Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

pinecones frosted in vanilla snow

--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

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New Year’s Eve

Dad and I make

our wine glasses sing

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

* * *

Missing mom’s

hot buckwheat noodles

New Year’s Eve

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

green apple tart--

grandmom’s absence

in the family silence

--Julia Guzman (Cordoba, Argentina)

* * *


cup of Earl Grey tea

icy moon

--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *


God kissing

the children’s eyes

--Lilia Racheva (Sofia, Bulgaria)

* * *

a gospel song


in fog

--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

* * *

the distant love song

fading sound of the zither

words in abeyance

--Eduard Schmidt-Zorner (Dromin West, Ireland)

* * *

Arctic meltwater

more green than ice

a new canvas

--Meghan Elizabeth Jones (Calgary, Alberta)

* * *

new dawn

a rose opens

to the robin’s song

--Vandana Parashar (Panchkula, India)




New Year’s Day

Baci’s love quotes folded

turtle doves in flight

--Francis Attard (Marsa, Malta)

The haikuist fashioned origami with a dozen tinfoil wrappers from a box of Italian chocolates. At midnight in Vancouver, Alegria Imperial rang in the New Year with her favorite drink.

champagne bubbles

one by one sinking

into each other’s dreams

Counting down the final 10 seconds before midnight, Julia Guzman remained steadfast in Cordoba, Argentina. Ana Drobot tried to get used to burgundy.

dry wine--

the lips I won’t kiss

next to me

* * *

her new

haircolour ...

a sip of red wine

Lucy Whitehead listened to one temple bell toll 108 times during a traditional New Year’s ceremony. Kanematsu was surrounded by vibrant prayers for the New Year. Meditating at a shrine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Ashok Weerakkody’s mind and body kept in tune with the chiming of a brass bell until “After an eternity I felt a new life returning to take the space where the former had been stagnant thus far.”

a snowflake lands

on the temple bell

we pause to listen

* * *

New Year’s Eve

sounding far and near

temple bells

* * *


nam myoho renge kyo

rhythmic rebirth

Priscilla Lignori prayed in unison with church-goers then she went to the beach to meditate.

In house of worship

the rhythm of cricket songs

accompanies us

* * *

Early at the beach--

the rhythm of the waves join

my meditation

Having taken one month to prepare, Junko Saeki finally tasted an exquisitely sweet traditional delicacy. Inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s (1817-1862) philosophy, Luciana Moretto enjoyed a night out in Treviso, Italy.

old man and wife peel

persimmons to dry on eaves--

the feast at New Year’s

* * *

playing cards

in the taverns hereabouts ...

frosty night

Eva Limbach prayed for a little more snow in Saarbrucken, Germany. While gazing into Corio Bay, Marina Colne felt some relief from the summer heat of Geelong, Australia. Tsanka Shishkova set a place at her table in Sofia, Bulgaria, just in case dreams come true. Mona Iordan cheered Saint Nicholas coming down the chimney in Bucharest, Romania.

Christmas moon--

still not enough snowflakes

to cover your grave

* * *


a Christmas tree stands

on dark sea

* * *

cold moon

Christmas fireplace burning

in the wanderer’s dream

* * *

Christmas bubbles

champagne flowing

sparks in your eyes

Marion Clarke reported that “we don’t get much snow here on the east coast of Northern Ireland, so my childhood memories of the rare occasions when it snowed at Christmas were magical.”

icy path

I slide all the way back

to midnight mass

Alim Bican Coban placed third in the Kagawa University English Haiku Contest for a poem about homesickness. Kota Tsunemori, Chilamba Moyenda Moses, and Kiriko Fujioka, respectively, received honorable mentions for sharing poetry about how they keep warm.

tomato soup

an autumn evening

feels like home

* * *

A strong wind

now I want to eat

kimuchi nabe

* * *

chilly nights

round the fire place


* * *

In the morning

A cat got into my bed

The beginning of winter

A furry passerby purred to Adjei Agyei-Baah for a while in New Zealand. Tomislav Sjekloca’s pet cat didn’t come home last night in Cetinje, Montenegro.

a lonely night

the warm company

of a stray cat

* * *

dog shivering

on a cat doormat--

first snow

Anne-Marie McHarg wondered which way to turn in London, U.K. Doc Sunday got a call in Hiroshima. In Nagoya, Satoru Kanematsu said he “was waiting for a letter from a friend, but …”


Come and go

Silently on snow

* * *

husky voice

transmitted by phone

flu season

* * *

Winter wind

expected mail bike

passes by

Snow-capped Mount Fuji appeared splendid at the New Year, however, from her vantage point on Mountain Top, New South Wales, Barbara A. Taylor laments how overtourism has reached the world’s highest mountain.


even on Mt. Everest


Pristine snow fell from the Italian Alps down to the Tyrrhenian Sea, notes Rosa Maria Di Salvatore in Catania and Margherita Petriccione in Scauri, respectively.

December ...

on our Mount Etna

the first snow

* * *

the first snow--

roasted chestnuts scent

on the sea

If you have an original photo of the sea, complete it with a haiku before Jan. 14 to possibly win a prize in the 9th Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest supported by The Asahi Shimbun. Enter online here:


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Jan. 17 and 31. You are invited to send haiku about plum blossoms or something new that you’ve learned 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).