Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

coronavirus everyone smiles with their eyes
--Lee Nash (Poitou-Charentes, France)

* * *

rundown shed
the darkness full
of rust
--Jonathan Roman (Yonkers, New York)

* * *

night chill ...
a stray mouse runs out
of the tea garden
--Taofeek Ayeyemi (Lagos, Nigeria)

* * *

Crescent moon
tadpoles left behind
in the pail
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

deserted streets--
the lonely flight
of a swallow
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

* * *

speed dating
the young magnolia strewn
with blossoms
--Ramona Linke (Mansfeld Land, Germany)

* * *

growing garden
a wheelbarrow full
of children
--Rich Schilling (Webster Groves, Montana)

* * *

the pros and cons
of mother’s advice ...
overgrown garden
--Eva Limbach (Saarbrucken, Germany)

* * *

lunging through wire cages
the fuzzy green leaves
--John Daleiden (Phoenix, Arizona)

* * *

Nature’s comeback
in the exclusion zone
no trespassing
--Natalia Kuznetsova (Moscow, Russia)


baseball season opens
under the stadium dome
new nest of swallows
--Serhiy Shpychenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

Tokyo Dome reopened for professional baseball players today. The haikuist found a happy family taking shelter in the shade and quiet of a rafter. Richard Jodoin suggested his number one draft pick if the Montreal Expos come back to play in the major leagues.

A hit to the infield
a stray dog outruns
the shortstop

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa and Junko Saeki, respectively, know where to hunt for wild lilies on hillsides to the north of Tokyo, but they must guess whether they are going to bloom in white, pink, yellow, orange or red.

Lily bulbs--
which color comes up?
secret joy

* * *

lily blossoms in many colors
in the moonlight

Sally A. Fox found a secret garden in California.

Nimbus blue pouring,
Sweet Jasmine drenched in water,
As hummingbirds dart

Hifsa Ashraf awoke from a daydream on a deserted street in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Rashmi VeSa returned to Bengaluru, India. Lysa Collins floated aimlessly in White Rock, British Columbia. Lucia Cardillo found kindness in Rodi Garganico, Italy.

my evening thoughts
sprouts on pavement

* * *

native ivy
regreening the concrete spaces
of her life

* * *

this year
through the wafting cherry bloom
I walk alone

* * *

light breeze ...
forgotten glove
on a cherry branch

Confined to her home in Tokyo, Murasaki Sagano dreamt of the colorful Kanto plains returning to a natural uncultivated state.

while staying at home
bloom wildly

* * *

Wild poppies
in variable winds
red tutus

Roberta Beach Jacobson met springtime on the prairies near Indianola, Iowa.

red-winged blackbirds
fence-post sentinels

Although the family garden has grown fallow since Luciana Moretto’s beloved brother passed away, he has become a guardian angel. Lothar M. Kirsch’s garden turned to dust. Adam King’s throat felt parched.

garden rose
neglected ... his scissors
cross of rust

* * *

Shed under the sun
rake, spade, hoe, and fork are dry
as the gardener

* * *

the blossoms ...
are not washed down with sake
and beer this year

Mario Massimo Zontini painted a floral still life in Parma, Italy. Marshall Hryciuk noted a slight change in the official flower of Ontario.

watercolour in
the corner of the garden
the hydrangea

* * *

purplish tinge
to the trilliums
thunderheads from the north

John Hamley dreamt of a small purple flower of the buttercup genus that has been cultivated since the 18th century in Japan, but instead he may have awoken to a cold shoulder in Ontario. In Canada, children play a game to see if a friend likes butter by holding a wild butterflower under the chin to see if it reflects the sunshine. Liz Gibbs plays a deadly game in Calgary, Alberta.

Big fat snowflakes
I was waiting for

* * *

playing tag virus calls out
you’re it!

Guliz Mutlu stayed in a room with a view of Ankara. Ashraf watched the evening flow down the Soan River. Tsanka Shishkova read a passage from her diary penned years ago on the Uji River. Kanematsu saw the water in Tokyo Bay turn the color of blood when a resurgence in coronavirus cases was signaled as a red alert at the Rainbow Bridge.

Turkish balconies
the small round
orange eggplants

* * *

window gazing
the extra glow
of a river moon

* * *

boats and fires
on the night of July
cormorant fishing

* * *

Tokyo screams--
lighting plague alert
the red bridge

Taofeek Ayeyemi kept in tune with nature in Lagos, Nigeria. Justice Joseph Prah traveled an unbeaten path to Accra, Ghana.

plucking tea ...
a stray bird whistles with me
in the orchard

* * *

Covid-19 scare
grasses reclaim
a deserted footpath

Afraid of catching a virus, Murasaki Sagano trained indoors. Working from home during the lockdown in Nottingham, U.K., Mark Gilbert noticed how “life continues around me.” The library at Queen Mary University of London where Anne-Marie McHarg worked “closed down very quickly,” leaving her without access to computers and electronic communication so she handwrote her haiku.

In a vase
sweet peas quiver

* * *

a spider’s prowl
the furloughed troughs
of my office

* * *

This is all there is:
Wildness of growth

Drifting in a dream far into the next world, Kanematsu was suddenly startled. Angela Giordano ran far from home. Working in home isolation with writers in Peru and the U.S., Dina Towbin shares memories of family back home.

Midday nap--
awoken back safe
in this world

* * *

An evening of
chasing fireflies
I come back a child

* * *

I see you so far
Your laughter rebounds with force
A joyous spirit

There is little to eat in Gordana Vlasic’s garden in Croatia. Vasile Moldovan saw greener pastures in Romania. After one look out her window, Eva Limbach remained inside her home in Germany.

a spatula
in the child’s hand--
everything is weed

* * *

A spade between
my garden and the neighbors--
is it a landmark?

* * *

social distancing
our new neighbour
sharpens the scythe

Astrid Egger lives on an island in northern British Columbia where she harvests seaweed that washes up on shore in abundance. Schilling digs in.

separating seaweed--
the pitchfork handle
snaps at me

* * *

a shovelful
of manure
the neighbor’s gossip

A psychologist at Manhattan College, Jay Friedenberg misses seeing children play, noting how the animal and plant kingdoms are retaking back the earth.

padlocked fence
two squirrels play
in an empty schoolyard

Zdenka Mlinar supported schoolchildren in Zagreb, Croatia. Writing from home in Vaires sur Marne, France, Eleonore Nickolay supported a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

garden tools
decorated with flowers--
school hour

* * *

Earth hour
brightly in my garden
the cherry tree glows


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear July 3, 17 and 31. Readers are invited to send haiku about summer sports, summer whites, or the Summer Games that were postponed, on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or 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).