Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

a bay stingray wagging its tail new year’s lights
--Richard L. Matta (San Diego, California)

* * *

journey of life
waiting tiger
--John S. Gilbertson (Greenville, South Carolina)

* * *

year of the tiger
I add to my dreams
another dream
--Eufemia Griffo (Settimo Milanese, Italy)

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Winter safari...
in-between a crevice
a plant passes the cold
--Justice Joseph Prah (Accra, Ghana)

* * *

Vines trail the paths
of cats in spring moonlight
Riotous jasmine blooms
--Sara P. Dias (Cape Town, South Africa)

* * *

fresh snow--
sleeping in our window
neighbor’s cat
--Goran Gatalica (Zagreb, Croatia)

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The fox and I pass
By this way
--Anne-Marie McHarg (London, England)

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snowshoe hares
turning white
Grandmother’s hairbrush
--Sherry Reniker (Kent, Washington)

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February snow
at dawn a collared dove
sings from the ridge
--John R. Parsons (Northampton, England)

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from deep within
the tiger’s roar
the mourning dove
--Kath Abela Wilson (Pasadena, California)


water tiger
--Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

The haikuist learned that this year’s zodiac sign symbolizes a tiger crossing a river on Feb. 1. Patrick Sweeney suggested a revision.

no place on the Chinese zodiac
for the turtle that races
the stars

On Feb. 3, Satoru Kanematsu dressed like an ogre and his grandchildren noisily tossed beans around the house and shouted out “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (“Demons out! Good fortune in!”) to scare away evil spirits. Marcellin Dallaire-Beaumont may have partied too hard in Brussels, Belgium.

under devil’s mask
winter’s gone

* * *

Chinese New Year
I treat my headache
with tiger balm

Aaron Ozment celebrated the eve of spring all alone in Kagoshima. Following Setsubun festival rites, he silently chowed down uncut sushi while making a wish and facing north-northwest--the direction of good luck, which for him was toward Beijing.

“Two sets of chopsticks”
The cashier knows I’m lying
Japanese spring rolls

The Winter Olympics opened in Beijing today, the first day of spring. Writing from Kunming, China, Chen Xiaoou recalled visiting a temple for the first time in the New Year. Danijela Grbelja was born in a year of the Tiger, 1974.

my mother dressed in
a new kimono

* * *

year of the tiger...
I look at myself
in the mirror

Julia Guzman received a New Year’s greeting card with a sketch of a water tiger in the mailbox out in front of her home near a river in Cordoba, Argentina. Nudurupati Nagasri pored over his mail in Hyderabad, India. Richa Sharma reread her own mail in Ghaziabad, India.

New Year
the same river…
yet not the same

* * *

new year fireworks
re-reading the mail
for the umpteenth time

* * *

changing zodiac
the unsent message
from New Year’s Eve

Warm at home in the Netherlands, Joanne van Helvoort said that her “old cat finally accepted he is not a real tiger.” J.L. Huffman watched television in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Stephen J. DeGuire cheered in Los Angeles.

the whirling snowflakes--
fireside tiger

* * *

the ball drops
another New Year alone
I kiss my cat

* * *

old to new
cups of kindness

Nani Mariani and Madhuri Pillai, respectively, turned to new pages in Melbourne, Australia.

the bright colors
of a new diary
as bright as prayers

* * *

last month
of the old calendar...
the gloss of the new

Sushama Kapur waited patiently in Pune, India. Jennifer Tan waited in Hamilton, Ontario.

long vigil
both the birds and I
await dawn

* * *

hope lights up new year
spring blossoms will promise more
wrinkles are petals

Ozment penned a poem that enthusiastically began: Waiting for cherries, Waiting for morning glories. His tanka continued with these three lines.

Waiting for the moon
Calling for another cup
With a full one in my hand

Marie Derley is waiting to see whether the annual tiger festival will take place later this month at Chogosonshiji temple high atop Mount Shigi in Nara Prefecture.

Shigisan’s tigers
do they roar or yawn--
another uncertain year

Mircea Moldovan brought gifts in both hands to an elderly soldier in Jibou, Romania.

soup and lilies
the war veteran on the 9th floor
is counting clouds

With an eye on the year ahead, Masumi Orihara noted the importance of each and every step in her daily life. Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo reached the beach in Bombon, Philippines.

solid steady steps
the new horizon in view
year of the tiger

* * *

toes curled in the sand
moments travel
in waves

Kanematsu stepped out to the Nagoya City Science Museum. Ljiljana Dobra moved in Sibenik, Croatia. Mona Bedi tried to recall the rules of play in Delhi, India.

Dusting off
the dinosaur bones
at year’s end

* * *

old closet
full of dusty books
house for sale

* * *

winter vacation
the childhood board game
full of dust

Ignatius Fay let readers know that snow has piled knee-deep in Sudbury, Ontario, by referring to the Cree word “wapiti” for elk with white rumps. Worrying about the effects of climate change, Veronika Zora Novak paced back and forth in Toronto, Ontario. Moldovan tracked a hungry young wolf who left his pack to find a mate.

still blue air
stepping high in deep snow

* * *

a wolf’s tracks
erased and rewritten…
dead of winter

* * *

lonely wolf
the purple ring
of an eclipse

McHarg invoked the Werewolf of London. Melanie Vance answered all her calls in Dallas, Texas. Mihovila Ceperic-Biljan changed the wallpaper on her mobile device in Rijeka, Croatia. Teiichi Suzuki wrote a sci-fi haiku to deride the overindulgence in technology that has led to “the estrangement of modern society.” In St. Louis Park Minnesota, Archie Carlos observed real life quietly disappear through a mobile phone and move to an online photo-sharing site.

Night out on the town
Prowling alleyways byways
Cat napping dreams--

* * *

loud growl
of a Bengal tiger—
ringtone for the new year

* * *

the year of tiger
a new image on the screen
my son’s drawing

* * *

A smartphone--
tool of the lonely
winter birds

* * *

tiger mom
a cub sneaks away
to instagram

Vance left out food for a shy cat that reverted to living outside. Kanematsu pined for the Japanese wolf that was last seen in 1905.

I wait for
another feral cat…
first snow

* * *

of the extinct wolves
howling wind

Dining in in Tralee, Ireland, Noel King noted how customs officers have their work cut out for protecting endangered species this year. John Hamley composed his haiku in Brazil.

Tiger penis
on restaurant menu
--my date giggles

* * *

from monkey hunter’s meal

Robin Rich borrowed a line from “The Tyger” by William Blake (1757-1827).

two stripes
on the covid test
fearful symmetry

The repetition of a line is an attempt to emphasize its significance. Robert Major (1920-2008) repeated phrases in his own poem first published by Kodansha (1997) in “Haiku World,” edited by the late William J. Higginson.

One resolution
this New Year’s Day -- not to make
one resolution

Unsure of himself in Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia, Christopher Calvin repeated words and used parentheses to insert information in this haiku. The repetition of words is a literary device to make an idea clearer and to catch the reader’s eye.

year of tiger
check... check... re-check
my (birth) year

Refika Dedic mediates on her sense of being in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

in front of the river
behind the mountain
to be or not to be

Prompted by a Zen monk to write an exemplifying first verse of haikai poetry, the master poet Uejima Onitsura (1660-1738) penned: teizen ni shiroku saitaru tsubaki kana.

In the front garden
blooming whitely
the camellia

When the Buddhist nun Jakucho Setouchi (1922-2021) passed away, Kanematsu penned this eulogy about constant change by describing a seemingly insignificant experience on Earth.

Old nun gone
white camellia drops
in the sun


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears Feb. 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about maple syrup 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).