Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

icy night--a bed of leaves on the sidewalk
--Giuliana Ravaglia (Bologna, Italy)

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on the crouching puma
neck hairs rise
--Lysa Collins (White Rock, British Columbia)

* * *

he tries
loving me
blustery winds
--Erin Castaldi (Mays Landing, New Jersey)

* * *

ice storm...
a harsh reminder
far from home
--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

* * *

the child learns the first letters
by candlelight
--Dejan Ivanovic (Lazarevac, Serbia)

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floating paper boat
sinking but cruising on
she braves waves alone
--Justice Joseph Prah (Accra, Ghana)

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north wind…
one origami duck falls
on the floor
--Kanchan Chatterjee (Jamshedpur, India)

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start of winter
the home screen of my smartphone
--Pitt Buerken (Munster, Germany)

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wintry afternoon
words coming out of my mouth--
even they are white
--Samo Kreutz (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

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deeper and deeper
into the blue world alone
night skiing
--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)


we listen to the old voice
of the wind
--Ramona Linke (Beesenstedt, Germany)

The haikuist marked her mother’s 87th birthday. The eldest in his neighborhood, Satoru Kanematsu received many greetings at the New Year when he walked up a hill to see the sunrise at a lookout called Fine-View Heights.

Blithe morning
cheerfully greets me
jogging boys

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The sunrise
in Monet’s paysage
New Year’s morn

Homeowners in Junko Saeki’s neighborhood in Tokyo have aged well into their 80s and 90s. At the end of her street, company employees rent lodging—about 10 families in all. The haikuist reports that “when it snows, their children come out and shovel all the snow. We are really grateful to these folks.”

kids shovel the snow
for the aging neighborhood
company housing

It kept on snowing outside Tanja Trcek’s home in Slovenia. Ashoka Weerakkody received a call last night in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

frozen silence--
i can hear
the snowman growing

* * *

last night
that distant chill again
is that you?

Sally A. Fox struck a match in the San Francisco Bay area. Wool sweaters and scarves were worn inside Kanematsu’s home.

Two flickering flames;
One kotatsu’s cozy heat
Melting chilled colleagues

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changing her dolls’ clothes
frosty night

Kath Abela Wilson keeps the clothes of a beloved writer as memorabilia in a closet at home in Pasadena, California.

poet of long breath
your little muse has to wear
a long sleep shirt

Chemical messengers direct Luisa Santoro’s mood swings in Rome. Hifsa Ashraf weathered a whirlwind in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Danijela Grbelja didn’t know which way to turn in Sibenki, Croatia. Fearing a winter storm, Rose Mary Boehm invoked wee Irish fairies who live safely beneath the hills.

autumn winds…
the swirling circles
of my hormones

* * *

new year eve...
the maple leaves swirl
around the emergence ward

* * *

how to hide from the wind
blowing everywhere?

* * *

Sidhe doesn’t knock
Aspens sway in storm dances
Elfen whisperer

Partha Sarkar paused for a moment of silence for trees felled in India. Lakshmi Iyer and her neighbors grow their own vegetables in Kerala, India, remarking how it is necessary “for a living, in this pandemic.” Robin Rich prepares to cook in Brighton, U.K.

in silent forest
bustling conquered market

* * *

farmer’s market
on the streets
discounted living

* * *

dirt under my nails
wash my hands after
buying vegetables

Randall Herman shared this haiku from Victoria, Texas, where tradition holds that if you eat simply on New Year’s Day, good luck will come to stay for the entire year.

black-eyed peas--
with pruning shears at
the well-bucket

Prepared with fresh seaweed, Ken Sawitri heaped succulent “urap latoh” onto warm rice in the Indonesian seaside town of Rembang. Sue Colpitts prefers to pour a little fresh milk into her tea but said that it’s hard to get to the local grocer in Peterborough , Ontario. Hifsa Ashraf savored freshly baked flatbread in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

into the barcode
the green caviar
loses its shape

* * *

I drink my tea

* * *

early spring…
the aroma of roti
from a clay oven

Nani Mariani made a video call from Melbourne, Australia. Isabella Kramer tried in vain to keep her pets calm in Nienhagen, Germany.

faces of that family
I live like a bird in a cage

* * *

the uncertain outcome
of a cat and an aquarium

Angela Giordano dared to hold on to festive traditions in Italy.

under the mistletoe
a kiss with relatives--
a new year

Mark Gilbert compares reactions to the current pandemic he’s experiencing in Nottingham, U.K., to the “Spanish Flu which coincided with the end of the first World War, when so much of our modern healthcare system had yet to be developed and vaccines were not available.”

in the trenches
a vaccination
against despair

Tempted to curl up with his cat behind the stove or on top of the duvet, Pitt Buerken nonetheless headed out early to work as usual in Munster, Germany. Kanematsu noticed the lights were still on at the neighborhood “juku,” a privately run school that offers supplementary classes to students preparing for university entrance exams.

Dark season
one would like to stay in bed
most of all

* * *

Winter night
the cram school windows
brightly lit


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Jan. 29. Readers are invited to send haiku about evergreens 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).