Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

the dive of a frog moved the moon on the pond
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

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frog pond
snow falls
without a sound
--Ruth Mittelholtz (Walkerton, Ontario)

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a-bob, beak tucked under
wing, duck eyes thin ice thickening
over black water
--Gwyn Helverson (Kyoto)

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Still wondering
if the ducks on the pool are
awake or asleep
--Lothar M. Kirsch (Kall, Germany)

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Winter sunlight
penetrates the reservoir
bulbs on the bottom
--Hidehito Yasui (Osaka)

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his partner
catches my look
snow breeze
--Patricia Hawkhead (Bradford on Avon, U.K.)

* * *

bittersweet stories
in mom’s diary
--Lisbeth Ho (Salatiga, Indonesia)

* * *

that windy hayride
didn’t want to tell you
I loved the scarecrow
--Sherry Reniker (Kent, Washington)

* * *

cutting the apple crosswise
my granddaughter
makes a wish on the star
--Wilda Morris (Chicago, Illinois)

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wisp of snow--
how forehead
wrinkles deepened
--Precious Oboh (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)


cold north wind
small talk and big laughs
--Charlie Smith (Raleigh, North Carolina)

The haikuist crossed his legs under a low table covered with a warm blanket to remotely attend a celebratory meeting for a colleague at Osaka University who received the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Emperor.

In Alabama, Laughing Waters experienced a Japanese-style yearend drinking party where participants tried to forget everything that went wrong this year. Nani Mariani couldn’t forget being timid in Melbourne, Australia. Masumi Orihara was “often drawn inside” a noodle shop in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, by her mom who was experiencing memory loss. Each time the elderly woman said it was her first time to savor such a delicious strong soup; therefore, the haikuist conceded that she “learned that forgetting is not always bad.”

warm sake
spilled all over the table--
hostess’s laughter

* * *

fish soup
in a coward’s bowl
mom’s smile

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slurping noodles
drowned in the aroma
bonito stock

Elancharan Gunasekaran shivered in Singapore when he rhetorically asked again and again: 1.5 degrees warmer just another autumn day right?

Pouring old wine from a new bottle, J.L. Huffman found comfort in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Mike Gallagher faced a bleak night in Lyreacrompane, Ireland.

new moon
old lovers
find each other

* * *

faceless moon
only the north wind
for company

Sushama Kapur wrote this line while breathing deeply in Pune, India: sky in every breath cold moon.

Horst Ludwig acknowledged that the moon shining in Seattle, Washington, “does not even turn its face from or towards us. But we need celebration, and so we use any reason to experience something … relating to us from above.”

balcony formal
champagne and the full fall moon
shines on all of us

In snowy Wiltshire, England, Alan Summers mellowed while a harmonica player got lost in his music.

endless snowfall
entwined with a bluesy night
harmonica player

Germina Melius revealed her spirited soul while daydreaming in a rain-filled paddy in Castries, Saint Lucia. Hifsa Ashraf recalled a heart-warming, soul-satisfying, yet humble treat in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Amrutha Prabhu prepared a festival sweet by blending seeds and the sap of palm trees.

stuck in a rice puddle
mind wandering beyond the sun
to sake

* * *

reaping rice
the lingering smell
of grandma’s pudding

* * *

sticky balls of
sesame and jiggery
makar Sankranti

Yasui in Osaka, and Nika in Victoria, British Columbia, respectively, dined alone.

No passengers so far
the scent of mushrooms drifts
in the unmanned station

* * *

winter gale...
supping alone
on chicken stew

Goran Gatalica commiserated in Croatia. Autumn lengthened Robin Rich’s shadow in Brighton, England. Ben Grafstrom’s shadow faded away in Akita. Satoru Kanematsu heard a mosquito’s whine fade out in Nagoya. Patrick Sweeney felt a warm updraft when a sewer was uncovered in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture.

father’s loneliness...
standing in this misty field
a scarecrow

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lazy in a field
wind in the barley slows
a sun shadow

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Winter grows closer
with each bite of my apple
the day’s sunlight fades

* * *

Fading light
last mosquito’s buzz
deep autumn

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yellow ginkgo leaves
school boys are rocking
the loose manhole

Steliana Voicu tidied up her hometown of Ploiesti, Romania. Dubravka Scukanec saw the moon flicker from her home in Zagreb, Croatia; the lunar surface may have been hit by a meteor which emitted enough light to dim reflected sunlight. Orihara claimed that “it was worth the wait for the moonrise.” Swiping right on her camera screen, Payal Aggarwal viewed many attractive wedding pictures of a bride wearing an orange-colored sari.

sweeping red leaves--
how gently the moon grows
over the village

* * *

olive leaves
the shadows flicker
on a full moon

* * *

Shutter click
pale harvest moon turns
mandarin orange

* * *

wedding day
the orange trail
riding in every frame

Kanematsu sat upright during a memorial service. With one eye on the milquetoast priest, Vladislav Hristov nodded off to sleep on a church pew in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

A young priest
in autumn whites
his clear voice

* * *

Sunday Mass
the coziness of
a sleeping duck

Ken Sawitri kept an eye on water birds in Blora, Indonesia. Yasui kept two eyes on the road and two hands on the steering wheel.

floating downstream
a feathery soul sleeping
with one eye open

* * *

In deep fog
following tail lamps
narrow path road

A sudden quack from the winter fog startled Francoise Maurice in a valley near Draguignan, France. Vasile Moldovan keenly perceived what migrants had to say in Bucharest, Romania. Kiyoshi Fukuzawa took pity on tired travelers who finally arrived in Tokyo.

scarf of mist
on the naked branches
cry from a duck

* * *

fog on the lake--
the voices of the geese
so clear

* * *

Ducks from the north
unconcerned with where they land
sleep in the sun

Smith and Kanematsu, respectively, took time out.

hurrying home
fragrant gardenia
pauses my path

* * *

Thirteen years
since mom passed away
fragrant olive

Terrie Jacks could do little more than turn up her collar when fraught with worry by the blowing snow in St. Louis, Missouri.

nursing home residents
moaning they’re snowbound
winter seclusion

Facing the wind colored by hints of golden leaves in Sofia, Bulgaria, Tsanka Shishkova took her first step on a new adventure.

autumn in my hair
the fascination of doing something
for the first time

Danijela Grbelja dressed up but had no place to go in Sibenik, Croatia.

new telescope
a walk on the moon
in my silk pajamas

During the fourth week of pregnancy in Serrenti, Italy, Maria Teresa Piras sensed the rapid development of a comma-shaped embryo.

quarter moon,
eyes and heart
in that comma

B.A. France spotted young deer in Annapolis, Maryland.

two fawns
in beds of ivy
... crescent moon

Jeff Leong trapped waterfowl for fun in Malaysia, noting how “they kept coming back after we released them.” Mona Bedi admired how ducks, geese and gulls can roost on one leg while keeping the other leg tucked up into their body feathers for warmth. Rich sensed something was amiss.

sleepy waterfowl…
walking into the same trap
again and again

* * *

chilling alone
standing on one leg
a waterfowl partly asleep

* * *

birds on a lake
all appear to be headless
wing and a preyer

Hifsa Ashraf’s haiku can make your blood run cold.

trophy hunting
dripping in the trough
crimson icicles

Stephen J. DeGuire peered through a scope, perhaps hoping a preying cat wouldn’t snatch a pair of mallards.

napping duck
floats in a circle
of decoys

* * *

ducks and drakes
catch a quick catnap
on one leg

T.D. Ginting might hibernate in Murakami, Chiba Prefecture. Orihara noted how wintering ducks kept a subtle distance from each other, looking “like stones scattered around a pond.” Kristen Lindquist cuddled in Camden, Maine.

sleepless summer--
to sleep
or to be (s)lacking again

* * *

warm sparkles
dotting the serene lake
waterfowl sleep

* * *

snow in the forecast
a gull huddles
on a neighbor’s chimney

Kanematsu tried to guess where a lucky diver might resurface on a cold pond. Tony Williams called it a night in Glasgow, Scotland.

Far, farther
surfaces the grebe
fish each time

* * *

settling down
for the night
lochside geese


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Dec. 17 and 31. Readers are invited to send haiku for the incoming year 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).