Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

bush warbler’s song dries rain water rises in its forbidden sounds

--Francis Attard (Marsa, Malta)

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the once high cliff

now a shore outcrop--

intense Milky Way

--John Daleiden (Phoenix, Arizona)

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fifteen thousand

shades of blue

the God’s eye

--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

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unusual Spring

colours are not the colours

they used to be

--Mario Massimo Zontini (Parma, Italy)

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oriental poppy

the common brimstone

shading my wind

--Christof Blumentrath (Borken, Germany)

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shore to verandah

sea breeze

red crabs swarm

--Elancharan Gunasekaran (Singapore)

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her kimono

dripping on the porch ...

summer unfolds

--Pat Geyer (East Brunswick, New Jersey)

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lotus caretaker

up to his waist in murky waters ...

lingering clouds

--Tzetzka Ilieva (Marietta, Georgia)

* * *

catching frogs

up to our knees

in riversong

--Veronika Zora Novak (Toronto, Canada)

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neighborhood flood

opening the door

to a paper boat

--Adjei Agyei-Baah (Accra, Ghana)




Summer grass

another bookstore


--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

The haikuist laments the closing of bookshops near his home, noting that “it’s no mystery why when we see young people turning on their cell phones rather than open a paperback novel.” When Teiichi Suzuki was caught in a sudden shower in Fukui, he looked for a bookstore to take shelter from the rain. He reported that the number of bookstores has dramatically “decreased due to the shortage of book readers in my city.”

Sudden rain--

realizing how few

bookstores there are

Readers of this column are often inspired by almanacs, anthologies, mysteries and other good books when they compose haiku. For example, Patrick Sweeney created a science fiction-like haiku by fusing the color of a synthetic pigment made in ancient China until the end of the Han dynasty with a genetically modified experimental mammal with cells. Pat Geyer endured a poisonous moment in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Han purple benjo:

tossing a peanut

to the chimeric rat

* * *

through the night shade;

our silence continues

to bloom toxic

Tsanka Shishkova was inspired to compose this haiku about Madurodam Park that is based on an urban legend recounted by her son who studies at Delft University of Technology near Rotterdam. Ljiljana Dobra worried about water rising to the highest hilltops.

22 feet

below sea level

Dutch tulips

* * *

I pray that Vaalserberg

will not be the only island

in Holland

Frank Gaipa revealed how “the San Francisco Bay Area’s marine layer can sneak between the citied yet densely treed Oakland hills around Lake Merritt, allowing foothills to appear as one or more false horizons beneath the actual one.”

fog two between one

skyline trees above below

one horizon three

Lucia Cardillo glanced skyward from Rodi Garganico, Italy. Dubravka Scukanec looked down from a rooftop in Zagreb, Croatia.

flood ...

a fallen road sign

points to the clouds

* * *

the boat tied

to the chimney

a flooded village

Every night, before closing the shutters, Junko Saeki steps out onto her veranda and looks up to the skies over Tokyo. She says she “surveys the skies for the moon, stars, clouds and aircraft,” noting that if “you watch carefully, you’ll see that its lights are flickering and it is moving ever so slowly. Then, I think of the people on it and wish I was one of them.”

out on the veranda

trying to tell apart

aircraft from stars

Francis Attard shared this narrative: new landscape mourning doves in flight back in minutes. He said his poetry is based on a lifetime of study of the Romantic Period in English Literature.

in summer garden

joy of starling long-time seen

tryst at the birdbath

Originally hailing from Brooklyn, Nancy Rullo said she was confounded by the wide variety of new wildlife down in Texas.

small gray bird

nameless in the shade--

my new home

Tzetzka Ilieva visited a garden in Georgia where the groundskeepers were planting new flower varieties. Mark Gilbert flinched in Nottingham, U.K.

sitting by the willow

pinching plantlets off a tuber--

the old gardener

* * *

September twilight

the last tadpole

crawls from the slime

Mario Massimo Zontini contemplated dining on fish roe delicacies al fresco.

the moonlit river--

out of shallow waters

jump grey mullets

Christina Chin baked for the moon festival in Kuching, Sarawak. Satoru Kanematsu inhaled fragrance from a blooming beauty under the moon in Nagoya.


our cake mold cuts

the shape of a moon

* * *


with Queens of the night

in moonlight


Mysterious The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Sept. 20. Readers are invited to send haiku for autumn 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).