Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

send me a postcard of that City by the Bay with gold in her hair

--Aileen Cassinetto (San Francisco, California)

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Smiling cool

a slender Buddha

from Thailand

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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oil rig

the alchemy of

black gold

--Ashoka Weerakkody (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

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A special time of your life

Golden memories

--Donald Bobiash (Cartagena, Columbia)

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slave’s furrows

on the classroom screen--

stormy sky

--Lenard D. Moore (North Carolina)

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we plant tulip bulbs

our wedding rings enriched

by the black soil

--Jeanne Jorgensen (Edmonton, Alberta)

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morning reading

the chrysanthemum

full of sunshine

--John Zheng (Itta Bena, Mississippi)

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the silver dewdrop

quivers at the petal’s tip

before letting go

--Harshal Desai (Mumbai, India)

* * *

Distant suns glitter

scattered across inky sky

Flower Sun shines bright

--Kathy Figuera (Bancroft, Ontario)

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Sleeping soundly

Behind rice paper doors

Silkworms metamorphose

--Lynn Graham (Maple Lake, Ontario)

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St. Lorenzo’s night . ..

the day

of our farewell

--Eufemia Griffo (Settimo Milanese, Italy)

The haikuist observes the veneration of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz who was mercilessly executed in Nagasaki on Sept. 28, 1637. A skilled calligrapher and clerk for the Roman Catholic Church, the Chinese-Filipino traveled to Okinawa as a missionary. Captured there, he was tortured to death by soldiers of the Tokugawa Shogunate who were following orders to destroy churches. Relics such as glass-bead rosaries have been found in the graves of missionaries and Christian feudal lords in Kyushu. Griffo revisits that past in the next haiku.

castle ruins . ..

walking on their memories


Dragan J. Ristic prunes a rose bush in Nis, Serbia. Satoru Kanematsu keeps in synch with the gardener’s scissors.

spirit of ancestors--

on a piece of my garden

a rose again

* * *


a crow responding

to each snip

Sept. 29 is the feast day for St. Jerome, the patron saint of Taos Pueblo, an Indian village in New Mexico famous for its large multi-story gold-brown colored adobe. When Spanish soldiers arrived there in the 1540s, they thought it was a fabled lost city of gold. Haikuists studied such earth tones at a Haiku North America conference in Santa Fe earlier this month. Andy McLellan shines brass in Canterbury, U.K. In Saarbrucken, Germany, Eva Limbach’s fingers trace the long, flowing letters of a decorative handwriting style.

old war film

I polish my

grandfather’s medals

* * *

the copperplate

of my grandfather--

war diaries

California’s riverbeds between Sonora and Coulterville, long dry from drought, are flowing again, writes Michael H. Lester. Just as Mark Twain (18351910) penned, “maybe there’s gold in them thar hills?” Valentina Ranaldi-Adams reflects on her past in Fairlawn, Ohio.

gold rush . ..

snowmelt fills the riverbeds

and a miner’s dreams

* * *

fool’s gold--

the mistakes

I have made

Devin Harrison returned from a trip to find smoke-filled skies over his home in Duncan, British Columbia. Raging fires pushed up temperatures and lowered air quality at the interior of Vancouver Island. Mark Meyer reports there are “wildfires and smoke everywhere” in the Pacific Northwest.

outflowing winds

curling around mountains

smoky skies

* * *

summer wildfires . ..

another gray-brown sunset

no rain in sight

American writer Priscilla Lignori fears worse weather is on its way. Iris, a haikuist from Matsuyama, visited a fiery volcano that rises offshore from the city-center of Kagoshima.

Out of control fires

and storms raging in the seas--

lengthening shadows

* * *

smoky in the rain

Sakurajima ridgeline

before the typhoon

Readers are reminded to enter the Matsuyama Photo-Haiku Contest in English before Nov. 30 at this link: Supported by The Asahi Shimbun, entry is free, and there are eight awards with prizes totaling 58,000 yen. A prizewinner in last year’s competition, Teiichi Suzuki evaluated his day’s work on a farm at sunset. Minako Noma composed entries for the contest while watching over her grandchildren in Matsuyama.

Evening glow--

smell of burnt earth

weeding grass

* * *

peaceful faces

children sleep

on sun-dried futons

Melanie Vance photographed gold smelt across desert skies in Dubai, UAE. Adjei Agyei-Baah saw black and gold stretch for miles north of Ghana.

golden sunset

over the desert sky

endless fire

* * *

a passing caravan

across a sunken sun--

Sahara silhouette

Nancy Baker Rullo finds her way home in Brooklyn, New York.

Catalpa blossoms--

at night the path to my house

river of full moons

D.V. Rozic is overwhelmed by an unbearable light in Ivanic-Grad, Croatia. Lenard D. Moore stands aside in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

under tons of gold

moon’s silvery path connects

two islands

* * *

black woman walks

off the silver elevator--

summer drizzle

There’s often nothing better in London, Alan Summers claims, “on an extremely hot city day than to have a glass of cold juice and watching the day unfold.” In Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlie Smith proffers watermelon and listening to jazz. Griffo savors an orange blossom blend from a cup designed for a mustachioed soldier in the 19th century.

slant of the sun

a glass of orange juice

slops its horizon

* * *


cold watermelon

cool Coltrane

* * *

afternoon tea

drinking from the Victorian cup

of an old aunt

Hidehito Yasui believes we are all born rich.

brothers get gold

medals derived from

ancestors’ strength

Enrique Garrovillo prayed for spiritual edification in Cebu City, Philippines. Writing from Teaneck, New Jersey, Amy Losak explains the inevitable.

church of the poor

his homily repeats

gold-clad pulpit

* * *

waning summer

even prayer

is not enough . ..

Natalia Kuznetsova can’t get enough in Moscow, Russia. Midnight robbers whistle to get the attention of Justice Joseph Prah in Accra, Ghana.

golden silence

between you and me . ..

rather leaden

* * *

midnight shrills

from our quartz clock

ancestral call

Waking early to travel to a funeral in Kitale, Kenya, Patrick Wafula was greeted by a heavenly sight. Croatian poet Zdenka Mlinar visited Tanzania. The morning started off bright in Canberra, Australia, for Marietta Jane McGregor.

a golden horizon

over vast maize fields--


* * *

Maasai woman

milking her goats--

a golden smile

* * *

with his smile

the day brightens

flash of gold incisor

Ramona Linke senses there’s money to be made in a new career. Mercy Ikuri keenly listens to interviews in Narok, Kenya.

job interview

the brief flash

of his gold tooth

* * *

fool’s gold

the smiles the interviewees

flash each other

A student at Bahati Secondary School in Nairobi, Kenya, Sylvia Lavine knows sweetness sometimes lies hidden.

roadside stall--

its golden mangoes

are covered in dust

While resting and “just watching the garden in Nairobi,” Isabelle Prondzynski caught a haiku moment that might last forever in her mind’s eye.

a sunset view--

sudden gold catches

a swift’s wing

Mohammad Azim Khan walks down an aisle in Peshawar, Pakistan. Lee Nash seems unsatisfied with her selection in France.

street jewelers . ..

the sparkle

in her eyes

* * *

hollow gold

not the solid man

I married

Slobodan Pupovac suddenly becomes wary. Then, he frets over a family heirloom in Zagreb, Croatia.

Gypsy singer

glint from a golden tooth

under stage lights

* * *

damaged gold

on the frame

of the landscape painting

Flowers from the garden climb Melanie Vance’s wall in Dallas, Texas. Rosemarie Schuldes carves a golden-orange pumpkin in Gross-Gerau, Germany.

dewy marigolds

by the window

mom’s painting

* * *


grandpa is looking for

his dentures

Farmers near Paul Faust’s home in Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, get ready to rake in a small fortune. Angela Giordano warns farmers they might lose their harvest in Avigliano, Italy. Terrie Jacks dances with tassels until evening in Ballwin, Missouri.

Viewing rice paddies

checking height and color

good as gold she thinks

* * *

Light rain

the smell of wheat

laid in the fields

* * *


lengthening shadows waltz

across the wheat fields

Vasile Moldovan counts his blessings in Bucharest, Romania. Marija Pogorilic’s neighbors live happily in Rovinj, Croatia.

A poor world--

The autumnal gold

Is enough

* * *

A large family

home joyful without

any gold at all

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa has lived happily ever after in Tokyo. Living in Shizuoka, Itoko Suzuki says she “still remembers the day 72 years ago under a fiery sun, when cicada chants were erasing an unclear radio message from the emperor informing us of the End.” Today she says, the “golden bell in the hometown temple is becoming darker, but its tolls console survivors.” Eleonore Nickolay holds onto love.

Undreamed of, yet

young I was in wartime

golden wedding

* * *

Cicadas enchanting

bosom friends gone

gold bell tolls

* * *

Golden anniversary

trembling . ..

hand in hand

The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Oct. 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about political elections or the freedom of expression 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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