Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

summer sunset the pink of the panting dog’s tongue

--Bob Lucky (Saudi Arabia)

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Immaculate . ..

a salaryman’s

pet poodle

--Marietta McGregor (Canberra, Australia)

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modern man,

bravo--dogs in the house,

children in the street!

--Smajil Durmisevic (Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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Hachiko statue

my dog wagging its tail

in the photograph

--Anthony Q. Rabang (Philippines)

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warm march--

lazy dog awaits

the first mosquito

--Wieslaw Karlinski (Namyslow, Poland)

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Snowy road

the old dog follows


--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

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dusk in the park--

a melting snowman

faces a black dog

--Isabelle Prondzynski (Nairobi, Kenya)

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Sunny day

the cat gets mad

at melting snow

--Elizabeth Moura (East Taunton, Massachusetts)

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Chasing, then

chased by dogs

boys in the sun

--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

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Drowsy day

the dog sits as told

in English

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

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lawn grass

more raw umber than naught

dog days . ..

--Madhuri Pillai (Melbourne, Australia)

The haikuist weathers a drought that’s colored her garden reddish-brown. In hotter temperatures the iron oxide in the soil turns to burnt umber, the deep brown earth tone that painters have used for centuries in the dry, mountainous regions of central Italy.

Barbara A. Taylor penned the haiku below about bush fires in New South Wales, which caused “a catastrophic heatwave this weekend, 42 degrees here at my place.” Evgeny Ivanov threw a party for the neighbors at his new place in Moscow. Richard Jodoin fears a prairie dog will soon tunnel its way into his new digs in Montreal.

scorched earth

already bursting

with green shoots

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the stray cat looks

in the window

* * *

New tool shed

invitation to my good neighbor

Monsieur Marmot

Taylor’s next haiku recalls the wonderful aroma and long, hot burn from an open hearth full of Irish peat. Used as a fuel source for centuries, environmentalists want peat bogs to stay in the ground as reservoirs for carbon. Burning windrows and turf release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming.

back home again

burning turf wafts

across green hills

Yutaka Kitajima points to where grayish-brown silt reappeared on snow-covered mountain slopes in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture. Bryan Cook admires a beauty in Ottawa, Ontario.

There she is

around evergreens

mother earth

* * *

Red cascade over

freckle dust

on pale blush skin

Married in early June, the Hambricks spent the first day of their honeymoon walking around the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina. As a new couple, they “were dragging because all the wedding hoopla had worn us out,” she said. Adding, “We later learned that the day’s high temperature was 104 degrees Fahrenheit.”

hotter than a preacher’s pulpit

on judgment day

till death do us part

Haikuist kjmunro in Whitehorse, Canada, dreams of a whispering, hissing, breathtaking beach near the equator. Angelo B. Ancheta hears a primordial song in the Philippines. Simon Hanson ponders his pet from an evolutionary perspective in Australia.

tropical honeymoon

she hears the surf all night


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newborn pup’s cry

tearing the deep night

summertime blues

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Ancient dna

our kitten pounces

on imaginary prey

The next haiku was penned by Paul Geiger, a retired U.S. navy lieutenant who served in the Korean War. His duty was to search high and low for signs of an impending typhoon. Typhoons start off as tropical thunderstorms that pull in moisture from warm ocean water. Once in motion, the winds whip around causing even more heat and evaporation to flow up through the storm’s axis mundi from sea to sky. Although typhoons disrupt our lives, they do serve to cool down sea water temperatures.

typhoon colored sky

crashing over our bow

green water

Overheated seas surrounding Japan have bleached almost all the pink corals an ugly dead-white. The severe and permanent bleaching on the seabed of once-popular diving spots in Okinawa was “caused by the persistent extraordinarily high seawater temperature--as high as 30 degrees or warmer--between June and September 2016,” according to a report issued by the Environment Ministry. Neha R. Krishna recalls a hot summer in Mumbai. Aparna Pathak’s mouth is parched in Delhi.

summer of ’69

she showed

her pink color tongue

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Morning mist--

girl sticks her tongue out

to lick moisture

Slobodan Pupovac records a slow day in Zagreb in a pithy 11 syllables. Ken Ito studies haiku at the University of Hokusei in Hokkaido. His first attempt was 23 syllables: Height of the carp streamer / Every single year it is getting / Closer and closer to me.

summer heat

fish wave their tails

in a streambed

* * *

Carp streamer

it’s closer to me--

freshman year

Year-on-year-on-year warming of the earth have kick-started the appearance of tornados in Japan, claims Stuart Walker, a seasoned American expat living in Sapporo. Lee Nash visited rain-swept India. Lucia Cardillo pities a flower girl in Rodi Garganico, Italy. Did Simon Hanson fashion sunshades from recycled transparent plastic in Queensland Australia?

Among the rubble

a headless sports trophy

Tornado Trump

* * *

wet Delhi street

girls sell roses

veiled in cellophane

* * *

sad smile--

little seller of roses

wrapped in plastic

* * *

Cellophane wrapping

turning the world


In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dottie Piet suggests haikuists replace their exacting seasonal almanacs for lists of synonyms and related concepts. Jonas Woodbury patiently checked on rosebuds growing near his school in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

fading light

a haiku poet opens

her red thesaurus

* * *

the red rose

standing out

at last

Haiku North America conference organizers hope hundreds of haikuists will gather in New Mexico from Sept. 13 to 17 to wax poetic about earth tones. Temperatures will hopefully fall under 30 degrees by then. Charles Trumbull composed this haiku to promote the sublime venue in Santa Fe at a hacienda with shade trees.

fallen leaves

the cottonwood’s whisper

softer now


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear June 16 and 30. Readers are invited to send haiku about summertime 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).