Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

lima beans tendril how her fingers wrap around the walking stick

--Vandana Parashar (Chandigarh, India)

* * *

holding mist

by the leash--

morning walk

--Arvinder Kaur (Chandigarh, India)

* * *

green bean soup ...

grandpa’s callous hand

on the spoon

--Lucia Cardillo (Rodi Garganico, Italy)

* * *

a boy at the food stall

makes a face of a dog--

fish cakes and roe

--William Sorlien (Wisconsin)

* * *

my first scar--

a babbling brook

down the nape of my neck

--Robin Smith (Wilmington, Delaware)

* * *

Green sprouting

among the dead grass

LOT FOR SALE

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Fertile soil

spring grass greener

on the riverbank

--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

* * *

To the new world

the first sight of dawn

bamboo shoots

--Yuji Hayashi (Fukuoka)

* * *

night expedition

on the way--ancient antlers

found on volcano

--Pawel Markiwicz (Bielsk Podlaski, Poland)

* * *

freight train

spring storm from Hawaii

the pineapple express

--Paul Geiger (Sebastopol, California)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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returning home …

the mist in my eyes

the well in Mother’s

--Charlotte Digregorio (Winnetka, Illinois)

The haikuist compared the depths of heaven and earth. Eileen Benavente-Blas said farewell in Dededo, Guam. Paul Geiger may have visited an aquarium supply store in Sebastopol, California. Bill Waters listens to an animated conversation in Pennington, New Jersey. A mother cooed, cawed, rattled and clicked to no avail, suggests Slobodan Pupovac in Zagreb, Croatia.

misty-eyed

I watch you fade

into the mist

* * *

lone koi

in the pool

misty eyes

* * *

pond at dusk--

frogs and blackbirds

in conversation

* * *

crow

fails to disperse the mist

from its nest

Lysa Collins came close to the edge in British Columbia. Dubravka Scukanec visited a magical lake.

fog strung bay--

seagulls cry

undercliff

* * *

sleepily the lake

with the misty-breath clouds

forest before dusk

Jennifer Hambrick admired the influence the British once had in Columbus, Ohio.

queen anne’s lace

the filigree of brick streets

in the historic district

Isao Soematsu cheered the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

Memorial mug

Queen’s silver jubilee

first trip abroad

Ikuyo Yoshmura printed a photo-haiku calendar commemorating her 92nd birthday on April 21 with this one-liner: Beautiful spring day … Queen’s smile printed on the mug. Robin Smith’s mug fell to the floor. Barbara A. Taylor had her day in court.

another year older

she spits out her first

taste of coffee

* * *

over the limit

at the local station

mug shots

Sweet white bean paste (shiro-an) made from lima beans is an essential ingredient in delicious Japanese confectionery. Hakyo Ishida (1913-1969) explained that he couldn’t resist the taste of spring rice cakes made in Matsuyama: tsuma arazu nusumi ni nitaru tsubakimochi.

wife not home--

like a thief I eat

camellia sweet

Ashoka Weerakkody distinctly remembers “that day in June 1984 I was secretly a pauper in Shinjuku … on counterpart training from Colombo, Sri Lanka. I bought a packed sandwich from a kindly old lady in her kiosk and lustily opened the wrap wishing to eat my first hard meal for the evening in raging appetite but the aroma of the paste and the unfamiliar taste made my hunger retreat like a snail would back into its shell.”

evening walk

first sandwich in Shinjuku

aroma of bean paste

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams entertains a polite dinner guest in Fairlawn, Ohio. Jennifer Hambrick hosts a houseful.

home-cooked meal ...

he pretends to like

the lima beans

* * *

dinner party

lima beans bubble

in a rich red sauce

When Angela Giordano was little, she “used to go to the vineyard with grandfather to simply look at the new seedlings of beans and fantasize a famous fairy tale.”

grandfather’s garden--

bean seedlings

moved by the wind

Kanematsu ate botamochi cakes, which resemble the peony flower. The camellia symbolizes divinity.

Their stamens

catching the sunshine

camellias

* * *

Picking up

a dropped camellia

What’ll I do?

Steliana Voicu wondered what to wish when blowing out the candles on an anniversary cake. Natalia Kuznetsova says she thinks “haiku is the right thing” for just about any celebration.

blowing the candles …

I wish I could find

my love from the stars

* * *

Ex-Spouse Day--

a couple of blackbirds

at the courthouse

Spring wind calms Slobodan Pupovac in Zagreb, Croatia. Nina Kovacic shrugged her shoulders. Romano Zeraschi consoles the homeless. Rosemarie Schuldes was so cold she only composed two lines. Haikuist pamela a. babusci gently handles an omen in Rochester, New York.

early spring

the wind sways branches

full of bloom

* * *

cold mist

crawls between

the huddling birds

* * *

Courage blackbird!

don’t let your heart break--

lost nest

* * *

no daffodils--I pet my cat

* * *

barren trees

a blackbird’s feather

lands in my palm

Jeanne Jorgensen is wary of genetically modified seeds in Edmonton, Alberta. Ed Bremson delightedly reported “flowers blooming everywhere” in Raleigh, North Carolina.

snow bathed in sunlight

how I long to plant:

heirloom beans

* * *

cherry trees in bloom

petals the color of

the blue moon

Vandana Parashar recalls the softness of fine-quality goat’s wool. First woven in Kashmir, the name for this shoulder garment literally translates to “soft gold” in Kashmiri. Angora goats are sheared in spring before the kidding season. Reincarnation is a central tenet of major Indian religions, notes S. Abburi in Bangalore. Eleven-year-old Ethan Bayer welcomes a sibling to life in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Richard Jodoin rocks in Montreal. Doc Sunday nodded approvingly when a student offered his seat in Hiroshima.

pashmina shawl ...

I still crave for

mother’s hug

* * *

baby arrives

reborn mother

smiles

* * *

Only hours old

in the newborn’s small nostrils

the scent of new snow

* * *

Creaking sound

of the rocking chair

the weight of the newborn

* * *

blushing boy

expectant mother

crowded train

Haiku sprouts at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear May 4 and 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about children 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).