Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

first kiss the rain refreshes everything

--Ana Drobot (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

mismatched mouths

seek their mark ...

first kiss

--Robin Smith (Wilmington, Delaware)

* * *

Easter morning

rising from the pine grove

a blackbird’s song

--Beate Conrad (Hildesheim, Germany)

* * *

twig of basil

under the girl’s pillow--

dreams her groom

--Vasile Moldovan (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

rain in spring

the meandering drift

of cherry blossoms

--Pravat Kumar Padhy (Bhubaneswar, India)

* * *

spring outing

a pause in the song

of an oriole

--John Zheng (Itta Bena, Mississippi)

* * *

Budding grass--

the little boy ties

his new shoes

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

renewing vows

our cheeks match

the cherry blossoms

--Marilyn Ashbaugh (Edwardsburg, Michigan)

* * *

cranes coming home--

the cherry tree

taller than me

--Steliana Voicu (Ploiesti, Romania)

* * *

Cyclamen

measuring themselves

head to head

--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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First day of school--

Mum leaves the kindergarten

without her umbrella

--Julia Guzman (Cordoba, Argentina)

The haikuist consoles a flustered woman dripping tears. Teiichi Suzuki attended his grandson’s first graduation ceremony. Satoru Kanematsu cheered his son-in-law.

Milepost ahead--

ruddy-cheeked child leaves

the preschool

* * *

Step by step

marathon runners

herald spring

Isao Soematsu rose early for the start of a new fiscal year in Japan. Barbara Taylor’s wake-up call on April Fools’ Day was a sorry sort of surprise.

Wake up call

arf-arf--

the first day to work

* * *

miss that first bark

and you end up

cleaning the floor

Kanematsu knows the songsters’ first breeding call will improve. When males tweet a distinctive “hoh, hokekyo” with a stressed accent on the “ke” syllable, females sometimes reply with a favorably sounding “chee, chee.” Nikolay Grankin takes up a new vocation in Krasnodar, Russia. Debbie Strange interprets body language in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Spring yet young

songs of bush warblers

short and brisk

* * *

birth of a grandson

i study

sign language

* * *

anniversary ...

the necks of two swans

shape a heart

Rosemarie Schuldes juxtaposes one way of looking at a blackbird in Gross-Gerau, Germany. Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) wrote “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” a poem inspired by the haiku technique of sketching minuscule detail.

blackbird’s first song

removing

the sleeping mask

* * *

Among twenty snowy mountains,

The only moving thing

Was the eye of the blackbird.

Noted for the ability to mimic the songs of other birds, a long-tailed songbird with greyish plumage takes a gander at John Zheng’s viewpoint in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

lonely weekend

a mockingbird bouncing

into the lens

After teaching in Kitakyushu for 3o years as an American expatriate, Dennis Woolbright extended his career in TraVinh, Vietnam. After studying and working abroad in the United States for 12 years, Junko Saeki returned home to Tokyo. She landed a job, but admits suffering “a severe case of reverse culture shock.” Zdenka Mlinar had lunch at a book launch in Zagreb, Croatia.

Same world

different place--

strange feeling this spring

* * *

coming home a stranger--

sojourner helps my way back

cherry blossoms

* * *

Book promotion--

feast for literature

and the author

Angelo B. Ancheta was inspired to talk more about himself and his feelings in Rizal, Philippines. Simon Hanson writes ominously in Queensland, Australia.

Opening upto the windblooming daisy

* * *

Jellyfish bloom

ghostly shadows drift

over the sandbar

Angela Giordano listened to migrants in Basilicata, Italy. Last fall they were welcomed because they worked hard in the fields for a few euros. This spring, however, they began protesting in the streets for better living conditions. Hidehito Yasui suffers from hay fever in Osaka. Priscilla Lignori prayed for harmony in the United States.

inside the square

the young migrants

hard work in the wheat fields

* * *

Spring allergy

thunder rolls beyond the ridge--

folklore story

* * *

Marching to be heard--

students against gun violence

flood the capital

William Sorlien said he lives in “Minnesconsin,” an area in Wisconsin located close to the city of Minneapolis: freezing rain--the homeless man comforts his dog. Barbara A. Taylor adopted a pet in Mountain Top, Australia.

precious in my hand

a slightest whimper

from the rescued pup

Lignori was homebound. Shut-in for most of the winter in Edmonton, Jeanne Jorgensen spotted a small but powerful prairie falcon and an arctic flower that thrives in cold, sunny locations.

Confined by the snow--

I complete the amethyst

chain link rosary

* * *

5 months of winter

a merlin sits on a bough

... waiting

* * *

beneath a thin

layer of ice crystals

white mountain avens

Yutaka Kitajima rediscovered beauty in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.

Through the mist

magnolia buds

fade in

Go back to school at (http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/). The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears April 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about lima beans or sweet bean paste to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or please e-mail your haiku 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).