Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

A good sleep on a calm night--rice seedlings planted

--Isao Soematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Planting rice

the young farmer sings by ear

an ancient song

--Vasile Moldovan (Bucharest)

* * *

Misty rain

the forest floor covered

with velvet green moss

--Simon Hanson (Tamborine, Australia)

* * *

fireflies migrating

far away from the lighthouse

our first kisses

--Goran Gatalica (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

From heaven

a blue wind

the fireflies alter their course

--Alan Summers (Wiltshire, England)

* * *

purple rain

comes from the east

with the wind

--Tatjana Debeljacki (Uice, Serbia)

* * *

winter breeze ...

the street child claims that

wind tastes like strawberry

--Praniti Gulyani (New Delhi)

* * *

Morning walk

fountains still asleep

in the park

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

troubled waters

the tears of a child

washed ashore

--Barbara A. Taylor (Mountain Top, Australia)

* * *

new moon--

the cold noise

of the sea

--Margherita Petriccione (Scauri, Italy)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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rice sprouts

before knowing ...

I sing a lullaby

--Lucia Fontana (Milan)

The haikuist graduated with a degree in music therapy. Her capstone performance was a cappella praised for its emotional quality resembling a spiritual for a newborn. Afterwards she also received congratulatory news from her obstetrician.

On her first trip to Japan, Anne-Marie McHarg traveled to Beppu, Mount Aso and Hiroshima. She saw, “the Japanese countryside unfolding in front of me. From the train I caught a glimpse of a solitary figure in a paddy field. This image has stayed with me when I think of Japan.”

From the train

A rice planter sows

In solitude

Tatjana Debeljacki is soothed by a chemical reaction that creates effervescence and warmth. Isao Soematsu heard a distress call. Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo snapped a perfect photo in The Hague.

nurtured by the

pleasure of fermentation

crescent moon

* * *

Paging--

a lost child

amusement park

* * *

baby toes

in wet sand--

her surprised look

Jennifer Hambrick might be a fan of a perfectly named boys’ basketball team which plays in Holland. Charlie Smith roots for the Hiroshima Carp baseball team.

woodpeckers

the constant dribbling

of a basketball

* * *

flapping fish

fierce upstream fight

dragon wind

“Why don’t kids play ball?” asks Barbara A. Taylor. The lingering third line of her haiku hints at a local attempt to solve the global epidemic of childhood obesity. The World Health Organization says the number of obese children has risen tenfold over the past 41 years, and 42 million children under the age of 5 are overweight.

our sad society--

register your child for sports

receive a $100

Temperatures in the southern hemisphere are finally cooling, so Julia Guzman penned a warming sight in Cordoba, Argentina. Masked by the aroma of melted chocolate, Rosemarie Schuldes recalls the delicate perfume of tiny bell-shaped white flowers. Australian wildflower enthusiast Simon Hanson prayed for rain to nurture a bumper crop.

Winter silent night--

the baby’s breath

in the bedroom

* * *

lily-of-the-valley

blossoms on napkins

grandma’s chocolate cake

* * *

Wildflower seed

their colours yearn

for the rains

Minako Noma seems pleased that bittercress, a wild vegetable that was once commonly sold at the grocers, has retaken root in Matsuyama where local restaurants are propagating the herb indoors with mist irrigation techniques. Lucia Cardillo walks by flowering hortensia in Rodi Garganico, Italy. Julia Guzman enjoys an impromptu riverside festival of twinkling lights in Cordoba, Argentina.

beside the clear stream

the fresh teiregi grows

her white stick in hand

* * *

white hydrangeas ...

thick clouds walk

toward the rain

* * *

fireflies

delineate the river

summer evening ...

Every few years, a naturally occurring La Nina event releases heat from the Pacific Ocean. The warm water temperatures lower air pressure and push the atmosphere up away from the earth. Stewart Baker recalls the unusually mild winter in Dallas, Oregon, “including a few days that were nearly in the 70s” he reported. Marshall Hryciuk recalls wildfires that swept through the far west of Canada in an arid area due to the rain shadow effects of a mountain range.

late January

my kids ask to play in

the sprinkler system

* * *

charred remains

of a softwood

in Yukon’s Carcross Dunes

Debbie Strange reported from Winnipeg that she has “been riding a weather roller coaster in recent weeks--from frost warnings to heat advisories!” Paul Geiger thinks he is ready, whichever way the barometer spins.

a green sky

the metallic scent

of oncoming hail

* * *

hedging bets on

California climate change

plant succulents

Alan Summers experienced a rainfall that he said “was almost horizontal.” He desperately hunted for shelter but couldn’t easily find it. Rosemarie Schuldes found catharsis in Gross-Gerau, Germany. Priscilla Lignori hit bottom in Montgomery, New York.

rainscape

am I hunter

or hunted

* * *

all this rain

washing away

bleak memories

* * *

Hitting the pothole

in the middle of the road--

dug by the spring rains

Kanematsu changed his mind. Hanson belied fake fog in tropical Queensland. Doc Sunday cautioned students about a cancerous mist. Slobodan Pupovac kept his head lowered in Zagreb. Yutaka Kitajima rumbled about authorities in Japan who have been committing cover-ups and forgery.

A pinwheel

with a change of heart

starts to turn

* * *

The toucan club

colourful birds

in dance machine fog

* * *

Fake smoke-free

heat-not-burn cig mist

still harmful

* * *

smoking allowed

unrecognizable face

corner of the bar

* * *

Spring thunder“Nineteen Eighty-Four”Adapted

-----------------------------------------

The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears June 29, the last Friday of this month. Readers are invited to send haiku about going home early or TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday), 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).