Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

cotton candy melting in my mouth my childhood
--Bakhtiyar Amini (Duesseldorf, Germany)

* * *

a child tears off the foil
from the bar of chocolate--
first winter’s day
--Serhiy Shpychenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

rustle of wrappers
that sibling who always
ate his sweets last
--Marion Clarke (Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland)

* * *

Candy store
sweets in colorful wrappers
vendor’s faded clothes
--Dejan Ivanovic (Lazarevac, Serbia)

* * *

Herbal candies--
faint over Mother’s photo
the smell she loved
--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

* * *

Jazz flows through the coffee shops
Pure and sultry
Gold reflections in a saxophone
--Mark Reino Peltonen (Ottawa)

* * *

bittersweet life
small refugees on the run--
lollipop in hand
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

* * *

a bowl of candy
in every room
--Pat Davis (Pembroke, New Hampshire)

* * *

office romance
a stash of chocolate kisses
in my desk drawer
--Kristen Lindquist (Camden, Maine)

* * *

under moonless clouds--
bats nibble apples
about to fall
--Earl Livings (Melbourne, Australia)


green pine trees
against the white sands
Shinto red of the giant torii
--Junko Saeki (Suginami, Tokyo)

The haikuist sketched a colorful scene at a shrine. She celebrated Setsubun on Feb. 2, the start of spring on the lunar calendar, by throwing big soybeans at blue and red-faced demons.

Patrick Sweeney brandished a long twist of candy at Sollars Elementary School: first coolness--the whip of black licorice. Clotilde Wright prepared this haiku to celebrate the arrival of the Tibetan Buddhist New Year: Tomorrow Lhosar begins--tonight we polish offering bowls. Julia Guzman brushed her first calligraphy for this year in Cordoba, Argentina: quick brush strokes--the sumie ox comes to life.

Black ink flowed freely from Sheila K. Barksdale’s pen in Gotherington, England.

tail-flick, brush-flick
the fun part of sketching
standing oxen

Djurdja V. Rozic waited for an ox cart attended by a man with a twitch. Joanne van Helvoort paused while walking in the Himalayas. Marie Derley had hoped to be in Brussels, Belgium, by next Friday for the arrival of the Chinese New Year.

in a dry ditch--
the yoked oxen’s horns
hauling the hay

* * *

mountain village
a girl and her oxen
thresh the corn

* * *

countryside road
the big ox
does not want to move

Angela Giordano awaited the 12-year animal cycle to rotate before plucking up her nerve to party. Hifsa Ashraf accepted her lot in life in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

year of the ox--
after twelve years I celebrate
my birthday

* * *

year of the Ox
I make peace
with the cold sun

Xenia Tran practiced animal husbandry in the Scottish Highlands.

settling down
three generations
of oxen

Thinking he could get away with it, Alan Summers admitted to sneaking down to the kitchen at home in Wiltshire, England. Guliz Mutlu couldn’t resist Turkish delights.

candy streaks
another child unmasked
at dead of night

* * *

gathering ghosts
anise seeds marshmallow
candied almonds

Samo Kreutz craved a return to former days in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Hidehito Yasui finds the forced closures of companies are unfair in his neighborhood of Sakai in Osaka.

one more time
I become a child

* * *

COVID-19 changed the town
restaurants closed
candy shops open

Masumi Orihara swayed at the counter of a sweetshop in Sydney, Australia. In Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, 11-year-old Cocoro Jones dreamed of watching a movie on the ceiling in Technicolor. Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi lives in colorful Buenos Aires, Argentina.

candy cane colors

* * *

River of Heaven
Has a mix of colors
In my dreams

* * *

Year of the golden ox--
the owner of the house
paints it yellow

Eleonore Nickolay grew up in a German village. A neighbor lent her children’s books from an immense library, and offered her candies, too. In hindsight, she said, “Both, the books and the candies are delicious memories of a rather sad and lonesome childhood.”

sweet bygone days
the old neighbor’s candies
but what was her name?

Elancharan Gunasekaran meticulously cared for colorful cyclamen in Singapore. Charlie Smith took solace looking out the window of his research office where he conducts online classes in North Carolina.

new potted plant
the jealousy
in little one’s eyes

* * *

half moon
pink camellia
full blossom

Pat Davis shared a haiku that hints at how the pandemic has made it hard for a family in Pembroke, New Hampshire, to buy food. The government regularly issues coupons redeemable for food to low-income persons in America.

new to food stamps
his question
about candy

Adjei Agyei-Baah was always a high-scoring student in Kumasi, Ghana. Olga Petricic kept warm in Montenegro.

the little gifts
that keep our hands up
teacher’s toffee

* * *

Fogged window
my frozen fingers
on a cup of tea

Marta Chocilowska sent season’s greetings from the Polish Haiku Association. Chairman of the North Carolina Haiku Society, Lenard D. Moore tried something new.

Christmas tree
the ladder’s rungs seem steeper
year by year

* * *

new menu
for takeout service--
mango scent

Helga Stania said she enjoyed her day sweet, with a lot of freshness. Satoru Kanematsu could have been describing a cake trimmed with chocolate-colored leaves and decorated with frosting.

blueberry cake
in finland
snow falls

* * *

Morning light--
piles of fallen leaves
decked with frost

Kanematsu loves ants. His haiku was inspired by a visit to Nagoya City Museum. Daniela Misso loves candies. Her haiku was experienced in San Gemini, Italy. Both their haiku were crystallized in a moment.

Brown twilight
asleep in amber
a trapped bug

* * *

honey-lemon candies…
coming back home


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Feb. 19. Readers are invited to send haiku for spring 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).