Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

A pocketful of stars in a puddle
--John Hamley (Marmora, Ontario)

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turning all
my pockets out
--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

golden moon
with these thoughts of you
where will i go?
--Richa Sharma (Ghaziabad, India)

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When I see the moon
I always start to wonder
if beef is on sale
--Aaron Ozment (Kagoshima)

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phases of the moon
already outlined
my bulimia
--Mirela Brailean (Iasi, Romania)

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cotton candy
for a little longer…
luna park
--Daniela Misso (San Gemini, Italy)

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what big eyes you’ve got...
the wolf in the park
offering candy
--Marion Clarke (Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland)

* * *

from behind face masks
seeing each other
eye to eye
--Roger Watson (Hull, U.K.)

* * *

A cold foot
nudges her awake--
first snow
--Clotilde Wright (Boulder, Colorado)

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morning mist
the icy stillness softening
my breath
--Mary White (Dublin, Ireland)


winter moon--
at the crossroads
the sacrifice for Hecate
--Isabella Kramer (Nienhagen, Germany)

The haikuist alludes to a Greek goddess who kept evil from entering the front door in exchange for an offering of dinner on the last day of the lunar month. Wolves go hungry this time of year, notes Anne-Marie McHarg in London. According to the Canadian edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, in early British colonial times wolves howled from the crossroads to villages.

Howling wolf
Into the moon

A wolf was recently seen in Kall, Germany, running away from a hillside village of 70 people where Lothar M. Kirsch lives. The wolf has been quiet, so the news didn’t spread beyond the community, but the haikuist thinks “the wolf is too wise to announce his arrival in the Eifel Mountains.” The low mountain range is in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Under winter’s moon
The wolf keeps running
Too wise to howl

Debbie Strange penned haiku during a code red coronavirus lockdown in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Nisha Raviprasad traced a moonlit path in Kochi, India. Eleven-year-old Allison Escobar noticed a rare juxtaposition occur in snowy Aomori Prefecture.

new snowshoes
the scrambled prints
of lynx and hare

* * *

Wolf moon
the silver trail
of a garden snail

* * *

A snowflake twinkles
on the elephant’s

Lysa Collins’ highly recommended new haiku book, “A Breath of Africa” from Granville Island Publishing, shares dozens of one breath poems about her personal travel experiences with elephants and lions. Appended notes lightheartedly explain how a lion’s chuff is a noise like a big sniff, which is worrisome to hear from inside a cloth tent. Here’s a spine-tingler from the Okavango Delta.

blood moon--
young lions roar
just for practice

Hifsa Ashraf cowered away from the blood-red horizon off Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Slobodan Pupovac shivered in Zagreb, Croatia.

year of the Ox
the scarlet sky

* * *

midnight wind
ruffles the fur
of a lone wolf

Rose Menyon Heflin was up all night long in Madison, Wisconsin. Arvinder Kaur felt blessed. Ian Willey was roused moodily in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington.

Baying at the moon
Cold of nightfall on New Year’s
Keeping me awake

* * *

dew drops...
mama’s blessings
on new year’s day

* * *

rain mixed with snow
Mom calls to tell me
turn on the news

Masumi Orihara rewatched the 1965 epic drama “Doctor Zhivago” right to the final scene of the poet scribbling poetry in the dead of night while listening to wolves howl from across a vast snowfield.

the poet eloped
to a warm hideout
wolves howling

Satoru Kanematsu buttoned up his overcoat and pulled his hat down low over his eyes as he passed by a police box on a cold wintry afternoon in Nagoya.

Most Wanted
the faded poster
at year’s end

Tomislav Sjekloca’s patience was tried at a clinic in Cetinje, Montenegro.

waiting room
toddler beheads
a gummy bear

Mary White cared for her mother who suffers from tinnitus. Warm-hearted Murasaki Sagano thought of a faraway friend. Teiichi Suzuki overheard someone talking by smartphone at a shrine in Osaka.

how loud the ringing
in her ears

* * *

Full of love
warms a distant soul
the cold moon

* * *

Raw winter night--
smartphone’s light becomes
a will o’ the wisp

Lenard D. Moore enjoyed a festive dessert at home in North Carolina. Bidyut Prabha Gangayat unwrapped foil-covered chocolates in India. Angela Giordano sipped from a magical glass of ice wine in Avigliano, Italy. Earl Livings raised a highball to say cheers in Melbourne, Australia.

she pours blackberries
into the silver pan

* * *

harvest moon
my childhood uncle
gold coin candy

* * *

grandparents’ house--
drink of wine and fresh snow
the glass enchanted

* * *

stars flicker…
one more drink
for the new year


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Feb. 5 and 19. Readers are invited to send haiku about plum blossoms or love 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).