Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

Tokyo Olympics torch from hand to hand
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

Distant thunder
uncertainty of
the Olympics
--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

* * *

can’t go to Japan
a Paralympian friend
with COVID passport
--Zdenka Mlinar (Zagreb, Croatia)

* * *

lilies steadfast in the wind
the Paralympics
move me
--Germina Melius (Castries, Saint Lucia)

* * *

hot sun
opening day promises
grand slams
--Erin Castaldi (Mays Landing, New Jersey)

* * *

start to finish;
by foot or on wheels--
level field
--Stephen J. DeGuire (Los Angeles)

* * *

Chinese balloon flower
the boy’s kick
and miss
--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

from the Osechi
a ball falls
--Jorge Alberto Giallorenzi (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

* * *

ribbon road
pedaling as fast
as I can
--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

* * *

summer starlings--
another ambulance
rushes by
--Salil Chaturvedi (Goa, India)


COVID haze
Tokyo Olympics
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

The haikuist awaits with trepidation. His next haiku is a recollection of cheering at the finish line for a runner who qualified for Tokyo 2020. Singaporean haikuist Asni Amin penned a haiku recalling Rio 2016.

Her arms spread
breaking the goal tape
a spring gale

* * *

finish line…
the howling of wind
far behind

The United Nations Assembly observes an Olympic truce from today, the seventh day before the start of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad until the seventh day following the end of the XVI Paralympic Games. Writing from Sofia, Bulgaria, Tsanka Shishkova confirms the original intent.

an ancient dream of a world
without wars

Watching from Osaka, Teiichi Suzuki admits this ancient event from Greece could become part of an epic poem because “the opening ceremony … draws many spectators, but it may be difficult in this pandemic situation.”

in pandemic summer--

Observing from Delhi, India, Mona Bedi taught her medical students about the possible spread of new COVID-19 variants. Amrutha Prabhu sent praise from Bengaluru, India, for the international contests of athletes with disabilities that parallel the Olympics. Satoru Kanematsu is proud of his athletic family.

third wave
the tokyo games
a blur

* * *

game beyond
name and fame

* * *

A clear sky--
son in a wheelchair
plays tennis

Kanematsu in Aichi Prefecture, and TD Ginting in Chiba Prefecture, respectively, were disappointed that there were no fans at the ballpark.

A home run!
no cheers from the stands
COVID spring

* * *

the empty stadium--
the online supporters

Suzuki was disheartened by the image of masked athletes, masked judges and only a few masked spectators.

in the stadium--

Slobodan Pupovac in Zagreb, Croatia, and Mirela Brailean in Iasi, Romania, respectively, bought a new wardrobe to match the five colors of the Olympic rings.

the facemasks cover
all five colors

* * *

the Tokyo Games--
over all the five circles
masks in bright colors

Overfilling his tank in Los Angeles, Stephen J. DeGuire spread red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet hues in the rain. Pippa Phillips saw the moon catch fire in Boston. David Watts wasn’t sure of what he saw in San Francisco.

spilled on wet pavement--
Roy G. Biv

* * *

rainbow moon--
gasoline staining
a puddle

* * *

oil on water
sometimes I think
I see rainbows

Goran Gatalica readied a wish in Zagreb, Croatia.

we tilt our heads back
for shooting stars

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa shivered from fear in Tokyo. Mary Vlooswyk watched awestruck at a summer race on the prairies near Calgary, Alberta. Following a trail near her home in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Masumi Orihara dared to climb up 1,252-meter Mount Oyama on a summer night. She said the experience was “very scary but a worthwhile experience … pure and refreshing.” Samo Kreutz jumped at the sight of a taxidermist’s handiwork in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Florin Golban got a picture postcard in Bucharest, Romania.

Owls hooting...
threatening me in the dark
deep summer chill

* * *

owl and jackrabbit
one needs to be
lightning quick

* * *

climbing night mountain
owl’s eyes

* * *

lightning strike
stuffed mink’s eyes
so lively

* * *

summer camp--
in the background
flamingo birds

Ginting’s ears pierced the pitch-black outside Murakami Station in Yachiyo, Chiba Prefecture. Alan Peat’s rescue pet is a keen hunter in Biddulph, United Kingdom.

In the middle of the night--
sound of a cat
see(k)ing something

* * *

dead of summer--
feathers by the
dappled cat

Irena Szewczyk spotted a breathless pair of watersport enthusiasts in Warsaw, Poland. Kanematsu’s grandson was surprised by a visitor who flew in to watch him play basketball.

high season
a fisherman and a fish
panting on the shore

* * *

A pigeon
astray in the gym
pupil’s cheer


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears July 30. Readers are invited to send haiku about the cosmos, 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 (

* * *

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).