Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

spring rain a letter from the parole board

--Stephen Toft (Lancaster, England)

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morning moon--

the worn texture

of a sock

--Margherita Petriccione (Scauri, Italy)

* * *

Daytime moon

early hydrangea

faintly blue

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

summer shower sprint

from behind the downpipe

snail on a snail on a snail

--Ingrid Baluchi (Macedonia)

* * *

rain puddle

a small bird startles

my reflection

--Andy McLellan (Canterbury, England)

* * *

lone crow

rain crosses

the moon

--Alan Summers (Wiltshire, England)

* * *

cacophony of crows

confused the drunkard--

summer evening

--Aju Mukhopadhyay (Pondicherry, India)

* * *

twilight fireflies

small fingers scatter

fallen stars

--Jennifer Roman (Millstone, New Jersey)

* * *

new moon

silently a chrysalis

splits open

--Lucy Whitehead (Essex, England)

* * *

blood moon--

a bundle of blooms

tied to the stop sign

--Corine Timmer (Portugal)




home early

toast to World Cup games

cold vodka

--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

In fear of aftershocks from a killer tremblor in his hometown, the haikuist nonetheless turned on the television to cheer the Blue Samurai soccer team. His nerves were likely so rattled he couldn’t sleep without first taking a drink. Ian Willey’s son stayed up way past bedtime to explain FIFA soccer rules to his dad.

crows in the mist

one of them clearly


Satoru Kanematsu remarked on the sluggish pace of peace talks.

Crawling snail--

long way to a world

without Nukes

Reka Nyitrai shared this one-line haiku from Bucharest, Romania: Lullaby in her open mouth swarming fireflies. Before falling asleep the babe in arms may have wanted to cry out: Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Lysa Collins penned her poem while yawning in a small boat at the mouth of a muddy river in Tanzania. “Going home for a siesta,” she said, “we found that hippos do not like to be disturbed.”

clump of hippos

napping in the shallows

imprudently we yawn

Haikuist pamela a. babusci admired yesterday’s full strawberry moon cradled in a bed of sparkling fireflies. Everything revolves around Marek Kozubek’s true love in Bangkok, Thailand. Amy Losak became whole in Teaneck, New Jersey.

opening the window

more fireflies

than stars

* * *

The whole universe

around her--


* * *

half moon

fireflies …

the other half

Ashoka Weerakkody was hoping to get home early in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Isao Soematsu surprised his better half in Nagoya.

dash for early train

my prize catch last carriage--


* * *

Going home early--

wife of a corporate drone

asks if I am sick

On her way home from work as a journalist in Ankara, Guliz Mutlu saw the white crescent of her national flag. Mario Massimo Zontini admired an Italian stone pine, the nuts of which have been eaten as far back as the Roman Empire.

Crescent moon

white plum blossoms

yellow birds

* * *

behind the pine

the spring crescent is

but a presence

Lucy Whitehead left work behind in Essex. Eva Limbach started her holidays in Germany.

the office orchid

fails to bloom

thank goodness it’s Friday

* * *

last working day

a wild lavender bush

ready to bloom

Mamiko Fukuyoshi smiled in Ibusuki, Kagoshima. Mizue Shinmori savored coffee time. Dubravka Scukanec cheered the end of the week in Zagreb. Saya Ohira made a wish come true.


a smile wider than

the cherry

* * *

Day at home

rainy season

coffee aroma

* * *

candle reflects

wine and cheese for two

the smell of Friday

* * *

Dandelion seeds

fly away, but

our dreams carry on

Tom Sacramona said he “used to skateboard as a child, the best of us could jump the sewer cap” in Plainville, Massachusetts. In this spring-like haiku he described a skateboarding maneuver in which the rider lifted the board into the air by pressing down on it with the rear foot while raising the front foot so as to fly into the air. Nana Okada may have scraped her knees in Kagoshima.

spring ahead

the skateboarder

sticks the Ollie

* * *

Change of clothes

except those kneecaps

in girls skirt

Eufemia Griffo formed a silhouette in Settimo Milanese, Italy. Asuka Saito, a creative writing student at Hokusei University in Sapporo, wore colorful cotton clothes to an outdoor festival.

summer solstice

draws the outline

of my shadow

* * *

Her yukata sleeves

are swaying like a goldfish

in a sparkling night

Writing from Tokyo, Junko Saeki is against being pushed to take time off, explaining “I don’t want to take vacations because I don’t have the money.” The thought of someone coming home early from school or work in Japan is worrisome.

going home early

“What should I tell Mom?”


On his way home to Parma, Italy, Mario Massimo Zontini stopped by a pond where a mallard duck was swimming. Five years earlier his beloved passed away, so he noted, “This haiku has been written in memoriam.”

Why do I

go home so early?

No one’s there

This brief one-liner by Romano Zeraschi takes us straight to Parma: to the city lights ... early bat. Darkness led a visitor to Lucy Whitehead’s home fires in Essex, U.K. Justice Joseph Prah shivered in Ghana. Blessed Ayeyame kindled a small fire in Delta, Nigeria. The burning of trees and our use of oil, gas and coal increases carbon dioxide levels in the air.

a white moth

lingers at the window

new moon

* * *

cold night

thoughts of fireflies

bring the warmth

* * *


fireflies escaping

into thin air

Angela Giordino is called for. Ken Sawitri etches. Prah calls it a night. Lysa Collins wanders off into the African night.

the new moon--

the cry of the child

in maternal arms

* * *

New moon

the silversmith engraves night

by hand

* * *

new moon

an incense vendor

burns last stick for the moon

* * *


and warm winds--

gathering wild gardenias


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear July 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about summer festivals on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

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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).