Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

sanpaku eyes her snowbanks of lonely night

--Reka Nyitrai (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

plums blossom

across the misty river

my home village

--Agus Maulana Sunjaya (Banten, Indonesia)

* * *

snow white fields

trapped in the mist

plum blossoms

--Adam Wahlfeldt (Sweden)

* * *

fallen blossoms ...

I walk past in dreams

the idea of love

--Muskaan Ahuja (Chandigarh, India)

* * *

Early plum blossoms--

veering off the marked trail to

get a closer view

--Priscilla Lignori (Montgomery, New York)

* * *

snow covered branches

the mellow memories

of bygone days

--Richa Sharma (Ghaziabad, India)

* * *

grey felt in

the milliners hands

under a snowy sky

--Robin Rich (Brighton, U.K.)

* * *

Dear friend gone--

holding on tight to

a kite’s string

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

frozen butterfly …

I too know the touch

of winter

--Veronika Zora Novak (Toronto)

* * *

A woman

where the road slopes up

winter camellia

--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

------------------------------

FROM THE NOTEBOOK

------------------------------

voices of my being

sails white hot loud proud on the

road to everywhere

--Honey Novick (Toronto)

The haikuist’s musical repertoire ranges from light classical to avant-garde jazz. Saint Nick is partial to country banjos and high-pitched vocals, according to Ed Bremson’s one-liner from North Carolina: Santa flies home over snowy bluegrass singing. Murasaki Sagano wished John Lennon’s lyrics would ring true. Rodica Stefan tuned in melodies from the 1979 soundtrack “China.”

At Christmas

“War is Over” on the

radio

* * *

The Plum Blossom--

dancing with Vangelis

in the winter night

Snowbound in Seattle, Nicholas Klacsanzky contemplated his next move. In Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Norah Baker laid down a veering line of snow white-dotted playing tiles.

another inch of snow ...

I calculate a variation

on the chessboard

* * *

Winter dusk

the domino row

drifts with the table

This haiku by Ririka Tanikawa, a medical student, was honorably mentioned for its pivotal second line in a contest held by Kagawa University. Writing from Beli Manastir, Croatia, Andelka Pavic reveals how one of the oldest known fruits ripens during the winter months. Luciana Moretto spotted an early sign of spring in Italy. Yoshiko Sato snuggled deeper into her down-filled duvet in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture.

a single red leaf left

shivering and shaking

lonely autumn

* * *

pomegranate twig

came out of the snow

to see the sun

* * *

skimpy ray of sunlight ...

a daisy

peeps out

* * *

Winter morning

my comforter tells me

Don’t push yourself

Nose pressed against a window in Rijeka, Croatia, Mihovila Ceperic-Biljan wants to go outside. Serhiy Shpychenko couldn’t resist drawing a design for his neighbor to see in Kyiv, Ukraine. When Anne-Marie McHarg left her house in the early morning on the way to work in London, she said, “waiting for the bus, I see the moon between the trees. I can never feel lonely.” Mario Massimo Zontini witnessed a life and death game of hide and seek in Parma, Italy. Andy McLellan celebrated the Chinese New Year in Canterbury, U.K.

Girl’s nose

snuggled up to the window

snowflakes dance

* * *

good morning!

finger-drawn smiley

on a snow-covered car

* * *

Peak a boo

Between bare branches

Moon plays games

* * *

in the snow

there is no life--then

a barn owl

* * *

still gnawing

on old bones

year of the rat

Priscilla Lignori writes poetry in the farmlands of Montgomery, New York. Don Wentworth peered nostalgically at a rectangular wooden bench left outside to winter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Maybe they’re praying

horses stand with heads hung low--

first snow on the field

* * *

winter light

beneath the picnic table

soft lines of snow

Marina Bellini read lines of stressed syllables in the poetical works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1990). Virtual sensations prompted Hidehito Yasui to compose 17-syllables. Penned in 11-syllables, Kiyoshi Fukuzawa presents a potted plant to welcome the world to Tokyo.

a purple pencil and

the anti-stress book

... snowfall

* * *

Feel old year passing

looking at the internet

a temple bell sounds

* * *

Olympic

torches flare

cyclamens in bloom

When Anne-Marie McHarg caught a glimpse of a Japanese lady in full kimono dress walking down the road in London, she said it was so unusual that she looked twice and better understood the expression East meets West.

East meets west

Kimono plums

In scented air

Ken Sawitri wrote about the world’s largest flower that grows in Sumatra, Indonesia. Rosmarie Epaminondas admired nature’s jewels in Lima, Peru.

rafflesia in bloom

out of its scent

out of itself

* * *

silver pearl--

convex reflection on emerald blade

shiv’ring dewdrop

Emanuela Podda Ankrom layered one season over another. An early snow in Montreal, Quebec, prevented Maxianne Berger’s neighbors from pinching off withered chrysanthemum blooms. Sharon Rose de la Rama poked through winter with plum blossoms in Annaka, Gunma Prefecture.

Snow falling quickly

On the bamboo tree forest

The red dragonfly

* * *

the mums

they forgot to deadhead

snowball flowers

* * *

Here to welcome spring

scarlet dots on snowed branches

tiny buds of plum

Stephen J. DeGuire referred to the blood vessels that burst in myriad red dots and lines on the nose and face of a heavy alcohol drinker.

inhaling

a full cup’s bouquet--

gin blossoms

In 1913, Ezra Pound wrote this two-lined poem titled “In a Station of the Metro.”

The apparition of these faces in the crowd:

Petals on a wet, black bough.

Vandana Parashar wrote two lines suggesting she can’t find the way back to Panchkula, India.

fresh-cut blooms

now there’s no way home

Noticing small yellow and white flowers along the grassy paths toward San Gemini in Umbria, Italy, gave Daniela Misso an idea of what to pull from her freezer as soon as she got home.

first daisies …

decorations on a defrosted cake

--------------------------------------------------

The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Feb. 7 and 21. Readers are invited to send haiku about camellia or magnolia 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 (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).