Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

The Doll Festival--cup of peach nectar for a daughter who died young

--Isao Soematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Hard winter

letting us glimpse

diamond dust

--Yuji Hayashi (Fukuoka)

* * *

making heart-shaped cookies

I dust the sugar

from her small nose

--Lysa Collins (White Rock, British Columbia)

* * *

lively bees

on a canola carpet

so fragrantly sweet

--Aya Ito (Kagoshima)

* * *

Sounds of spring

million steps on stage

tap dancing

--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *

the squeal of piglets

mingles with delighted

children’s laughter

--Agnes Eva Savich (Austin, Texas)

* * *

red heart balloon

floats through the air

as I exhale

--Maria Chiara Miduri (Turin, Italy)

* * *

Expecting a lot

but only a little snow

wooden door ajar

--Minako Noma (Matsuyama)

* * *

under the street lamp

sharing one shadow

first goodnight kiss

--Christina Chin (Kuching, Sarawak)

* * *

cascades of twisting snow

blur the next house

cartwheeling umbrella

--Marshall Hryciuk (Toronto)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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hina dolls’

wavering shadows

handheld torch

--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

Getting ready for Girl’s Day festivities on March 3, the haikuist became entranced by fairies dancing with peach blossoms behind a tiered doll display. Albert Schepers feasted on a bumper peach harvest last fall in Windsor, Canada. A harsh winter, however, has harmed the tender fruit trees in the Niagara region. Sergio DeMiglio lamented the ephemeral nature of peach trees in Toronto.

stain drips upon

my linen shirt

a fresh peach

* * *

three young men

blossoms pass so quickly

Belsize Drive

Ljiljana Dobra boiled down fruit preserves in Sibenik, Croatia.

From the window

unpicked peaches

smell of jam

Tsanka Shishkova wore dolls made of yarn today, saying she won’t take them off until trees bloom and storks reappear in Bulgaria. This Baba Marta Day tradition is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

red and white dolls

welcoming the spring--

martenitsa

Satoru Kanematsu suffered the cold without complaint in Nagoya. After turning off the television, though, he was shocked to see a lingering image, “reflected like a ghost on the screen.”

Weatherman

impassively says

“record cold”

* * *

My own face

on the switched-off screen

midnight chill

Maria Chiara Miduri was startled by the magnification of a word she unexpectedly perceived through the foot of a crystal goblet.

red wine on a chest

the bottom of the glass

zooms in a letter

Ramona Linke searched the skies over Germany for Cygnus, the swan constellation that she hoped would help her solve a paradoxical Zen Buddhist statement.

the Northern Cross

floating

a koan’s solution

Patrick Sweeney is worried about one of his brightest elementary school students in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

flunking math

the boy who used to count

the stars

Pratima Balabhadrapathruni counted to a basketful on a beautiful day in Mumbai.

from peach to peach

to peach

peach of a day

Vasile Moldovan knows people of all ages can fall in love. Bob Lucky loves the taste of chocolate in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Angela Giordano values love “made together, with passion, tenderness and mutual trust.” Amy Losak admired a loving couple holding on for dear life in Teaneck, New Jersey. Laurence R. Brothers hoped to smooth over a lost love by applying what he’d learned from studying the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with molten gold.

Step by step

on lovers alley

young and old

* * *

Valentine’s Day

the chocolate tinge

of her smile

* * *

eyes in the eyes

while I tell you I love you--

lovers

* * *

on thin ice

elderly couple

with arms linked

* * *

the art of repair

mending a broken heart

a fine golden seam

Paul Faust casually enjoyed a sudden break in the weather at Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

icicles melting

slowly dripping into the snow

a sweet breeze passing

Melting in 40 degree heat, marina colne slogged down the street to “Gloria Jean’s in Newcomb Victoria, the nearest cafe with Internet” she said, to send this one-liner: No sugar. Yet coffee time sweet. At GJs.

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It’s always a peach of a day at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear March 15 and 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about an earlier than expected arrival of cherry blossoms 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).