Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

before sunset double rainbow in a storm cloud
--Tsanka Shishkova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

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in a dark stable
horses stamp
--Sue Colpitts (Peterborough, Ontario)

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parade of silks
before thoroughbred race
--Richard Bailly (Fargo, North Dakota)

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a fast-moving wind
bends the sage brush
--Jay Friedenberg (Riverdale, New York)

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A rainy Sunday
pine trees, lonely, reach the moon
--Rose Menyon Heflin (Madison, Wisconsin)

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over the pine forest
a hurrying bird
--Iliyana Stoyanova (St. Albans, U.K.)

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spring thunder...
juncos flee
to the north
--Pat Geyer (East Brunswick, New Jersey)

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shot put arc
resounding thud
Midas touch
--Charlie Smith (Raleigh, North Carolina)

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Yosozumi Sakura
the star skateboarder
on the razor’s edge
--Mohammad Azim Khan (Peshawar, Pakistan)

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Marching in
bearded Talibans
summer’s end
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)


a firefly counts
the miles
--Gerald Friedman (Espanola, New Mexico)

The haikuist learned from a lightning bug that it takes the sound of thunder five seconds to travel a mile. Bob Friedland got a storm warning from Richmond, British Columbia. Satoru Kanematsu was mesmerized by the boom, boom, boom of flowing colors in an aquarium.

I count the seconds
between flash and thunder crash
the storm comes closer

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Far thunder
fancy guppies flash
their fantails

Robin Rich’s heart may have skipped a beat. Nani Mariani revealed, “When my beloved father left me forever in Indonesia it was like being struck by lightning.” After seeing a flash of lightning in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Masumi Orihara was held in suspense waiting for a peal of thunder that never came. Neither did her job offer.

teaching me to count
between strikes and the thunder
dad’s long gone heartbeats

* * *

in the morning
daddy is gone forever

* * *

but no clap of thunder
--short-listed forever

In Singapore, Elancharan Gunasekaran looked again and again at his watch and down the street. Hifsa Ashraf didn’t mind waiting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

before dawn
waiting for the bus
the rain arrives

* * *

late departure--
I attune to the songs
of a nightingale

Rich calculated the cost of global warming in Brighton, England. Janice Doppler found the perfect place to cool down in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

drink from the fridge
the meter clicks the Watts
ice melts to water

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alpine meadow...
drinks cooling
in glacial melt

Reading T.D. Ginting’s haiku makes me wonder if Japan’s beloved four seasons have changed because of the climate crisis. A Singaporean who lives in Yachiyo, Chiba, he suggested two ways to read his poem because of a second rainy season.

rainy again--
waiting for
the (b)right summer

This can’t be the right summer word, suggests Kanematsu, whose “saijiki” list of seasonal terms is out of whack.

What is wrong
above in the sky?
this downpour

The summer monsoon in India lasts from June to September. Aparna Pathak noted how summer-sown paddy rice will soon be ready to harvest in Gurugram. Arvinder Kaur refreshed with mango juice when the rain season moved through Chandigarh.

reaping rice…
on her bent waist
a repaired saree

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aam panna…
gulping summer down
with a swig

Chen Xiaoou penned a haiku in rain-swept China. Kanematsu has been following the strange travel story of 15 wild elephants that roamed far from the jungle near Laos.

elephant herd
heading home from Kunming
COP 15 postponed

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Summer’s end
stray elephant herd
back at home

Teiichi Suzuki paddled on a mirror-like pond in Osaka. Taofeek Ayeyemi praised heaven above Lagos, Nigeria. Kanematsu’s red, white and pink flowering balsam trembled in the rain. Zahra Mughis salvaged writing paper from the rains in Lahore, Pakistan.

On the lake
a canoe rising

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the intermittent sound
of a prayer group

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Far thunder
missing Africa

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paper boat sinks
in monsoon puddle

Melanie Vance colored in Dallas, Texas. Mircea Moldovan heard a cathedral peal in Jibou, Romania. Françoise Maurice heard from the skies over Draguignan, France.

evening rainbow
through bamboo blinds
a child’s crayon box

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river stones
a bell ringer sees from the tower
a red canoe

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heat lightning
the garden filled
with birdsongs

During a summer filled with thunderstorms in Switzerland, Helga Stania wrote this string of words: heat lightning yet dead the mayfly.

Teiichi Suzuki faced an assortment of electrical impulses that shook his quiet home life without notice. Startled, Neena Singh found comfort in Chandigarh, India. Looking skyward from Manila, Philippines, Alvin B. Cruz might be tempted to fly in a billionaire’s rocket plane to the beginning of space.

Day thunder--
living with chronic

* * *

the sudden touch
of our hands

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summer lightning--
at some distance
path of hidden stars

Kanematsu stirred from his sofa to read hot mail. Orihara was glad not to be in the hot seat. Writing from the coolness of a breeze beneath branches of pine needles in Gotherington, England, Sheila K. Barksdale recalled being stuck for “hours in the hotbox of an aluminum canoe on a slow-moving river.”

A dog barks
at a mailman’s bike
midday heat

* * *

still empty
sizzling seats
night game

* * *

doorless pine branches
brushing a cluster
of empty canoes

Sherry Grant cheered competitors in Auckland, New Zealand. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa couldn’t find an empty seat.

yacht race
folded butterfly wings
against the wind

* * *

Two butterflies
at the bow of the sailboat
fighting for a seat

Hard at work, Keith Evetts paused for a moment to compose this line: hove-to the schooner of my dreams.

Evetts may have tacked down the Thames. Xenia Tran tacked toward her homeport in Nairn, Scotland. Maya Daneva beached her boat in the Netherlands. Murasaki Sagano waved goodbye to summer from Tokyo Bay.

beam reach
in perfect balance
we kiss the wind

* * *

evening sun
the sail flutters
while we turn

* * *

stuck for words…
my sailboat
at low tide

* * *

Distant sailboats
mom placating her son
summer ends

Masumi Orihara rumbled slowly by train along the Silk Road in China. Stretched out in a never-ending line, when the locomotive crossed over a bridge she wrote this one line: first carriage of the train clattering through the rainbow arch. Marek Printer’s hand might have trembled a little in Poland.

cool whiskey--
my old house shakes
with the passing train

Angela Giordano penned two lines not far from a railroad in Avigliano, Italy. J.L. Huffman prepared a cool drink to cheer the forward, backward and even upside-down flights of tiny birds in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

bitter love...
the whistle of the train covers our voices

* * *

nectar feeder
hummingbird sweet tea

To capture the sensation of a fast-moving thunderstorm with powerful straight-line winds that swept through his hometown of Folkestone, U.K., Adam T. Bogar penned this one straight line of poetry: Derecho the murmuring of the shingle beach.

Kanematsu was cooled by the tinkling sound of clamshells hung on strings outside a shop near Ise Bay, Aichi Prefecture.

the faraway sea
shell windbells


Thunderous The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Sept. 17. Readers are invited to send haiku about the moon 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).