Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Old nun’s shadow whispering sleepless night under a thick blanket

--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)

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temperature drops--

child’s disc, A Christmas Carol

bedtime story

--Francis Attard (Marsa, Malta)

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Child’s game on the sands

A dance between the breakers

Catch me if you can

--Eric Kimura (Lanikai Beach, Hawaii)

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without a sound

this rain coming

from long ago

--Anna Maria Domburg (The Hague, Netherlands)

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grandparents’ house--

from room to room

deep autumn silence

--Marek Kozubek (Bangkok, Thailand)

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of weight gain ... mango

or my temptation?

--Manoj Sharma (Kathmandu, Nepal)

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homecoming ...

smell of mango pickles

from grandma’s room

--Kanchan Chatterjee (Jamshedpur, India)

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in the dead of night

rustle of the leaf--wakes up

my grandma’s stories

--Gordana Vlasic (Oroslavje, Croatia)

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my lullaby ...

her “Singer” sewing machine

late at night

--Lucia Cardillo (Rodi Garganico, Italy)

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Rusty tools

grandpa’s grandpa’s


--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)




Abandoned house ...

Nightly, from the attic

clatter of a typewriter

--Anna Goluba (Warsaw, Poland)

Fascinated by the creative process, the haikuist blends her own free will with that of a ghostwriter. Eva Limbach found inspiration in Mary Shelley’s prose. John McManus didn’t buy enough treats for children guising at his front door in Carlisle, England. Serhiy Shpychenko conjured a split personality in Kyiv, Ukraine. Lothar M. Kirsch revealed his “grandfather is from Frankenstein, Silesia, which lies in Poland.”


the urge to create

my own monster

* * *

no candy left

Frankenstein calls me

a monster

* * *

family mirror

my other self

coming out of the dusk

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Frankenstein’s castle

bats returning in first light

some make it, some burn

John Zheng moved toward the middle of his bed in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Dubravka Scukanec cleaned cobwebs in Zagreb, Croatia. Luciana Moretto pulled her covers in Treviso, Italy. Teiichi Suzuki imbibed in Osaka.

night reading

now and then a scurry

from attic

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horror movie

vigilantly checking

under my bed

* * *

sharing my bed

with phantoms ...

insomnia’s cricket

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Mystery novel--

I consume the long night with

a bottle of wine

Robert Kania marked Thanksgiving Day celebrations held yesterday in America. In Indianola, Iowa, Roberta Beach Jacobson served up a haiku about a highly poisonous plant of the parsley family. The fernlike leaves have an unpleasant smell that wards off those tempted to eat it. Pat Geyer went green in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Vandana Parashar shared a precious mango with family in Panchkula, India.

after a trip to U.S.--

I look differently

at turkeys

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with hemlock

--garden salad

* * *

Thanksgiving table ...

every year we pass around

green bean casserole

* * *

mango slices

mother kept the smallest

for herself

An old apple tree in Eva Limbach’s garden in Germany makes her “often think about the past and the future.” Angela Giordano cherishes an allegory her grandmother told her in Italy. Henryk Czempiel has lots of ancestors in Poland. Having studied sarcophaguses in Europe, Liz Gibbs imagined an elderly countess dreaming of her tomb. John Hawkhead contemplated art in England.

winter apples

meticulously counting

the reasons to stay

* * *

on the windowsill

pomegranate seeds--

grandma’s red pearls

* * *

all these names

whispered by grandma

family album

* * *

smoothing her wrinkles ...

the countess makes

a perfect death mask

* * *

alone with her art

she paints a mirror face

over her face

Helga Stania wrote this one-liner watching seven daughters in the skies over Ettiswil, Switzerland: after grape harvest a piece of cheese and the Pleiades.

During televised World Cup rugby matches, Ian Willey danced, chanted and made faces to get his daughter to study. Cezar Ciobica is ready to help his son become a licensed wine steward in Botosani, Romania.

unfinished homework ...

his attempt at the haka

met with resistance

* * *

my son’s dream

to become a sommelier

autumn sunset

Though too young to have experienced war, Mark Gilbert acknowledges it in this haiku from Nottingham, U.K.


shapes of swallows


whistling past

Meghan Elizabeth Jones worries how the climate will change the landscape in northern Alberta. Jacobson moved to the beat of kettledrums in nature’s orchestra. Geyer updated her haiku.

thawing tundra

permafrost melting

a new canvas

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* * *

the arts evolve ...

changing compositions

on Culture Day

Luciana Moretto suggested that appreciating art from the 19th century is relevant to understanding the present troubling situation of global warming. Based in Treviso, Italy, the haikuist combined this haiku with Hokusai’s woodblock print of an epic scene of human struggle and natural terror that dwarfed a background image of sacred Mount Fuji.

Climate change

endangered voyage

The Great Wave

Extreme storms and powerful typhoons pummeled houses and castles in central Japan, noted Satoru Kanematsu.

Typhoon gone

grinning on the roof

tile gargoyles

Barbara A. Taylor lives in New South Wales where bushfires forced people to flee. Benedetta Cardone hunted for her ancestors in Italy. Neelam Dadhwal referred to a cellular jail used by the British to exile political prisoners in the Andaman Islands, India.

turning door handle--

we all imagine

she’s come back

* * *

distant train whistle--

has anyone seen survivors

in this house?

* * *

the horizon

a deep purple of the evening sky--

the ghosts of Kalapani

Lothar M. Kirsch sent haiku from Ladakh, where he observed a Buddhist burial deep in the Tibetan mountains. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa walked home via well-lit streets in Tokyo. Paul Geiger needed a boat to get to work.

After the battle

the vultures can’t fly

but autumn grass grows

* * *

Long detour

round the dark grave

ghost stories

* * *

Mumbai monsoon

up to the knees walking

to my office

Goran Gatalica walked the length of his garden in Zagreb, Croatia. On a cool, quiet autumn evening, Kanematsu realized he could no longer discern the sound of males chirping. Death soon follows their courtship songs. Following months of severe weather in Bucharest, Romania, there won’t be any winter roses for Ana Drobot to enjoy.

chrysanthemums bloom--

crossing the invisible line

of neighbor’s garden

* * *

No more trill

remaining crickets

all female

* * *

ghosts ...

of the roses in bloom

nothing left


Haiku dreams at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Dec. 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about snow or the icy moon 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).