Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Heatwave out in the muddy flakes a child cuts dream cake

--Justice Joseph Prah (Accra, Ghana)

* * *

first rain--

open mouth

of a shoeless boy

--Tomislav Sjekloca (Cetinje, Montenegro)

* * *

O, her heart,

this arid region

for my flowers

--Tomislav Maretic (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

dry river--

the plover’s cry is

more plaintive

--Mario Massimo Zontini (Parma, Italy)

* * *

Azaleas

flowers bloom untimely

jewels in the rain

--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

* * *

our red canoe

faded to pink--

summer’s end

--Stephen Toft (Lancaster, U.K.)

* * *

Maple foliage

a girl in the shade

applies her makeup

--Ezio Infantino (Verona, Italy)

* * *

drought

spotting a crack

after a shave

--Henryk Czempiel (Poland)

* * *

skyscrapers loom in

the valley bottom--

Shibuya in hot summer

--Kazuo Takayanagi (Tokyo)

* * *

hanging the last load

there’s only

so much sun

--Ian Willey (Takamatsu, Kagawa)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK

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Watermark

reached the second floor

silver hair

--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)

The haikuist was moved to tears listening to an older man describe how his neighborhood was devastated by summer floods. Natalia Kuznetsova felt vulnerable during heavy floods that submerged Siberia. The cellar of Luciana Moretto’s home in Italy flooded earlier this summer. In the drought that ensued for days on end, she dusted red sands blowing in from the Sahara.

the flooded village--

an old cat on the roof

wistfully still

* * *

Refugees

fleeing the drought

hotter than hell …

Forest fires were relentless this summer, so Roberta Beach Jacobson announced the deadline for leaving her home in Indianola, Iowa.

look out the window

when the moon is on fire

we evacuate

Living in the hot Sonoran Desert in the southwest United States made John Daleiden “rife with caution,” he said. “Smoke often lingers on the horizon. I look up to the ridgeline and see wisps of smoke--summer fires either caused by lightning or man. I never thought I would pray for monsoon rains.”

brush fires

surge over mountain ridges

drought

* * *

the shady side

of timber ridge brittle--

no monsoon in sight

Hifsa Ashraf composed her haiku at the edge of a large arid region that forms a natural boundary between Pakistan and India.

Thar Desert

among sand dunes

a perfect mirage

An electric fan circulates a current of cool air in the room where Puja Malushte has been watching for cumulonimbus clouds that could bring rain to drought-stricken Mumbai. Simran sees no end in sight to the rising cost of vegetables in Punjab. Goran Gatalica surveys his stunted crop of corn in Croatia.

draught

farmer eyes

the nimbus

* * *

harvesting drought

as cash crops gulp down

groundwater

* * *

lingering drought--

an anthill grows

among the corn stalks

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa has seen nothing but heavy gray rain clouds on the Kanto plains. Paul Conneally angles a bird’s eye view from Loughborough, U.K.

Long rain--

farmer’s eyes level with clouds

hanging low

* * *

high over a huge

field of ripening barley

a speck of skylark

Haikuists who summered outside the city were likely reluctant to return. Especially those who were fortunate enough to have clear water to boil for tea, warm rocks with bent pines to rest upon and slow-burning sunsets to write about. A serene scent filled Rosemarie Schuldes’ kitchen in Mattsee, Austria. Marilyn Humbert reclined on the wooden flooring outside a traditional Japanese cottage. Eleonore Nickolay stayed on her feet.

cornflowers

in my tea blend

blue dreams

* * *

beneath

grandfather’s engawa

a croaking toad

* * *

veranda

in my favourite place

a lizard

Paul Geiger doesn’t bother keeping up with the neighbors’ high-tech eco-homes in Sebastopol, California. In Vancouver, Canada, Alegria Imperial recorded how every drop of moisture has been sucked dry.

no drip system

no worries

succulents blooming

* * *

white spider mites

draining the holly

of crispness

Satoru Kanematsu moved his 12-year-old granddaughter’s pet to a larger aquarium. Imperial shields her eyes from the sun.

Clean water

the refreshed goldfish

flares bright red

* * *

withered lake

the boy’s hand big enough

for a quenched sun

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The Oct. 4 and 18 issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network will shine with gold. Readers are welcome to send haiku about chrysanthemums or precious moments with friends 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).