Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

returning home the old plum blossoms again
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

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the cherry blossoms
the smiles--
yet the talk of the (c)old war
--T.D. Ginting (Murakami, Chiba)

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My hometown…
no more old classmates
plum blossoms
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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ancient heroes
only spring cares for the flowers
on their graves
--Eugeniusz Zacharski (Radom, Poland)

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Kashmir spring…
apple boughs
bow down with blossoms
--Amrutha Prabhu (Bengaluru, India)

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old crab apple
at the core
pink blossoms
--Meghan Elizabeth Jones (Calgary, Alberta)

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a long slender fern
sorrow of the widow’s curls
Petrova Gora
--Ljiljana Dobra (Sibenik, Croatia)

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sweet peas
extremely fat
green aphids
--C.X. Turner (Birmingham, United Kingdom)

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forgotten purple
irises waiting
by the bridge
--Sherry Reniker (Kent, Washington)

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my little girl
drops her hoola hoop
at rainfall
--Noel King (Tralee, Ireland)


a thorn pulled out
of the Christ’s crown
--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

The haikuist observed Good Friday. In Milan, Italy, Eufemia Griffo alluded to the belief that following his crucifixion Jesus Christ was buried in a rock cave, named the garden tomb by Protestant worshippers. Horst Ludwig marked a sign of the cross on the Day of Ashes.

temple ruins
a pilgrim’s whispered prayer
sculpted in the rock

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Ash cross
on a world leader’s forehead
gas’s also up

The British poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973) composed “Musée des Beaux Arts,” a 1938 prewar poem that reimagined the painting “Landscape With the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. In the painting, both a farmer and a ship’s captain disregarded the drowning of a boy whose waxed-feather wings melted when he flew too close to the sun. Here, the poet’s opening three lines refer to the martyrdom of Christ and the human preoccupation with survival.

About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place

Anne-Marie McHarg sharpened up.

Shivering frosts
Robin in red
Sharpens the landscape

In an 1893 essay referred to as his idle thoughts on literature, Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) suggested Japanese haikuists were inspired to compose short poems because nature is simpler to write about than human nature. Here’s Kanematsu’s take.

Swallows back
the temple garden open
all the time

Shiki further explained, “To put it in another way, Japanese poets have rarely attempted to celebrate the peace and happiness of our people by considering human society in all its complications and proclivity for change.” Kanematsu invited a Buddhist monk to recite sutras at the family altar.

Young priest talks
’bout his newborn son
joyful spring

Madhuri Pillai pitied the hunted-looking eyes of a hunter. Junko Saeki spotted the two white circles on the back of a tiger’s ears at Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. Writing ekphrastic poems in snowy Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, Yutaka Kitajima was enticed by Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s (1525-1569) artwork “The Hunters in the Snow.”

owned and sold
the narrative in his eyes...
white tiger

* * *

white tiger
in the snow
only his eyes...

* * *

Snowy hills
talkative Bruegel
calling me

Taking a seat in Nairn, Scotland, Xenia Tran rested at the site of a battle fought on April 16, 1746.

Culloden moor
the grass beside the bench
a paler green

Valentina Ranaldi-Adams turned 360 degrees to brushstroke this simple, yet vivid landscape sketch of Fairlawn, Ohio. Lorraine A. Padden painted with blue seed cones in San Diego, California.

a panorama
of green

* * *

expanded palette--
fresh buds
on the juniper

Black blooms are an ominous sign for Kanematsu. Zoran Doderovic fell in love under the heady blossoms and heavily grooved black bark of a mature tree in Novi Sad, Serbia.

COVID infections
black pansies

* * *

black locust in bloom
nightingale’s song
singing about love

Two kinds of birds caught the attention of Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo in Bombon, Philippines.

the first time I sing
in a YouTube video

* * *

in the yard catching
my attention

Lysa Collins admired a new dance performance by a local Japanese company in White Rock, British Columbia.

white tiger
a thousand prayers
become one

* * *

a petal
finds the wind…
shin buyo

Padden enjoyed the ballet.

the greenest blades
of sunrise grass

Kanematsu experimented with the linguistic style of his haiku by placing African violets in the foreground and a view outside his kitchen window in the background. Normally, it is redundant to inform the reader that snow is “outdoors,” or that you are “watching snow.” The seasoned writer demonstrated how isolation has created many “I’m here” and “you’re there” type of separations.

Snow outdoors
Saintpaulias in bloom
on my desk

* * *

Watching snow
beyond the window
with hot tea

Hot green tea complements the taste of “wagashi,” a traditional Japanese sweet made of rice flour and agar jelly topped with seasonal flower petals or leaves. It was taking a while for the cherry blossom front to reach Yutaka Kitajima in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, so the impatient haikuist shopped at the confectioners.

petals found first on
a teacake

Hot tea infused with cherry blossoms has a delicate color and aroma. Tsanka Shishkova awoke at dawn to hunt for the subtle floral fragrance in Sofia, Bulgaria: the scent of blossoming cherry early morning. Bedi preferred “sencha,” which is prepared by infusing whole tea leaves in hot water.

morning buzz
how calming the scent
of green tea


It’s always a Good Friday reading haiku in the Asahi at
The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears April 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about hunting 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 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 The International University of Kagoshima, 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: “Teaching and Learning Haiku in English” (2022); “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).