Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

The caterpillar nibbled her own cocoon
--Addyson French (Misawa, Aomori)

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The vast universe
full of emptiness
And a butterfly
--Lothar M. Kirsch, (Kall, Germany)

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fluttering butterfly...
all the dreams I had
as a child
--Samo Kreutz (Ljubljana, Slovenia)

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left behind
across summer mudflats
little footsteps
--Elancharan Gunasekaran (Singapore)

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Loneliness truly
feels much more solitary
when it’s Saturday
--Mauro Simois (Montevideo, Uruguay)

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dream catcher
a place of safety
only in night’s sleep
--Liz Gibbs (Calgary, Alberta)

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Into the labyrinth
by damask rose
--Asako Utsunomiya (Hiroshima)

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the bride arrives
with lightning
--Maya Daneva (Netherlands)

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a kiss
two clouds
love pure
--Refika Dedic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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river stones
scattered on the beach
compressed rainbows
--David Watts (San Francisco)


Dreamy spring:
Laurencin’s maidens
in heat haze
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

The haikuist admired the muted pinks and dove grays of Marie Laurencin’s (1883–1956) oil paintings of young women in dreamy French landscapes. Murasaki Sagano eyed a dreamy path to the horizon. Rosemarie Schuldes shared a secret from Mattsee, Austria.

Summer camellias
connected by clouds
pure white road

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blackbird’s song
in bloomy chestnuts
clandestine marriage

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa drifted off to sleep while listening to a virtual read-aloud by the author of “Stories and Studies of Strange Things” penned in 1904. Eva Limbach interpreted a dream in Saarbrucken, Germany.

This summer, too
Hearn walked in and read to me

* * *

summer lightning
far beyond the horizon
a refugee’s dream

From a tender age in Noida, India, Priti Khullar learned to distinguish the powerful allure of diversity. Angela Giordano read palms in Avigliano, Italy.

discerned as I grew
rainbow is shattered colours
a child’s holy grail

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multicolored hands
of my niece

Liz Gibbs reflected on the discovery of hundreds of unmarked indigenous graves at former residential schools operated by the Roman Catholic Church in western Canada. While waiting at White Rock Centre, British Columbia, Lysa Collins said she “found this incredibly heart-wrenching.”

prairie cemetery
wind in tall poplars beckon...
I find you

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a child and a suitcase
at the depot
... unclaimed

Patrick Sweeney is an elementary school teacher in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. His student, 12-year-old Malik Randolph, is on summer break.

field of dandelions
the yellow butterfly
has lost her place

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Little butterfly
all the little kids
follow you

On a muggy day in Bucharest, Romania, Vasile Moldovan smiled knowingly when children suddenly picked up and ran in fear. Ed Bremson froze, fascinated by a large number of black crows perched in a large oak in Raleigh, North Carolina. When a group of raptors such as vultures, ospreys or hawks are circling overhead on warm thermal updrafts in search of carcasses, it is called a kettle. Robin Rich counted a handful.

distant lightning--
all the kids leave in a hurry
from the playground

* * *

lightning flash
a murder revealed
in the old tree

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five birds
over a sports field
a circling

Asking with head bowed, “Who needs heaven?” John Hamley explored the mysteries of the forest floor in Ontario.

Down here
in the forest

Kanematsu thought heaven had called.

Heat lightning--
nothing to confess
nor conceal

Tomislav Maretic discovered where insects hide during storms in Zagreb, Croatia. Anne-Marie McHarg uncovered a magical forest in London, England. Milan Rajkumar’s eyes followed an electric spotlight in Imphal, India.

spring lightning--
a butterfly hiding beneath
flower petals

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Woodland corpses
a forgotten beauty
in drops of stillness

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summer night sky…
the lightning wakes up
a nameless hillock

Orense Nicod returned from a musical evening on the coast, later sensing that the cicadas she’d heard had found a peaceful place to die in Paris, France.

summer evening
high tide laps at the song
of frenzied cicadas

* * *

now buried
till next summer
the cicada’s song

On a warm, humid night in Draguignan, France, Francoise Maurice saw but couldn’t hear a thunderstorm.

first firefly
in the twilight
distant lightning

Mona Iordan vividly recalled a summer holiday in Provence: “The garden trees near a lavender patch resounded with cicadas. No one could take a nap in the afternoon…”

singing cicadas
I feel the sultry day
in my bones

Daniela Misso soaked away the day at Bullicame thermal springs in Lazio, Italy.

sulphur spring
every colour
of a distant rainbow

Swiss haikuist Helga Stania likely put on headphones, reclined in a chair, and listened to an online archive of field recordings from a spice market in Morocco. On his return from Switzerland, Joe Sebastian brought souvenirs home to Chennai, India.

radio aporee--
the scents
of Marrakech

* * *

end of Swiss holiday--
packing the scent
of myriad cheese and chocolate

Hungry, Robin Rich didn’t have a tin opener in Brighton, U.K.

jagged cut
on a tin can
lightning shock

Lothar M. Kirsch reported that he observed the moon disappear from a bridge in Cologne alongside hundreds of onlookers, “while talking to each other well across language or cultural barriers. Too bad it was only a moment in time.” Eleven-year-old Briley Trimble discovered another world, virtually identical to itself but with a mirror image, in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

like butterflies and human
moon’s eclipse, too

* * *

The butterfly’s twin
on the surface
of the pond

Germina Melius penned this one-liner in Castries, Saint Lucia: lightning fingers stop a beating heart.

Stephen J. DeGuire listened to the band Drum & Lace in Los Angeles. Melanie Vance had a blast in Dallas. Yuji Hayashi misses his students in Fukuoka.

first concerts
after a long break--
semi songs

* * *

a rock concert
after 17 year slumber
return of cicadas

* * *

Cicadas’ loud songs
echo through
deserted campus

Eva Limbach’s pet found the perfect spot to stretch in Saarbrucken, Germany: at the end of the rainbow sunbathing cat.

John S. Gilbertson wrote in admiration of nature in Greenville, South Carolina.

returning turtles
feel the changing universe
beyond human eye

“The world being what it is today … a most impressive scene,” remarked Junko Saeki while looking up toward the skies east of Tokyo. She concurred with the Robert Browning (1812-1899) poem “Pippa’s Song” that “All’s right with the world!” Perhaps sitting by a campfire in St. Louis, Missouri, Pippa Phillips lined up a burning piece of firewood with the red planet.

despite the pandemic
the largest rainbow I’ve ever seen
God in His heaven

* * *

an ember
with Mars


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Aug. 6 and 20. Readers are invited to send haiku about a canoe or a sailboat, 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).