day empty-handed in Settimo Milanese.

Local food bank--

the eager looks on

children’s faces

* * *


at the common table

young people in row

* * *

empy nets . ..

fisherman’s child awaits


Writing from Poland, Azi Kuder worries about nuclear-powered submarines and ice-breakers plying the cold seas.


atomic boats

racing with whales

Sheila K. Barksdale says she’s switching off “the endless discussions on the radio of Brexit and Trump and Turkey and N. Korea and the elections in France.” Happier activities include taking her nephew to football-training class. John Hawkhead inspects a line of white belts in Bradford on Avon, U.K.

scolding him

for untied shoelaces, I’m told

“in My World, that’s GOOD!”

practising judo

the youngest group of children

learn how to tie knots

Kanematsu visited a scary museum with his granddaughter. Ece Cehreli may have visited a mirror house in Ankara, Turkey. Goran Gatalica was surprised.

Black pansies

grimace from Salem

witches’ house

* * *

I lied

looking at

my big noose

* * *

day at the museum--

daughter is asking me

about revolution

Horst Ludwig recalls a glorious late afternoon in St. Peter, Minnesota, when he proudly walked with his first-born daughter. The haikuist doesn’t mince his words when he says, “Having read many cherry blossoms texts, I feel one more’s almost kitsch, but then, at past eighty, I also feel somewhat it’s not.”

Road repair down-road

all truckers salute the girl

waving from my shoulders

* * *

Kids birthday party--

their laughter catching tumbling

cherry petals

Madhuri Pillai appreciates improvised harmony in Australia.

a makeshift classroom

voices meld into a song . ..

refugee children

Veteran haikuists keenly follow weather pattern lines known as the cherry blossom front to calculate the best time to view them. Jonas Woodbury alludes to the biblical story of Jacob favoring his son Joseph by giving him a coat of many bright colors. Andy McLellan’s little girl is growing up in Canterbury, U.K. Eleven-year-old Bella-Rose Jones suddenly feels lonesome in Aomori Prefecture.

cherry blossoms

wearing a cloak of colors

in the lonely wood

* * *

cherry blossom--

my daughter unties

her hair ribbon

* * *

Forgetting we must part

cherry petals


Writing from Poland, Zuzanna Truchlewska says she adores her “very funny and cheerful 5-year old boy, smart and intelligent but he loves making mischief.” Angelee Deodhar shares a mother’s longing in Chandigarh, India.

Son’s painting

on the bedroom’s wall

crayon marks

* * *

tidying up toys

after he goes to school--

how deep the silence

Eleven-year-old Christian Hawkins and his elementary school classmate Ethan Sipos, respectively, believe what begins well, ends well in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

What the end calls the beginning

the end calls

a butterfly

* * *

A sage man stares at

the genesis of haiku

at the weeping plum

Itoko Suzuki will surely feel lonely when the children’s festival ends tonight in Shizuoka. Her haiku focuses on an eternal problem for mothers when their sons depart to a new world of their own choosing. Spring can have a bittersweet aftertaste, notes Nickolay.

Farewell flying carp

son and his son left grandma

all alone in tears

* * *

Sixtieth spring

the empty rooms

of the children

Lucia Cardillo hints that summer is on its way to Rodi Garganico, Italy.

among grass flowers--

spring and children go

... simply


Children chuckle at The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears May 19. Readers are invited to send haiku about honeymoons on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

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David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is on the editorial board of the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, columnist for the Haiku International Association, and is editor of Teaching Assistance, a column featuring graduate students 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 Ito En Oi Ocha, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, Polish Haiku Association, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, and Only One Tree.

McMurray's award-winning books include: "Only One Tree Haiku, Music & Metaphor" (2015); "Canada Project Collected Essays & Poems" Vols. 1 -- 8 (2013); and "Haiku in English as a Japanese Language" (2003).