Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

summer’s slow dusk crow shadows skimming rooftops

--John Hawkhead (Bradford on Avon, U.K.)

* * *

strawberry moon

a girl walks barefoot

on the roofs of the big city

--Damir Damir (Belgrade, Serbia)

* * *

a mother grabs

her son’s hand at the stairs--

late coolness

--Lenard D. Moore (Jacksonville, North Carolina)

* * *

night border crossing

new hope in America

mother and her son

--Jason Scott Wallace (Sherman Oaks, California)

* * *

Empty streets--

shadow of a cat

stretches on the wall

--Nazarena Rampini (Milano, Italy)

* * *

Sunset glow--

a frightening scream

left by Munch

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

abandoned beach

the languid pose

of headless coconuts

--Adjei Agyei-Baah (Kumasi, Ghana)

* * *

in the loom of time

I see my life

flying in chapters

--Isabella Dooley (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

cricket season

cries of ‘howzzat’ rings

through the park

--Madhuri Pillai (Melbourne, Australia)

* * *

Summer night--

the moon flowers invade

the garden

--Marie Jeanne Sakhinis-De Meis (Avignon, France)

* * *

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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Does the Japanese beetle question how to fold its wings?

--Neal Woolery (Iowa)

The haikuist composed this one-line poem in the morning while watching how an insect “quickly and effortlessly tucked in its wings under its iridescent wing covers.” It is dedicated in memory of his late brother, “who was a voracious reader and will be remembered by everyone in my family for his generosity with his books.” Lenard D. Moore, the executive chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society, arches his back at the library. Carlo Speggiorin makes his debut to this column by sharing his first haiku penned in his hometown of Venice, Italy.

in the library

upright at the keyboard

summer

* * *

Warm summer wind--

enjoyed on days back in town

crossing the bridges

Lysa Collins watches as sandpipers, plovers, and snipes tuck in their wings for the night in White Rock, British Columbia. Eleonore Nickolay lost three uncles during the final days of World War II.

Softly

shorebirds settle

into the edging night

* * *

Mum’s baby brother

forever young

in his uniform

Sheila K. Barksdale takes us to a scenic hill popular with tourists on the border of England and Wales. To the locals, it’s a blustery windblown bare outcrop. Nikolay Grankin follows a trail of flowers in Krasnodar, Russia. Teiichi Suzuki takes us to an old home by a trickling stream in Fukui Prefecture. Slobodan Pupovac shivers while tracing his name with an index finger in Zagreb, Croatia. Isao Soematsu honors the spirits of his ancestors in Nagoya. Goran Gatalica is summoned in Croatia.

hugging the contours

of Hay Bluff--chug of an ice-cream van

larksong

* * *

abandoned road

wildflowers

lead the way

* * *

Grave visit--

fireflies and parents

were once there

* * *

Gravestone

the faded letters

of my surname

* * *

Family tomb--

ancestors’ names

weathered away

* * *

Morning stillness--

my great-grandfather

evokes my name

Lee Nash composed this two-line haiku about a festival called Famadihana, when families exhume their ancestors and parade them in the street in veneration.

Madagascan sunset

dancing with the dead

No stranger to digging holes for a living in London, Mike Gallagher was born on Achill Island in 1941, a time he says “when emigration from the whole western seaboard of Ireland was the norm.” Antonio Mangiameli belies the twice dead in Lentini, Italy.

coffin ship

famine furrows

etch the hillside

* * *

cemetery--

the dead poisoned

by herbicide

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo receives an invitation to enter a steamy building in the Netherlands. While in a cafe on an upper floor of a high-rise in London, Alan Summers watched “the bright sunlight bounce off gulls, as if they were ghosts of a previous time.” Dottie Piet stares out from an infirmary in Oklahoma.

hot summer night--

from an open window

tango music

* * *

heat of the city

the wraiths of gulls

out of beech trees

* * *

hospital window

everything outside seems

pretty normal

Cezar Florescu is awestruck by a meteor shower in Botosani, Romania.

interrupting a story

about our warriors . ..

Perseids

Kanematsu draws an ant on the haiku postcards he’s been mailing since he retired as a high school teacher. The sudden arrival of venomous fire ants at major ports across Japan, including Nagoya, is so worrisome, the haikuist feels pins and needles. Thinking he may have twisted his back, he went to see a chiropractor.

Worker ants

since I quit my job

twenty years

* * *

Ghost drama--

grandson suddenly

grabs my arm

* * *

Skeleton

at the bonesetter’s--

greets patients

Luciana Moretto stirs a witch’s kettle in Treviso, Italy.

Amid fire and smoke

boiling magic brews

I cast a spell

Barbara A. Taylor knows what the neighbors are up to on Mountain Top, New South Wales. Christina Sng sniffs at the winds in Singapore. A muskmelon softens in Junko Yamada’s kitchen in Kamakura. Anthony Q. Rabang digs his bare hands into a Filipino-style military feast of food piled atop of banana leaves laid out on long tables.

feeling lonely

throughout the suburbs

BBQs waft

* * *

Yet another

summer barbeque

the scent of charred meat

* * *

Melon mellows

on the table;

smell of death

* * *

boodle fight--

yesterday’s harvest

served on a clay pot

Enrique Garrovillo’s grandfather taught him how to weave baskets from long palm fronds in Cebu, Philippines.

nipa--

close family ties

woven by lolo

Italian poet Eufemia Griffo was inspired by poetry penned by the Roman administrator Pliny the Younger in the year 79 on a date corresponding to Aug. 24. Claire Bowman spots an eerily hovering moth in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Stirred from his sleep, Teiichi Suzuki peeks at his bedside alarm clock. Romano Zeraschi lives in the Italian ghost town of Parma. Writing from West Fargo, North Dakota, Karen O’Leary recalls one of the deadliest hurricanes ever to hit the United States.

last night of Pompeii . ..

a black sun

darkens the stars

* * *

Dark as night

a leaf transforms

ghost moth

* * *

Summer midnight--

nothing but the glow watch

has strength to move

* * *

ghostly . ..

nobody in town

summer

* * *

Hurricane Katrina

homeless . . . bodies floating

in the streets

Summertide shines over Nazarena Rampini’s home in Pogliano Milanese, Italy.

Summer moon

the fisherman

turns off his lamp

Stormy weather made Elizabeth Moura decide to stay home in East Taunton, Massachusetts, during her summer vacation.

staycation

wiggling my toes

at home

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Ghosts haunt http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Sept. 1, 15 and 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about a mystery 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).