Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

transitioning from previous to current year... flowing river
--Jibril Dauda Muhammad (Kaduna, Nigeria)

* * *

unstaffed shop
at the unmanned station
cabbages for sale
--Hidehito Yasui (Osaka)

* * *

Early night
closed stores, restaurants
cats mating
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

time bends
between origami lights
in plum blossoms
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

* * *

the moonlight
on first petals of the plum tree
reflect silently
--Mihovila Ceperic-Biljan (Rijeka, Croatia)

* * *

crushed down house
from among its ruins
a mirror shines
--Zelyko Funda (Varazdin, Croatia)

* * *

New houses
built on the ruined farm
a pine tree remains
--Kiyoshi Fukuzawa (Tokyo)

* * *

Into a silent world
--Anne-Marie McHarg (London, England)

* * *

The coldness
still sounds in the shrine
prayers clap
--Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *

abandoned boat
inside the cypress cove
the water green with needles
--Gabriela Popa (St. Louis, Missouri)


spring sun
the old man on the park bench
whistles Mary Lou
--Pitt Buerken (Munster, Germany)

The haikuist followed the sun. The country hit recorded by Ricky Nelson in 1969 begins with the lyrics, ‘Hello Mary Lou, goodbye heart.’ Satoru Kanematsu prefers harmony.

No thanks for
dividing the States
goodbye Trump

After tomorrow’s vernal equinox, haikuists can sing ‘hello spring, goodbye winter.’ Teiichi Suzuki knows the sun’s path is headed for a point directly above the Earth’s spinning equator. Vera Constantineau said hello, at noon, with her debut haiku to this column. She is the Poet Laureate of Greater Sudbury, Ontario.

In and out
through a revolving door
vernal equinox day

* * *

midday sun
amid plum blossom
finches twitter

Mario Massimo Zontini demarcated the change in season with French-style beef stew at home in Parma, Italy.

end of winter--
outside stormy wind, on the stove

JL Huffman heard the truth in the Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina.

koi mouth the calm sheen
a spring pond, fruiting algae
whispering a truth

Yutaka Kitajima doesn’t think removing six names from a list of nominees for the Science Council of Japan was a well-balanced decision.

Shrike’s screeches--
critical scholars
at the stake

Payal Aggarwal laughed aloud in sunny and dry Ghaziabad, India.

some sun explosion
a laughing Buddha

While vacationing at a seaside resort in India, Masumi Orihara recited this translation of a haiku by Yosa Buson (1716-1784): the rape flower field the moon in the east the sun in the west. Then wrote one of her own.

Mild convex
horizon bridges
sun and moon

Benedetta Cardone looked heavenward from Massa, Italy. Iliyana Stoyanova recalled the low angle of the sun on an autumn day in St. Albans, U.K. Jibril Dauda Muhammad noticed sunlight change while living by a river in Kaduna, Nigeria.

cypress trees
reaching for the sky

* * *

Tuscany sunset
by the old cemetery long shadows
of cypress trees

* * *

dark clouds...
in the distance opening
shining light

Isabella Kramer crisscrossed these two lines in Nienhagen, Germany.

magnolia branch
sunrays crossing my garden

By the time John Zheng made his final stroke, winter transitioned to spring in Murfreesboro, Tennessee: empty golf course winter sun drags its light away.

Tsanka Shishkova sang this one-liner in Sofia, Bulgaria, about the way life used to be: strawberry fields ... Beatles ... my dad and me. Kanematsu might have whistled John Lennon’s 1967 refrain, “I read the news today, oh boy.” The lyrics about a deadly accident continue, “About a lucky man who made the grade. And though the news was rather sad.” Eleven-year-old Madelyn Rivera reported on the first spring gale to hit Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

Whistling wind
today’s number of
COVID deaths

* * *

Raw winds
the coldness

Beans are so cold-hardy they can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked, according to Maria Teresa Sisti in Massa Carrara, Italy.

icy winds
a farmer hoes
the first beans

Giuliana Ravaglia marveled at an example of pilgrimage in Bologna, Italy. Milan Rajkumar worshipped in the sunshine in Imphal, India.

green climbing
on the old wall--
rosary of hope

* * *

they follow me
towards the temple...

Dubravka Scukanec was startled at dawn in Zagreb, Croatia. Jane Beal is wary of cat-scratch fever in Santa Cruz, California.

the first tweet of blackbird
near the cemetery

* * *

a cat
the inside of my heart

Kanematsu was serenaded at sunrise. Later in the day, he felt a sunbeam pulling him toward a paradise, he said, “as if there were nothing to worry about.” Animals, including humans, are seasonal and respond to changes in the light-dark cycle.

A tomcat
still mewing love songs
early dawn

* * *

Close to me
basking in the sun
the next world

Spring popped up face to face with Dina Towbin in Washington, D.C. Ed Bremson splashed aftershave on his face in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Blossoms open pow
The soft scent of spring abounds
Your lips close to mine

* * *

covid spring...
the scent of lavender
in my face mask

Stephen J. DeGuire exhaled in Los Angeles. Melanie Vance went for a drive in snowbound Dallas, Texas. Ezio Infantino inhaled in Verona, Italy.

windows down--
pine air freshener
fills the air

* * *

scent of pine
from mountain glaciers
my car’s air freshener

* * *

no wind...
the scent of pines
floats in the air

Angela Giordano describes her changing wardrobe in Avigliano, Italy: every day we wear a different mask ... spring carnival. Birds of a feather normally flock together, notes Randall Herman in Victoria, Texas.

on a pine branch
screened from the storm
different feathers

Vandana Parashar hiked to a hill station in Panchkula, India. Asauli is a popular hill covered in pine forests. The haikuist may have brought back more than souvenirs; forest walks improve stress management and mental health, according to a research team led by Shinichiro Sasahara at the University of Tsukuba.

hiking trip
our bags full
of pinecones

In the Scottish Highlands, Xenia Tran took advantage of a positive spin. John Hawkhead juxtaposed ebb and flow in Bradford on Avon, England. Ramona Linke was ready for the rebound in Beesenstedt, Germany.

ascending moon
we graft the roots
of our evergreen

* * *

birth pangs
the gradual dilation
of a new moon

* * *

moonlight flows into
tidal creeks

Mary White’s children have grown and left home. John Hamley gulped down tepid soup. Braving a loss of electricity, Melanie Vance boiled water in her fireplace hoping to make the citywide emergency feel like Christmas in Dallas, Texas.

empty nest
reheating soup

* * *

what do they think?
the fish in my chowder
tapioca eyes

* * *

evergreen mint
in tomato soup
remembering Christmas

Global warming is disrupting the orderly flow of the seasons. Bamboo shoots normally appear in spring. Bamboo also sheds leaves at that time, so Randall Herman referred to the climate crisis where he lives in Victoria, Texas, as the fall season of bamboo.

bamboo autumn
each day birdsong
moves northward

For the past century, the cherry blossom season has been starting earlier year by year, and global warming is affecting those seasonal changes. Helga Stania opened a container filled with tea leaves in Ettiswil, Switzerland. Goran Gatalica’s mother in Daruvar, Croatia, holds a cherished memory painted on bone china. Jay Friedenberg is president of the Haiku Society of America and a professor of psychology.

window view--
cherry blossoms
on my tea caddy

* * *

spring breeze--
on her favorite teacup
cherry blossoms

* * *

backyard reverie
a swirl of petals sweeps me
into a dream


Spring fresh haiku at An Asahi Haikuist Special column appears March 26 to share the results of the Matsuyama Photo Haiku Contest supported by The Asahi Shimbun. The next regular issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network will be published April 2, 16 and 30. Readers are invited to send haiku about laughing mountains, springtide or planting your garden on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to

* * *

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).