Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

full hair a dream passed on
--Beate Conrad (Hildesheim, Germany)

* * *

dragged out
from a dreamy slumber
spring earthquake
--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)

* * *

Mountain lodge--
in the eyes of the stuffed bear
spring sunlight
--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

* * *

gusty wind
a mare steadies
her foal
--Tom Bierovic (Deland, Florida)

* * *

april snow
horses turn their backs
to the wind
--Xenia Tran (Nairn, Scotland)

* * *

Spring fever
an unspoken love
word for word
--Yutaka Kitajima (Joetsu, Niigata)

* * *

unrolling fern leaves
word by word
spelling his letter

--Rosemarie Schuldes (Mattsee, Austria)

* * *

white breast on milky sea
toy sailboat
--Mary L. Leopkey (Gillies Bay, British Columbia)

* * *

swaying on the sea
a hint of cinnamon
in stoneware blue
--Mary Vlooswyk (Calgary, Alberta)

* * *

ship in a bottle--
would you welcome me aboard
to sail to new seas
--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)


each carp streamer called
by family member’s name
loudly blooming wind
--Minako Noma (Matsuyama, Ehime)

The haikuist recalled a dream in which “we were pointing to the carp and calling each name loudly.” Black, red and blue fish-shaped windsocks fly out front of homes on May 5 to celebrate Children’s Day. The red “koinobori” represented her, the matriarch of the family. Grieving in Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlie Smith’s revelation deeply resonates as a photo-haiku.

Mom’s photo
same red outfit
worn at wake

Masumi Orihara’s neighbor in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, passed away, leaving behind a landscaping boulder that had been with her family for generations. Veronika Zora Novak dreamed of a ghost in Toronto, Ontario.

Huge garden stone
witnessed the spring tides
storied family

* * *

the blossom
that nobody sees…
ghost flower

Jane Beal’s sibling left her in La Verne, California. Barrie Levine enjoyed filial play in Wenham, Massachusetts.

barn owl under misty moon
in the blue darkness
my sister leaves me

* * *

yellow slickers
children growing
in the rain

Marta Chocilowska was surprised by an early first bloom in Warsaw. Pippa Phillips employed an em dash mid-poem to infer information about season creep.

stopped halfway
by the forsythia bush
a little yellow

* * *

spring equinox--
half the blossoms
already fallen

Sally Fox was inspired by recollecting Sei Shonagon’s and Murasaki Shikibu’s poetry. She decided to capitalize and place a comma or period on each of her lines. Murasaki Sagano paused for a while on a bench in Tokyo.

Murasaki’s scent,
Blossoming, jasmine fragrance,
Mingling at sunset.
* * *
Sakura path
unlaced shoes a bit
as a rest

An ellipsis at the end of a line can indicate contemplation or time passing, as indicated by this poem from Ivan Gacina in Zadar, Croatia. Dina Towbin experienced metaphorical ellipses in Washington, D.C. Satoru Kanematsu accepts the maxim that those who live today will soon join those who have fallen.

howling gales…
my dripping memories
united in haiku

* * *

Blossoms open
The sky erupts with showers
Drumbeats on the roof

* * *

Once in bloom
these cherry blossoms
sure to fall

John Zheng penned this one-liner while following a funeral procession in Itta Bena, Mississippi: sick evening solemn corteges of cloud streets.

Teiichi Suzuki felt his heart pulsate as moonlight illuminated the canal water flowing through Osaka’s business district. Marek Printer dreamed of petals floating away from Poland.

Spring moonlight--
night river becomes
a blue vein

* * *

deep night
the first plum blossoms
disappear into the stars

Isabella Kramer composed this line on a long meandering walk in the countryside far away from Nienhagen, Germany: cancer screening the long sun ramble afterwards.

Finding inspiration in Hiroshima, Asako Utsunomiya revealed “today I found a light” walking toward the end of “the dark tunnel, full of energy toward the new life.”

Budding maple leaves
in a garden spot

Lothar M. Kirsch was rhythmically lulled into a daydream in Cologne. Justice Joseph Prah awoke the moment he heard spring arrive in Accra, Ghana.

Some snowflakes
but the bells jingle
and we’re dreaming

* * *

spring’s entry...
from a nearby tea grove
a lady’s song fills my cup

Novak felt horripilation. Thirteen-year-old Sydney Johnson reached for spring at Sollars Elementary in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Minal Sarosh was bedridden in Ahmedabad, India. Sushama Kapur got an incoming call while talking in Pune, India. P.H. Fischer was deluged by blossoms in Vancouver.

my lover’s touch
even the spring stars shiver

* * *

thin ice melts...
the warm touch
of the child’s hand

* * *

rising fever
my dog licks my hand
every minute

* * *

long phone call
... a furry paw
taps my arm

* * *

cherry tree...
retriever paws petals
off his nose

Ken Sawitri’s journal shined bright in Blora, Indonesia. John S. Gilbertson had hoped to find himself in Greenville, South Carolina. Roberta Beach Jacobson left herself in Indianola, Iowa.

closing daybook
the moon brushes
its signature

* * *

found only a book
of highlighted old haiku
nothing of me

* * *

social distancing
my shadow
takes a hike

Jacob Blumner’s friends enjoyed a few beers at an outdoor gathering in Canada.

backyard bonfire
empties strewn
six feet apart

When France decided to lockdown until May 2, Eleonore Nickolay created a “deja ku,” a haiku moment she’s experienced before, explaining “It’s a deja vu: our garden with the daffodils which our son offered us and planted in the garden last spring.”

second spring lockdown
gazing at the daffodils
from the first one

Chanting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Hifsa Ashraf reflected on the vibrating sounds coming from deep within.

hu mantra--
the waterfall’s rainbow
reflects my aura

After listening to a NASA rover audio recording of the Martian breeze, Kanematsu went outdoors to cheer the red planet. Then he came back inside to watch tennis star Naomi Osaka at the Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne. Zelyko Funda also composed a haiku for her during a break in the action when a butterfly rested on the titlist’s leg. John Daleiden shouted bravo from Phoenix.

Reaching Mars
needs Perseverance
spring grand feat

* * *

Tennis match--
butterfly blesses

* * *

Australian Open
a butterfly would like
to participate

* * *

drive-in opera
we watch “Madama Butterfly”
from our car

Lilia Racheva cheered the night alone in Rouse, Bulgaria. Mary Vlooswyk sailed at night with crew from Calgary, Alberta. Zdenka Mlinar swooned while sipping bubbly and decided not to pen a third line.

spring fireworks--
petals in the sky,
I drink champagne

* * *

calm spring seas
we wait for wind’s kiss
and look at stars

* * *

fish smell
champagne in a boat


Haiku dreams at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear May 7 and 21. Readers are invited to send haiku with ellipses or em dashes, 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).