Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

dogs running throughout the country greeting cards

--Doc Sunday (Hiroshima)

* * *

until he comes

to the fence

the wild horse

--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

Snow-bound forest--

a fox escapes

from our steps

--Evgeny Ivanov (Moscow, Russia)

* * *

I shiver

a howl

wolf on top of the hill

--Zoie Martin (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

Valentine’s Day ...

a gray-haired couple absorbed

in their smart phones

--Ed Bremson (Raleigh, North Carolina)

* * *

church candles

shining in new splendor

worn wedding rings

--Marta Chocilowska (Warsaw, Poland)

* * *

As the church gathers--

owl in the village hoots from

inside a tall pine

--Priscilla Lignori (Montgomery, New York)

* * *

Dead of night

darkness of spirit

an owl’s hoot

--Junko Yamada (Kamakura)

* * *

a frigid night

yet an owls’ “Whoo Whoo”

into the New Year

--Jeanne Jorgensen (Edmonton, Alberta)

* * *

icy east wind--

from time to time the farm dog

barks at the dusk

--Ramona Linke (Beesenstedt, Germany)

* * *




Sundog an unexpected windfall

--Lee Nash (France)

The 2018 Lunar New Year of the Dog begins today. The haikuist was lucky to see a parhelion, shining ice crystals to the left and right of the sun near the horizon in the northern hemisphere. Teiichi Suzuki is worried about touch-and-go diplomatic relations over the Sea of Japan during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. John Zheng was relieved by an exhilarating winter sport in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Melanie Vance enjoyed a pollution-free winter sport in Dallas, Texas. Croatian haikuist Slobodan Pupovac imagined the opening ceremony of the Games in South Korea.

Howling of dogs

escalates over the sea--

little by little

* * *

snow tubing

no more migraines

when sliding down

* * *

Canadian toboggan

in dogsled race

zero emission

* * *

opening …

flame illuminates the faces

of all nationalities

The Lunar Year of the Rooster ended by the time retired high school teacher Satoru Kanematsu awoke from an all-English dream. Deftly written while admiring a splendid sunrise in Cordoba, Argentina, the next haiku by Julia Guzman is identified as belonging to the southern hemisphere with the South American onomatopoeic spelling of a rooster’s crow. Richard Jodoin’s international call from Montreal may have suddenly cut off. No matter how we might describe the sound of a cockcrow, a hypoicon such as Luciana Moretto’s description in Italian is unmistakable.

Winter dawn--


from afar

* * *

Summer sunrise …

The faraway kikiriki

from the poplar grove

* * *

From the cell phone

of a third-world activist

the cock’s last kukiriku

* * *


the roosters’ chicchirichi


Angela Giordano began a new day in Avigliano, Italy.

the first lights--

a new chicchirichi

floods the valley

Describing herself as “a city girl with rural roots,” Mary Vlooswyk explained, “when I hear a rooster it fills me with memories of my youth and home.” In her second haiku, she holds onto a year-old commemorative stamp mailed from Calgary, Alberta.

riding a bicycle

in Ecuador, a rooster’s crow

sends me home

* * *

in my purse

loose among spare change

a red rooster

Kanematsu frequents a temple in Nagoya that is home to a 17-year-old dog and several chickens which roost under a blossoming plum tree.

First sunshine--

a crowing rooster

flaps its wings

Having celebrated the day of the rooster, tori no ichi, at a temple in Asakusa last November, Vasile Moldovan simply rolled over this morning in Bucharest, Romania. Michael H. Lester seems to have woken up on the wrong side of the bed in Los Angeles, California.


I turn away my face from the wall

and sleep further on

* * *

year of the dog--

the rooster has nothing

to crow about

John Hawkhead stirs from a sound sleep in Bradford on Avon, U.K. Madhuri Pillai senses discord in Australia. She was surprised to learn that the dog she adopted from an animal rescue service in Melbourne only barks in its sleep. Barbara A. Taylor’s puppy howls in New South Wales. Natalia Kuznetsova faces facts in Moscow, Russia.

in and out of sleep

the dawn raven’s croaks

break into dreams

* * *

the twitching legs

in her dream …

the staccato bark

* * *

daily at 5:30 a.m.

my neighbour’s cockerel

sends the dog mad

* * *

a rooster’s crow …

waking up from the nightmare

of denials

Ashoka Weerakkody wonders what to have for breakfast in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Evgeny Ivanov

got up late in Moscow.

sun rise

the rooster’s doodle


* * *

Fog in the fields—

even the cock sang

after dawn

Slobodan Pupovac sketches lingering twilight in Zagreb, Croatia. Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi settles in for the night on a soya farm in Chivilcoy, Argentina.

faded stars

on a wooden fence--


* * *

almost dusk

before climbing the branch

the kikiriki

Trying to get to sleep in Nis, Serbia, Dragan J. Ristic waits for a noisy upstairs neighbor to drop his second boot on the floor.

village in the snow--

a distant rooster’s last kukiriku

invites another

Eva Limbach feared whispers in Saarbrucken, Germany. Then she heard the gruff bark of a stubborn, heavy-bodied guard dog.

family secret--

in the nearby village

a cock starts crowing

* * *

winter twilight

the husky voice of

a bandog

Christina Sng left Singapore without her pet. Linke shutters the windows. Hawkhead wasn’t fast enough.

still worrying

about the cat

winter vacation

* * *


the old tomcat


* * *

half way up

the expensive curtains

the kitten’s mewls

Charlie Smith plays with the Japanese word for the sound a dog makes. Suzuki describes how his dog performed as if he was in a lion dance celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Ramona Linke watched activities next door. Kanematsu put a doll on display to wish passersby good luck and happiness in the New Year.

the dog year

puppy celebrates


* * *

Jumping dog

catching in its mouth

large snowflakes

* * *

how she sweeps!

neighbour’s dog inspects

the sidewalk

* * *

The New Year

a paper-mache dog

swings its head

Woof! Woof! The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear March 2, 16 and 30. Readers are invited to send haiku about a milestone event, on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

* * *

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).