Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

New Year’s Eve prayer--an old guy stays for a while ... and lights a candle

--Horst Ludwig (St. Peter, Minnesota)

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illuminates the harbour

incoming year

--Slobodan Pupovac (Zagreb, Croatia)

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hot springs pool

after midnight

clouds visible to the west

--Marshall Hryciuk (Toronto, Canada)

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‘the kiss’ from klimt

covers of my new notebook

winter warmth

--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

* * *

cold moon ...

still, believe

in miracles

--Tsanka Shishkova (Bulgaria)

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cold moon

the far off chime

of an iron bell

--Lucy Whitehead (Essex, U.K.)

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middle of the cold

a tall cypress

splits the moon

--Andrea Cecon (Cividale, Italy)

* * *

crossing the tarmac

the moon above the plane wing

and more window moons

--Chris Graves (Halifax, Canada)

* * *

organic moussaka


to my doorstep

--Barbara A. Taylor (Mountain Top, New South Wales)

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100 years now

into our family’s silence

… “The Last Post”

--Jeanne Jorgensen (Edmonton, Alberta)




New Year’s Eve--a smile on the snowman’s face

--Ana Drobot (Bucharest, Romania)

Smiling, the haikuist put the finishing touch on a sculpture outside her home. Pulling “An Original Belle” by E.P. Roe from her grandmother’s bookcase in Calgary, Liz Gibbs read an inscription inside the worn front cover signed and dated, “Gypsey, Xmas 1904.”

dusty old book

concealing two stories

a creased note most revealing

The novel was about a young woman who overheard a conversation that shocked her into changing her own behavior. Carefully folded and inserted between its pages, the haikuist also found a fascinating letter concerning her grandmother’s beau.

Alegria Imperial may have kneaded stollen bread in Vancouver, British Columbia. Christina Sng bundled up her grandmother in Singapore. T.D. Ginting froze.

my grandmother rolls

and unrolls a day-old dough--

rising winter solstice moon

* * *

cold moon

wrapping grandma

in blankets

* * *

Winter wind--

out without a coat

the (c)old moon

Angela Giordano read a fireside story in Avigliano, Italy.

in warm arms

fairy tales by the fire--

frosty moon

Jeanne Jorgensen rose early on the first day of the year near the Rocky Mountains in Canada. Her grandchildren may have spent the night reading the 55-year-old book by Maurice Sendak, “Where the Wild Things Are.”

overnight snow

I wonder--

Where Are The Wild Things?

Satoru Kanematsu composed his haiku while watching an intangible cultural heritage performance recognized by UNESCO. Held in a mountain community in Aichi Prefecture, performers dressed up as demons and played drums and flutes to scare local children into being good.

Chilly blast

the fierce ogre mask’s

glaring eyes

Helga Stania wrote her haiku in the Alps near Ettiswil, Switzerland. Lothar M. Kirsch composed his haiku on a postcard mailed from the small village of Shira, Iran, located to the south of the Caspian Sea.

Free climber--

the bearded vulture

one with the wind

* * *

Dried out soil

sloping till the horizon

but the hawk circles

Lucy Whitehead woke up in a winter wonderland.

winter sunrise

crystallised moonlight

clings to the trees

Eleven-year-old Lilyanna Flores was relieved to find her pet during a snowstorm in Aomori Prefecture. Gordana Vlasic returned empty-handed to his home in Croatia. Jorge A. Giallorenzi looked down at two hungry friends in Buenos Aires. Slobodan Pupovac knew what his family was going to share in Zagreb.

White dog

in the blizzard

his nose

* * *

on the frozen lake

no trace of game--

wind in the branches

* * *

time to eat

the child and the dog

with only one plate

* * *

with the scent

of the roast duck

a New Year

Teiichi Suzuki bowed to the divine providence of nature that abandons adult salmon in the same spot where they were born, after they fertilize a next generation of roe upstream.

The Dog Star

leading a salmon

to its home

Corine Timmer recalls Portugal with this one-liner: biting into a taco a taste of that summer. Richard Jodoin might hibernate in Montreal. Philmore Place pined for summer in Minsk, Belarus.

Under apple trees

the marmot eats an apple

I eat an apple

* * *

old apple tree

lines of emptiness

in place of leaves

After proctoring exams--a year-end duty that had been delayed by a heavy snowfall in Raleigh, North Carolina--Charles Smith hurried home to make a festive dessert. Ed Bremson had cold turkey sandwiches.

ripped bag

strawberries scattered

atop wet snow

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Mila Aumiller’s vacation ended. Francis Attard’s taxes were raised in Malta.

school starts

the sky stuck

behind the salty eyes

* * *

waxing moon cold

the assessor’s well carved nose

first day of winter

Urszula Wielanowska’s paintbrush is ready. Milan Stancic Kimi admires a work of art in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Lee Nash is amazed by skaters in Poitou-Charentes, France.

I’m in love

on my easel

still untouched canvas

* * *

with all its beauty

frost had gripped

the bare crowns

* * *

her body fused

with the skeleton

polished ice

Ashoka Weerakkody awaited a train in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa enjoyed tea for two in Tokyo.

the village station

not yet ready for next year

tamarind tree in bloom

* * *

Tea at two

behind the poinsettia


Christina Chin worried for a little Borneo elephant in Kuching, Sarawak.

poacher’s snare

pygmy elephant drags

its childless tail

The Chinese Year of the Pig begins Feb. 5, which corresponds to New Year’s Day on the lunar calendar. Isao Soematsu wrote about a wild boar, the last, but most robust, of 12 zodiac sign animals that rotate in a 12-year cycle.

Fresh scars

where wild boars dug for earthworms

mountain roadside


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Jan. 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about the Year of the Pig 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).