Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

Waiting for the Covid-19 vaccination--heart palpitations

--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

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to get vaccinated
or not ...
God, tell me
--Zdenka Mlinar (Zagreb, Croatia)

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Dawning light
awaited vaccine
at long last
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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winter dawn
the empty shell
of a dream
--John Hawkhead (Bradford on Avon, U.K.)

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Endless dawn
In isolation
--Anne-Marie McHarg (London, U.K.)

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from fermenting yeast--
sake cellar
--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

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two empty glasses--
waiting for more than
the cork’s pop
--B.A. France (Annapolis, Maryland)

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dry winter days--
finally the expected baby
was born
--Julia Guzman (Cordoba, Argentina)

* * *

Sunday carillon
a scattering
of snowflakes
--Maxianne Berger (Montreal, Quebec)

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feral cat
we start
from scratch
--David Kawika Eyre (Volcano, Hawaii)


Raging plague
writing to old friends
“How are you?”
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

Mailed at year-end, the haikuist’s greeting cards were received by many of his colleagues on Jan. 1. Teiichi Suzuki sprang to check the letterbox first thing this New Year’s morning. Ewa Kajtoch danced on pins and needles hoping a vaccine will come to Krakow, Poland, this year.

Homemade cookies
granddaughter decorated
the postcard

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life on the tip of
a needle

Tsanka Shishkova’s first brushstroke formed a Zen circle in Sofia, Bulgaria. Calm and patient, those born in the Year of the Ox are reputed to be strong, reliable, fair and conscientious, inspiring confidence in others. Kanchan Chatterjee sketched a familiar scene in Jamshedpur, India.

baby’s curls
I’m trying to draw
an enso

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muggy noon ...
the farmer’s son
sleeps on an ox

Neena Singh reported that news of a coming vaccine brought some cheer, “but it remains to be seen when it will reach the market” where she lives in Chandigarh, India. Kath Abela Wilson stirred at 4:30 this morning. Catnapping, she said, “working in bed, we can do beautiful creative and loving work when the world is still so dark.”

working from home
the dog asleep
on my slippers

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his smile
frost on the window

Knowing vaccine has safely arrived in Wiltshire, England, Alan Summers slept with a smile last night dreaming about where to travel in the New Year. Anne-Marie McHarg is a Londoner who recently penned this haiku on a trip to Antarctica.

a secret journey
I don’t even tell myself
as I am snoring

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Winter seclusion
Iceberg drifting--
Silent beauty

Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo watched the moon at midnight from The Hague. Liz Gibbs suggested “when we grow up we can look through the memory box our mother kept for us.”

last day, first day
the winter moon
on a still mountain

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memory box …
capturing today
for their tomorrow

Isabella Kramer penned this line after trying something fun in Nienhagen, Germany: first icicles reason enough for hot chocolate.

Angela Giordano walked in a line of silence: winter day--my footsteps muffled by the first snow.

Malintha Perera wrote from Sri Lanka, saying “Stay safe.”

Islamic call to prayer
the street samosas
turn golden brown

Sergio DeMiglio counted his blessings at a Catholic church in Toronto, Canada. Pitamber Kaushik went for a skate with family in Bokaro, India.

Christmas joy
happy memories
ours for life

* * *

Christmas reunion
clearing the snow
off the frozen pool

Melanie Vance received a gift of Buddhist prayer flags in Dallas, Texas. Guliz Mutlu renewed subway art at Istanbul’s Ankara Metro Yenikapi station.

even prayer flags
shiver under the grey sky
first snow forecast

* * *

subway posters

Slobodan Pupovac prayed in Zagreb, Croatia. Tom Bierovic greeted dawn quietly in DeLand, Florida. Snow greeted Vandana Parashar at a hill station in Panchkula, India.

silent prayer
grandma folded her hands
the butterfly wings

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a ladybug
unfolding its wings
desert sunrise

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temple steps
the beggar’s bowl filled
with snowflakes

Eleven-year-old Cocoro Jones wished from the heart for a sunny day in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa described the wondrous beauty of Mount Fuji on New Year’s Day.

Stone lanterns
Guarding the temple
From shadows

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Snow-white mountain
gathers all sunset colors
cloudless sky

Mark Reino Peltonen penned this poem, and 20 more, as a tribute to the sunrise in a translated manuscript “Cityscapes.”

New snow on the steeple
A family of snowflakes
Adorn a grey, stone prayer

In Tokyo, Murasaki Sagano’s kitchen was ablaze with colored leaves. Adjei Agyei-Baah peered out his backdoor window in Kumasi, Ghana.

warmth of magic
its blaze

* * *

winter isolation
new neighbours
pruning the hedge

Sue Colpitts hopes to hear a knock at her door in Peterborough, Ontario. Sushama Kapur heard love call before it was swept away in Pune, India.

week of snow
I shake
the welcome mat

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falling snow
the echoes of bells
and carols

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winter solitude
the silent sweep
of snowflakes

Marita Gargiulo penned this remarkable haiku about the first snows to fall on Hamden, Connecticut. She was honored with a Grand Prix in the 9th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest.

the wind
sweeps snow from my front steps
for no one

The 10th Setouchi-Matsuyama International Photo-Haiku Contest supported by The Asahi Shimbun offers readers the chance to win a prize for taking photos and writing haiku about the sea. Enter online until Jan. 12: (


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Jan. 15 and 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about something new or oxen 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).