Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

monarch migration-- an orange communion

--Karen O’Leary (West Fargo, North Dakota)

* * *

Next generation

a white silkmoth

laying eggs

--Fatma Gultepe (Bursa, Turkey)

* * *

graceful as the wind

butterfly in slow motion

geisha of gion

--Thomas Canull (Carmel, Indiana)

* * *

Black migrants

greet us with a smile

worried youth

--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

* * *

In the mist--

will I see

a newborn lamb?

--Ece Cehreli (Ankara, Turkey)

* * *

Morning mist roams

back and forward like a

voiceless wanderer

--Joan McNerney (New York)

* * *

cleaning Mom’s basement

a jar we used for fireflies

filled with summer light

--Ian Willey (Takamatsu, Kagawa)

* * *

Tweeting all morning

starlings and sparrows

share a sprinkler

--Simon Hanson (Queensland, Australia)

* * *

even from a distance

the redwing blackbird

across the field

--Bill Waters (Pennington, New Jersey)

* * *

windless evening

blackbird swings

on a cattail

--Sebastien Rock (Saskatoon, Canada)





firefly guiding me


--Anna Goluba (Poland)

The haikuist equates fireflies to haiku, suggesting “Both are a numerous and thriving species found all over the world, well-known in hundreds of different cultures.” Experiencing haiku for the first time, she said “a new space opened out then before me, and it was incredible, refreshing, enriching experience” adding, “haiku are sometimes even life-savers for me.” Hidehito Yasui has long feared losing his way in Osaka.

A troubling dream

getting lost on the way

dim child memories

As a child, Junko Saeki evacuated Tokyo during the war. She recalls “nights in the countryside were black, especially because all the lights were covered to protect homes from being bombed.” Dejan Pavlinovic admits it “has been a while since I’ve seen fireflies in my neighborhood although we live in the outskirts of Pula, Croatia. However, they always bring a smile or two with a touch of nice nostalgia.”

firefly hunts--

when nights were

pitch black

* * *

under the Milky Way

fireflies lighten the path

towards childhood

Lucia Cardillo’s childhood recollections brighten in Rodi Garganico, Italy. Anne-Marie McHarg took an enchanted evening walk in London, England. Adjei Agyei-Baah was led astray while on his way to Kumasi, Ghana. Mario Massimo Zontini swayed lightly up and down in Parma, Italy.

old memories

switch on and off ...

fireflies in the dark

* * *

Dusk falling

Fireflies weave their way

Along the water’s edge

* * *

flickering lantern

leading me home

a stray firefly

* * *

moonless night

a light breeze dandles

some fireflies

Evgeny Ivanov applauded a nice catch in Moscow, Russia. Marietta McGregor prepared for an aspiring astronaut to land in Canberra. Eleonore Nickolay opened a book of dreams. Guliz Mutlu squirmed in limelight.


a little hand

catches fireflies

* * *

pulling out duvets

with spaceship patterns

grandsons’ visit

* * *

thousand and one nights

another tale for her child

at the cancer ward

* * *

The sultan’s eyes

another folk-name

for fireflies

Junko Yamada was distracted by shimmering green eyes. Charles Smith admired the sublime poise of geisha. Satoru Kanematsu admired the artwork of Marie Laurencin (1883-1956). Natalia Kuznetsova paraphrased a poem from R.L. Stevenson’s “A Child’s Garden of Verses.” Elizabeth Gibbs opened her arms wide to a rising sun from a Swiss balcony decorated with red geraniums.


displays his plumage

in spring gloom

* * *

elderly geisha

smiles exchanged

with their eyes

* * *

Dreamy spring

shimmering girls of


* * *


in the garden of childhood ...

a girl of air

* * *

a flood of sunbeams

soak each petal

they rise to the occasion

Madhuri Pillai lit up in Melbourne, Australia.

fireflies ...

glow of his cigarette

in the summer night

Fireflies flashing in unison as if they were cardiac cells firing in synchrony attracted the attention of Pawel Markiwicz Bielsk in Poland. Zdenka Mlinar caught her breath in Zagreb, Croatia. Anne-Marie McHarg smiled knowingly. Mutlu bottled a startling mixture of small yellow flowers, reddish stems, red berries and blue lights.

heart of a glowworm

beats slower than dew falling

bolete mushrooms

* * *

breath in, breath out

again and again

blink of a heart

* * *

Bluebells primroses

Children’s voices echoing

Through deep woodlands

* * *

A jar of fireflies

amid the purslane

and strawberries

Vandana Parashar spins two delightful tales from Chandimandir, India. Luciana Moretto literally spins.

reflective mood

I loosen the lid

of a firefly jar

* * *


the twinkle in granny’s eyes

telling her love story

* * *

dancing around ...



Paul Faust in Japan, Zelyko Fundain in Croatia, and Ken Sawitri in Indonesia, respectively, recall the sights and sounds of war.

Once upon a time

messages sent in Morse Code ...

forever fireflies

* * *

night time

between the enemy lines

fireflies flickering

* * *

Soldier recruitment flyer

the pounding sound of

a crow’s wings

Kanematsu peered into a bucket of water left at the backdoor by his granddaughter. John Hamley added this comment to his haiku after returning from a trip to South America: “Well, almost never. I didn’t see anybody show fear of them.”

Evening moon

tadpoles forgotten

in the pail

* * *

The truth is

piranhas eat fish

not children

Yasuomi Koganei leads a haiku group in the Meguro area of Tokyo. Ana Drobot hopes to keep the flame alive in young Romanian writers.

new green spreading

in the morning sunshine

--another aha moment

* * *

reading my high school students’

first poems ...


Haiku illuminates The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear June 1, 15, and 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about rain, planting rice, or a new moon 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).