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Dec 21, 2012

closing time
even the bartender
looks handsome

--ai li (London)
In the mirror
not really recognizing myself
another year older

--Angelika Kolompar (Vancouver Island)
Holi Purnima
the moon follows me
at every turn

--Puja Malushte (Mumbai, India)
An IKEA run . . .
there is something familiar
in the Hubble images

--Alexey Golubev (St. Petersburg, Russia)
My bookshelf
a spider in search
of lost time

--Dietmar Tauchner (Puchberg, Austria)
Sound of temple bells
penetrates villagers
end of the year

--Isao Soematsu (Tokyo)
December ends--
the milkman revises rates
for the New Year

--Pravat Kumar Padhy (Odisha, India)
Snow-covered lake
scattered lights glow from
fishermen's tents

--Hidehito Yasui (Osaka)
I shiver
in the glow
of the winter moon

--Nancy Nitrio (Orangevale, California)
Christmas dusk
a glow lingers on the
bedroom wall

--martin gottlieb cohen (Egg Harbor, New Jersey)

from the notebook


my heart still throbbing
at year end
--Isao Soematsu (Tokyo)

Enduring squeezing pain in his chest, the haikuist realizes that time and tide wait for no man. Yutaka Kitajima misses the sound of politicians campaigning in the streets.

Driving snow
muffles the campaign

Jacek Margolak is irritated by wheel shimmy at a grocers in Poland. Junko Yamada envies young couples strolling through fallen leaves in Kamakura.

December morning--
The shopping trolley wheel

Lonely walk
sign of jealousy
red maple

John Hamley writes his last haiku, noting Dec. 21 on the Mayan calendar marks the conclusion of a major time period. Dietmar Tauchner predicts the weather won't be changing anytime soon in Puchberg, Austria.

End of the world--
haiku column?

Year's end
beyond the rain
more rain

Sparrows have been living in close proximity to human dwellings for 10,000 years. Mario Massimo Zontini might be wondering if the sparrow can tell time. So much has happened this year, notes Hidehito Yasui in Osaka.

The year ends
yet the baby sparrow
doesn't know

The end of the year
how to summarize one year
on a New Year's card

Murasaki Sagano arranges her home in Kyoto for the upcoming festivities. Andrzej Dembonczyk bakes cookies in Silesia, Poland.

Christmas Eve
felt tree and mom's painting
side by side

around the house
the smell of gingerbread

Irena Iris Szewczyk prepares to be serenaded in Warsaw, Poland. Liz Moura says, “cheers” in East Taunton, Massachusetts. Leon Enriquez recommends readers sing his poem to the tune of “Jingle Bells.”

puts the mouthpiece in his mouth
Silent Night

This final night
a champagne flute
on her lips

Struggling through the year,
much too soon this festive air;
Jingle all the way

Michael Corr is stirred from his end-of-the-year musings by a sibling living in Des Moines, Washington. His haiku was inspired by the translation of a poem by Kamome Ito in Omuta, Fukuoka.

Year end call
from elder brother
“come get bags!”

Truth seeking
haiku unwritten
this year ends

Hidehito Yasui commutes beside a passenger dressed all in red.

Santa Claus
goes home
by subway

Vasile Moldovan settles in for a comfortable winter night in Romania. Doc Sunday pays his final respects to his teacher who passed away in Hiroshima.

surrounded by grandsons--
Christmas Eve

familiar faces

Helen Buckingham prays overnight in Bristol. Jacek Margolak pours a stiff drink in Poland. Isao Soematsu predicts he won't heed his doctor's advice during the holidays.

Midnight Mass . . .
we settle in
for the duration

Home alone--
the glow of Christmas lights
in a whiskey glass

Diabetes . . .
all is forgotten
Christmas Eve

Steliana Cristina Voicu receives an intricate gift from the heavens for Christmas Eve in Ploiesti, Romania.

From afar
Christmas snowflake falls
in my palm

Bitter winds howl about the mountain chalet in Niigata where Yutaka Kitajima lives, but a print on a wall started him dreaming about colorful springtime flowers on a terrace at a restaurant as famous as the riverside Maison Fournaise in Paris.

Wintry wind
Renoir's Two Sisters
in the hall

Urszula Wielanowska bids fond farewell to 2012 in Kielce, Poland. Lydia Lecheva hopes next year will be better in Sofia, Bulgaria. Stuart Walker pens a final stanza before winter freezes Sapporo, Hokkaido. Ice doesn't bother Rahadian Tanjung in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Time to say goodbye
the last leaf fell
from the olive

Icy flowers
sour wine
time for a new man

Leaves flutter earthward
decadent smell of decay
silent last stanza

The crowd applauding
the ice-skater waltzing on
the frozen pond

Zontini composes the final tribute to this year in the succinct yet enduring haiku form of 11 syllables. An Italian word meaning detached, staccato is a form of musical articulation, a note of shortened duration that may be followed by silence.

Concert ends
standing ovation:

Want to try composing haiku ?

Back numbers

The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Jan. 4 and 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about the first sunrise of the year on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

Dear readers:
As of Jan. 10, 2013, Asahi Haikuist Network will no longer appear on The popular haiku column will continue to be published on AJW, The Asahi Shimbun's English-language news website. Please click this link to read the latest haiku column: Thank you for reading Asahi Haikuist Network.