Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

The scarecrow’s shadow on the wheat field--distant hoot

--Julia Guzman (Cordoba, Argentina)

* * *

gathering wild mushrooms

... whispers

in the woods

--Mary Kendall (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

* * *


the scarecrow bares

the devil

--Adjei Agyei-Baah (Kumasi, Ghana)

* * *

she’s amused

the hooded crow perched

on the scarecrow

--Mario Massimo Zontini (Parma, Italy)

* * *

scarecrow pauses

to feed a pigeon ...

London Fields

--Helen Buckingham (Somerset, U.K.)

* * *

A scarecrow--

shedding tears of

bird droppings

--Isao Soematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Tired traveller

way home led by


--Zuzanna Truchlewska (Mickiewicza, Poland)

* * *

home for a visit

Scarecrow reborn

in my old Hippie clothes

--Patricia Campbell (Houston)

* * *

mannequin following

the new fashion trend--

just a scarecrow

--Tomislav Maretic (Cakovec, Croatia)

* * *

The scarecrow--

pair of banknotes

in the breast pocket

--Evgeny Ivanov (Moscow)




aikido black belt

the daughter I never

really understood

--Marietta McGregor (Australia)

Today is World Teacher Day. The haikuist ponders her second child who spent a year teaching English in Japan and pursuing martial arts. Minako Noma recalls her childhood music teacher in Matsuyama. A fan of Pink Floyd for 50 years, Lothar M. Kirsch visited a music exhibition for the iconic rock band in Dortmund, Germany. Argentinian haikuist Julia Guzman is touring Tokyo for her first time.

imitating the

bush warbler in the garden

my grandchild’s at home

* * *

Hey! Teachers!

no brick in the wall

cheerful memories

* * *

Teacher’s day--

the smell of spring

in the English classroom

In Queensland, Simon Hanson began his science lesson by reciting this haiku.

Good morning class--

what can you

teach me today

Mario Massimo Zontini pays his respects in Parma, Italy.

teacher’s grave

and he smiles at me

the same way

Dubravka Scukanec’s husband is a teacher in Zagreb.

So difficult

twelve kilos of books on the

schoolkid’s back

Gordana Vlasic, a retired social worker in Oroslavje, Croatia, asked D.V. Rozic to share this English translation. Marinko Kovacevic fondly recalls teaching in Praputnjak, Croatia.

school bell ringing

it’s warm in

the extended class

* * *

leafing through

a book--the colors of

my teacher’s eyes

It took a longtime for Junko Saeki to forgive herself in Tokyo. Danijela Grbelja was on the prowl in Sibenki, Croatia. Marion Clarke exchanged stories with the class of 1976 at a reunion in Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland.

playing “dodge”

ball knocks the eyeglasses off

teacher’s face

* * *


the teacher catches

exam cheats

* * *

touching wood

the blackboard duster

he flung at me

Clarke relied on her cat to help clean the house. James Roderick Burns suggests we show more compassion for the furry creatures scurrying about Edinburgh.

old Macavity

gives away nothing …

missing mouse

* * *

With autumn mice,

alas, too little


Masumi Orihara received a big box of flowers from a student with a card she says was signed by “of all people, from the class troublemaker.” Ann Magyar shares an anecdote about the death of a beloved colleague. She says “the students were devastated when they found out, and the next morning an unsigned poem appeared on the classroom door. It stayed there, anonymous, for months.”

Made me cry

troublesome graduate

carnation bouquet

* * *

the bell tolls

a poem taped

to the classroom door

In Hyderabad, Srinivasa Rao Sambangi received a cellphone sticker.

teachers day

soft roses on mobile

from next door

Disarmed by the coquettish facial expression of a nude scarecrow in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Masumi Orihara noted disdainfully that “modern scarecrows can be anything.”

Coy gaze from

bald-headed mannequin

rice paddy

Junko Saeki suggests that “scarecrows have changed from merely functional to a vehicle of expression of one’s artistic urges.” Often clad in real clothes, and appearing in pairs or groups of three or more, she reasons it might “make up for the depopulation of real people” in rural areas of Japan. Danijela Grbelja turned away from an inheritance in Sibenik, Croatia. Shadows can stretch a long way, notes Melanie Vance in Dallas. Slobodan Pupovac relied on steady farm help in Zagreb.

Old farmers

taking the scarecrows


* * *

abandoned field--

birds are no longer afraid

grandpa’s scarecrow

* * *

grandpa’s friend

at sunset …

shadow of a scarecrow

* * *


against the birds--

the two scarecrows

Antonio Mangiameli’s old hat made a perfect bird’s nest in Lentini, Italy: Cuckoo’s egg--on a scarecrow’s straw hat. Lothar M. Kirsch sketches “villagers in Tibet walking around the fields after the harvest.”

After the harvest

scarecrow joins villagers

dancing merrily

In Bucharest, Reka Nyitrai deeply breathes in the night. Priscilla Lignori let out a sigh.

crow and scarecrow

breathing in sync ...

harvest moon

* * *

Adirondack loon

his calls longer and deeper--

last days of summer

Mary Kendall was greeted by a friendly neighbor in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Lignori prayed for her friends. While walking his dog during a lull in the late summer storms that hit Raleigh, Charlie Smith was surprised to be followed by fireflies. Dubravka Scukanec may have hung up her husband’s tuxedo in Zagreb, Croatia.

the scarecrow’s arms

always flapping

when we pass

* * *

Hurricane Florence

brings flooding and worries too

North Carolina

* * *

lull in storm

slippery soggy stroll

firefly follows

* * *

a wedding suit

in the field of sunflowers

birds at a late feast

With a flourish of his hands, James Roderick Burns suggests students attend to writing autumn haiku on the blackboard!

Clap of chalk--

summer’s promise

turns to dust

The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Oct. 19. Readers are welcome to send haiku about going for a drive 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).