Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

hotel honeymoon suite unfolding the towel swans

--Lee Nash (Poitou-Charentes, France)

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awakening in Kyoto--

the scent of green tea

fills the light

--Maria Laura Valente (Romagna, Italy)

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Flower girl

ring bearer

vows of love

--Jia Ru (China)

* * *

In honeymoon suite

for our anniversary--

Adirondack rain

--Priscilla Lignori (Montgomery, New York)

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In our one-room house

splendid with a long-stemmed rose

distant honeymoon

--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

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are the wild roses

--Lilia Racheva (Rousse, Bulgaria)

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red sunsuit

sewn by my mother--


--Margherita Petriccione (Scauri, Italy)

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summer rain

in her pink rubber boots

straight through

--Christof Blumentrath (Borken, Germany)

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A piece of poetry--

azalea afloat on

a puddle

--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

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Hazy moon

chasing blind passion

in madness

--Junko Yamada (Kamakura, Kanagawa)

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My first job

a kiss under spring rain--

office girl

--Mario Massimo Zontini (Parma, Italy)

A co-worker attracts the haikuist. This afternoon haikuists in Japan can take advantage of the government’s Premium Friday policy of letting employees go home early. In America the initiative is called TGIF, Thank Goodness It’s Friday. Christof Blumentrath takes his time in Borken, Germany.

new job

sharing my lunch

with the birds

In some European countries, workers are allowed time off work once a week to exercise or even go home to make babies. Kristjaan Panneman sees pink in The Netherlands. Natalia Kuznetsova is seeing red in Moscow, Russia.

Leaving work early

this last Friday of the month

cherry blossom viewing

* * *

his wife’s

coming home early . ..

divorce petition

Melanie Vance rode down an office elevator in Dallas, Texas. Satoru Kanematsu was lured the other way. Amy Losak floats in Teaneck, New Jersey. Yuji Hayashi is fizzed in Fukuoka.

perfumed breeze

in the elevator

her early departure

* * *

going up

entranced by perfume

in the lift

* * *

breeze on my face

I let go the weight

of the world

* * *

the tab popped--

drink down the week’s work

Friday train

Dragan J. Ristic looks forward to a calm, stress-free weekend in Nis, Serbia. Richard Jodoin celebrates Canada Day in Montreal by renting out the gymnasium at the community center his co-operative runs.

sleepy night watchman

is yawning contentedly--

it’s Friday today

* * *

Young Muslims

not hurrying to go home

summer solstice

In Inzai city, Chiba Prefecture, T.D. Ginting was inspired by herbalist Li Ching-Yuen’s answer to the secret of longevity quoted in a 1933 issue of “Time” magazine after he died: “Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon, sleep like a dog.”

Spring season--

sipping tea and reading:

move (sp)rightly like a pigeon

Satoru Kanematsu has no particular place to go on the weekend. Twelve-year-old Isabella Dooley goes cloud-watching.

Haiku walk

no destination

in spring breeze

* * *

A stratus cloud

the only one

not fitting in

Jean Jorgensen mixes batter in her kitchen to keep up with the Joneses. Steliana Voicu helps her mother long into the evening.

Home-baked wheat bread

my blueberry muffins

neighbour and i trade tastes

* * *

Strawberry Moon--

aroma of jam filling

mother’s kitchen

Ana Drobot crayons with her children in Bucharest, Romania. Twelve-year-old Claire Bowman braids her grandma’s hair.

summer begins--

I draw a large

smile on the sun

* * *

Clover flowers

my grandmother’s

braided strand

Dottie Piet shops in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Sapporo, Hokkaido, Ken Friesen pulls out last year’s jacket.

a new pair of jeans

now i zip up without

holding my breath

* * *

beneath the zip-line

her pink windbreaker catches

a cicada shell

John Hawk is quite satisfied with the fishing spot he found in Columbus, Ohio. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa momentarily spots a turtle on the banks of a river in Tokyo. Kanematsu paces.

a day’s worth

of catching nothing

sunset pond

* * *

Riverside stone

becomes a tortoise

passing rains

* * *

Let’s go slow

said the old haikuist

to a snail

David Wood canoes in Cleveland, Ohio: churning river water/ assorted driftwood racing by/ my rental canoe. Trimming his haiku to 5-7-5 syllables instills the literary device of personification.

river water churns

assorted driftwood racing

my rental canoe

Colorful flower boxes caught Romano Zeraschi’s eye in Italy: Looking up/ Red geraniums from every balcony . . ./ Smiling sun. The 12-syllable second line could be split into two lines. The delightful expression “looking up” figuratively means to cheer up, which is analogous to the personification of a smiling sun. The haikuist described this version as, “less is more!”

Looking up

from every balcony . ..

red geraniums

Kanematsu has no particular place to go at the beginning of the work week. A pleasant surprise greeted Marta Chocilowska in Warsaw. Twelve-year-old Robert Jobe sees something green at Misawa Air Base.

Blue Monday--

drooping in the rain


* * *

Blue Monday . ..

in a pot on the window

something green

* * *

Green eyes

of a young

oak sapling

Nash freelances as an editor and proofreader. When composing these next two haiku, she let her imagination loose and had some fun telling us how she set her priorities straight on the very first morning of a new job. Later that day, she tinkered with her SNS to receive congratulations, maybe line-up a promotion, or possibly find another job.


locating the coffee machine

and the rest room

* * *

on the evening

of the first day

updating Linked In

Billy Antonio attends a wedding in Laoac, Philippines. Yamada Yukiko sways through hanging shrubs in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture. Eleonore Nickolay attends her nephew’s wedding in Vaires sur Marne, France.

rose bouquet

the June bride shoos

a bee

* * *

bumble bee buzz--

tickling our ears

wisteria trellis

* * *

red moon crescent

her wedding dress

whiter still

Maria Laura Valente began her honeymoon in Kabukicho, where the couple “had a wonderful time drinking in a little bar called Golden Gai.”

Sake with strangers--

he holds my hand

under the table

Slobodan Pupovac carries his bride through the front door of their quiet home in Zagreb, Croatia. Luciana Moretto and her husband enjoy a refreshingly scented sleep in Italy.

morning after

only the two of us go home

to a new address

* * *

Our bed--

stuffing pillows with lavender

before sleep

Kanematsu cautions against vanity. Yutaka Kitajima may have been humbled by a radiant light glowing from someone in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.


never be deceived

by sweet words

* * *


the revelation

of falsehood

Junko Yamada paints jealousy a bright red tinted with orange, the color of wild corn poppies. When something is unintentionally revealed in Kamakura, she refers to James 3:8 in the Bible: “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.”


in southern France

coy mistress

* * *

Slips on

a poisonous tongue--

red roses


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear July 7 and 21. Readers are invited to send haiku about summer nights 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).

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