Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Japan--the feel of wooden floor on shoeless feet

--Junko Saeki (Tokyo)

* * *

papaya whip sky--

the Sahara desert

even in my soup

--Corine Timmer (Netherlands)

* * *

wind makes lips cold

woodpecker at the pine tree

the shape of it

--Francis Attard (Malta)

* * *

On the wall

withered ivies drew


--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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Autumn grove

gathering songsters

morning light

--Junko Yamada (Kamakura)

* * *

white dew

a forgotten apple gleams

in the sun

--Ramona Linke (Germany)

* * *

willowy birch

losing golden tresses

in autumn breeze

--Liz Gibbs (Calgary)

* * *

walnut pie--

the way grandmother

wore her hair

--Eva Limbach (Germany)

* * *

music school

teacher opens the window

to the rain

--Philmore Place (Minsk, Belarus)

* * *

Trees in black silhouette.

Dark clouds smudged

against grey sky.

--Joan McNerney (Albany, New York)




illegal logging

pygmy elephants emerge

from the rainforest

--Christina Chin (Kuching, Sarawak)

The haikuist shared her concern for man’s infringement on the natural habitat of endangered Borneo elephants. Amy Losak enjoyed a sing-along in Teaneck, New Jersey.

forest clearing

the flute-song of a thrush

joins the camp fire

Iliyana Stoyanova tried Bulgarian folk dancing. Zornitza Harizanova decided to share a quiet moment in Sofia. She is general secretary of the Bulgarian Haiku Union.

Autumn wedding

golden leaves join

the horo

* * *

winter sakura

the loneliness amidst

fallen leaves

Satoru Kanematsu is haunted by a delicate perfume. Stirred in her sleep, Junko Yamada found peace.

Missing mom

sweet olive fragrance

she once loved

* * *

a gust of wind

carries away the nightmare …

pampas grass fields

Luciana Moretto pined for a centuries old Italian forest lost overnight to a tornado. Priscilla Lignori dropped everything she was doing to admire red fallen leaves.

millions of firs

blown down by wind--

war crosses

* * *

Shuffling paperwork--

maple on the front yard drops

the last of its leaves

The first snowfall inspired Kamalene Nelson, an English teacher at Sollars Elementary School on Misawa Air Base, to compose a delicious haiku. Having first taught 58 years ago, Kanematsu smiled understandably when he observed a classroom during a PTA meeting.

mouthful of snow

the taste

of the forest

* * *

Kids target

a rookie teacher

high tension

Eleven-year-old Kennedy Mingus watched leaves fall on his way to Sollars and his classmate Jaycee Thompson shrugged at the sound of a crow.

Dawn ...

an orange leaf

leaves home

* * *

Leaves falling

to the

crow’s last caw

Malcolm Swanson taught students how to count using a haiku by an anonymous author in Kitakyushu. Kanematsu recommends a bare-bone 3-5-3 syllable form. Melanie Vance counted to 1,000 in Dallas. Wrapped-up warmly in Wiltshire, England, Alan Summers looked skyward on a crisp winter night, to view “bare trees, and stars as if they are twinkling amongst those bare branches.” Pat Geyer noticed parhelia bright spots shine beside the sun.

five syllables here

seven more syllables there

are you happy now?

* * *

Naked trees

decked with LED


* * *

December trails

on bare trees

thousands of lights

* * *

those bare trees

the starkness caught

& released in stars

* * *

sun dogs peer

through bare trees ...

autumn rain

Mila Aumiller dismissed idle talk at the florist shop.

the gossipers

lean down to listen

no ears, pussy willow

Radostina Dragostinova shared family secrets. Helen Buckingham planned the menu. Lucy Whitehead checked the ingredients.

recipe book

my daughter’s

first spelling lesson

* * *

Blood moon--

“come tomorrow

pumpkin pie”

* * *

not enough sun

she sneaks a spoonful

of pumpkin soup

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa fed overstaying migrants. Debbie Strange watched her garden disappear.

Wild ducks

forgot to migrate ...

frozen grass

* * *

fractal spirals

deer eat the broccoli

we planted

Yutaka Kitajima squirreled away food for a feast. Antonio Mangiameli savored the sweet scent of tea. Lothar M. Kirsch sipped white peony tea.

A walnut

stocked in the tree limb

chef’s special

* * *

Yellow leaves--

the cracked branch

of jasmine

* * *

White tea

the first buds

wrinkled now

Stjepan Rozic’s family still makes wine the old way, the way, “our grandparents did with a small press and an oak barrel, picked grapes, and a good excuse to be in the yard to do some work.”

Feast of Saint Martin--

a road roams among

the vineyard hills


The Dec. 21 issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network is about the cold moon. Readers are invited to send haiku for the incoming year on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or by 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).