Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Nearing spring the tap, tap, tapping jumping rope

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

helping her dress up

for her first date--

the girl’s thick ponytail

--Junko Saeki (Suginami, Tokyo)

* * *

early morning rain

birds peck the ground for fat worms

she puts on her dress

--James T. Lloyd (Reading, U.K.)

* * *

whistleblowing

the temerity

of sparrows

--Eva Limbach (Saarbrucken, Germany)

* * *

Youth, beauty

time passed by

bare gingko tree

--Junko Yamada (Kamakura)

* * *

white calla lilies

eight years

cancer-free

--pamela a. babusci (Rochester, New York)

* * *

browsing a daisy

much more uncertain

Italian elections

--Lucia Fontana (Milan, Italy)

* * *

a life of lunch hours

spent in Japanese bookstores--

what he knows, doesn’t?

--John S. Gilbertson (Greenville, South Carolina)

* * *

Olympic Games

After the snow

the smell of tea

--Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

* * *

winter rainbow

a dream upon waking

...fading away

--Rika Inami (Akita)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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no one saw her there

little girl with tear-stained cheeks

watching butterflies

--Thomas Canull (Carmel, Indiana)

The haikuist penned a poem for Hina Matsuri, the Doll Festival celebrated March 3. The festival date was originally set to coincide with the blossoming of peach trees on the third day of the third month on the lunar calendar. Eileen Benavente-Blas cheered her mom in Dededo, Guam.

Mom’s 90th birthday

a slow walk

beneath a waning moon

Tota Kaneko (1919-2018) passed away on Feb. 20. An avante-garde haikuist, he selected haiku for The Asahi Shimbun’s haiku column, Asahi Haidan. In addition to composing haiku on raw natural themes, Kaneko focused on human trials and tribulations.

The plum in blossom

blue sharks have come right in

into the garden

* * *

Slept well until the

withered field in my dream

turned green

Junko Yamada’s mom got a birthday cake covered in strawberries and candles. Ana Drobot froze in Bucharest, Romania.

Strawberry sky

Mother’s 99th

New Year

* * *

birthday ...

freezing the apple blossoms

snowfall

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams shivered at the sight of a plunging neckline in Fairlawn, Ohio.

strawberry moon--

the prom dress reveals

a birthmark

Liz Gibbs compared the Rocky Mountains to Pablo Picasso’s (1881-1973) cubism style of painting. While cleaning up shattered icicles around his home in Nagoya, Satoru Kanematsu thought he heard the artist’s “Girl with mandolin.”

swiftly sculpting the snow

chinook winds

leave a Picasso

* * *

Freezing night

Picasso’s girl wails

into shards

As soon as Junko Saeki gets up in the morning she plays the mandolin. Then she checks e-mail, reads the latest issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network, and a little after 8 a.m. calls her sister on the phone. She admits, “I know she is busy in the morning, but I tell her I need these calls to kick-start my day. I appreciate her humor and graciousness.”

Morning calls to my sister

she calls them,

“Your cock-a-doodle-doos”

Rosemarie Schuldes shares every girl’s dream of dancing at the highlight event of the Viennese carnival season. The annual evening ball begins when the Austrian president, celebrities and honored guests enter the imperial balcony.

tamed snowflakes

debutantes at the

Vienna Opera Ball

Thomas Canull dreamt of love in Carmel, Indiana.

your eyes smiled at me

perhaps it was just a dream

yet my heart smiled back

Yutaka Kitajima watches Olympians receive dolls in Pyeongchang.

A cute doll

misses her mistress

far abroad

Twelve-year-old Zoie Martin hesitated when wet snow fell in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Elementary school teacher Patrick Sweeney recalls being so cold his incisors chattered incessantly.

snow

drizzles down suddenly--

then stops

* * *

freezing rain

the enameled spoil tips

of my childhood

A cold blast shook Slobodan Pupovac’s home in Zagreb, Croatia.

north-easterly

quietly trembling on the roof

the whistle of wind

The first gales of spring, haru ichiban, blow from the south. In Tokyo, Kiyoshi Fukuzawa was surprised by unseasonably warm temperatures. Rosemarie Schuldes checks for signs of an early blooming bright-yellow shrub in Gross-Gerau, Germany.

“Global warming”

reached my garden--

green ivy

* * *

facing the

pregnancy test strip--

forsythia buds

Jeanne Jorgensen has become a grandmother in Edmonton, Alberta. Julia Guzman smiles in Cordoba, Argentina. Yoshiho Satake admires a pink little ball on a tree in Tokyo.

snow swirls

under the streetlamp’s glow

labor pains begin

* * *

First sunrise

The light beam

on the baby’s face

* * *

plum buds--

cupped hands

of babies

The March 16 issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network features fertility. The March 30 issue celebrates 23 years of publishing haiku in English. Readers are welcome to send haiku 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).