Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Caterpillar crawling on the thin twig to its favorite food

--Slobodan Pupovac (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

Bright morning sunlight

billowing bedroom curtain

colored young tea leaves

--Yuta Kawamura (Taipei, Taiwan)

* * *

Daybreak--light

shines from the top of

terraced rice fields

--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

* * *

In closet darkness

a voice counts numbers

accelerating heartbeats

--Haruka Akaishi (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

* * *

green market

the scent of chili peppers

on my fingers

--Zoran Doderovic (Novi Sad, Serbia)

* * *

old man in the sun--

the green tomatoes

facing south

--Margherita Petriccione (Scauri, Italy)

* * *

picking riverside fiddleheads

for the senior meal site

with an old friend

--Judith Hishikawa (West Burke, Vermont)

* * *

the flesh turns brown

after your bite--

green apples

--Debbi Antebi (London, U.K.)

* * *

melon green moon

no way to disambiguate

the taste

--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

honeymoon

cutting in half

their first melon

--Eleonore Nickolay (Vaires sur Marne, France)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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Greetings--

returning early

house martins

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

Unexpected house guests arrive much too early for the haikuist. He worries about climate changes caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions, imploring “that the Earth comes first.” Natalie McShane and Isabella Dooley, respectively, comment on erratic weather patterns at the Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture. Marietta McGregor observes swirling water.

What a surprise!

snow in the

middle of April

* * *

Ghost cat

fleeing to

high melting mountains

* * *

foam edging

a thaw-swollen river

freshly-whipped matcha

The Japanese diet is based on the timing that regional farmers follow when cultivating their land. For example, Yuta Kawamura clearly recalls “carrying a huge tea leaf basket on my back and following in the footsteps of my grandmother to a plantation in Chiran, Kagoshima.” Located far to the south of Japan, he assisted in pinching off sencha leaf buds until mid-May. Now a haikuist, and student of washoku at a cooking school in Taipei, Kawamura remains tuned to the farmers’ almanac to create timely haiku and restaurant menus.

Footpath down the hill

she knows each step of the way

picking the first tea

Writing from Dallas where temperature is measured in Fahrenheit, Melanie Vance recalls “A few years back Texas faced severe famine … and most of the industries suffered including the cattle industry.” Writing from New York, Teiichi Suzuki sheds a tear when passing a food vendor.

sun blazing

in triple digits . ..

frozen economy

* * *

Smoke on 7th Avenue

from nearby Korean Town--

barbecued chicken

Luciana Moretto was inspired by the Italian poet Umberto Saba (1883-1957) who compared his daughter to the lightest things in nature. Twelve-year-old Claire Bowman spots the first honeybee to fly at Misawa Air Base this spring. Marilyn Ashbaugh comforts a little girl in Edwardsburg, Michigan.

Drifting cloud and sea foam

windborne blue smoke--

poet’s little girl

* * *

First bee

the honeycomb

is weightless

* * *

shy

she tells me all the dolls

stare at her

When Jennifer Hambrick was a child growing up in Columbus, Ohio, her mother found a recipe in the local paper for “Midnight Salad.” Ever since, a dark green salad of spinach leaves and waves of iceberg lettuce mix and toss with a fabulous homemade garlic dressing on her family’s dinner table. Writing from New York, Natalia L. Rudychev is mesmerized by candlesticks on a table.

midnight salad--

a sea of spinach

in the iceberg’s shadow

* * *

Earth Day

a dancing candle flame

reminds me of you

Ashbaugh’s little girl arranges a bouquet while reciting the rhyme about what a bride should wear: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Eleonore Nickolay shares a delightful morning-after anecdote, explaining how two can live as cheap as one. Angiola Inglese bites into juicy fresh fruit.

May day bouquet

my daughter fills her basket

with borrowed flowers

* * *

honeymoon

sharing

their first melon

* * *

ripe peach--

the taste of summer

along the elbows

Suzuki divides his lunch in two while on visit to New York. Yutaka Kitajima savors his favorite dessert in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.

Green Market--

a brunch on the bench

with squirrels

* * *

A sip of

condensed milk in turn--

grandpa’s treat

Simon Hansen suggests mixing up colorful ingredients for an Australian salad. The haikuist shares the tastes and spirits characteristic of his generation.

From Queensland with love

a green tree frog

in a box of mangoes

Charlie Smith drinks his American coffee black. Arvinder Kaur cherishes milk in India. Steliana Voicu uncorks a Romanian vintage.

Forget the cream

forget the sugar

join the dark side

* * *

earthquake--

my grandson runs out

with his milk mug

* * *

wedding anniversary--

opening a honeymoon

wine bottle

Hidehito Yasui toasts this year’s vintage with a rising tonal scale in Osaka.

Do, re, mi, fa, sol . ..

different taste year by year

home-made plum liqueur

Gustative experts cook up delicious haiku at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear June 3 and 17. Readers are invited to send haiku that shares news about a new job or business, wedding, new home, baby or even a new pet 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 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).