Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

a fly is dying in candlemaker’s hot wax
--Noel King (Tralee, Ireland)

* * *

maple syrup
in a drop on a plate
a floundering ant
--Serhiy Shpychenko (Kyiv, Ukraine)

* * *

jasmine tea with honey
winter blessing
on our fingers
--Minko Tanev (Sofia, Bulgaria)

* * *

sweet talk
migrants make their beds
from maple leaves
--Mircea Moldovan (Jibou, Romania)

* * *

light dusting
a sugar waffle
winter garden
--C.X. Turner (Birmingham, England)

* * *

in isolation
winter flies
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

sugar shack--
the shifting arrangement
of snowflakes
--Pippa Phillips (St. Louis, Missouri)

* * *

sugar season
teens behind the shack
getting sweeter and sweeter
--Sandra St-Laurent (Whitehorse, Yukon)

* * *

snowman, hat askew
by the road hitches a ride
racing against time
--Mary L. Leopkey (Texada Island, British Columbia)

* * *

chilling out
a winter swim helps me
forget my worries
--Karen Harvey (Pwllheli, North Wales)


must fill
all the waffle holes
maple syrup
--Richard Bailly (Fargo, North Dakota)

The way the haikuist plays with his breakfast compares with the daily urge to fill letters in all the squares of the web-based word game “Wordle.” Francoise Maurice loves souvenirs. Canadian Mary Vlooswyk says she packs a few maple-leaf-shaped bottles whenever she travels, “just to have a taste of home.” Ljiljana Dobra over-packed. Keith Evetts regretted not sitting on the veranda more often in Thames Ditton, U.K.

cans of maple syrup
in his luggage

* * *

maple syrup
sweet home

* * *

at customs
excess weight in the suitcase--
maple syrup

* * *

the girl next door
how sweet she was
had I noticed

Writing from Italy, Luciana Moretto recalled the big breakfasts her brother served in British Columbia. Maple syrup worked its magic on Mark Meyer on Mercer Island, Washington.

cold dawn
sweet pancake breakfast...
Kelowna in mind

* * *

mom and dad
and those Sunday breakfasts--
the 1950s

Maya Daneva’s finger poked a hole in the Netherlands. Daya Bhat celebrated childbirth in India. 

tapping maple trees
my sticky fingers
touching spring

* * *

the maple and I
celebrate our scars--
sugar moon

Jennifer Hambrick’s hand caressed a memory late at night in Columbus, Ohio.

the scar
on the old tap hole
longest night

Hambrick deftly combined the sounds of melting snow and running sap.

creek trickle
the thinnest thread
of maple syrup

Julia Guzman penned this one-line haiku when she heard snowmelt in Cordoba, Argentina: walking around... the sound of water on the river stones.

Junko Saeki wrote two lines during a coffee break in Tokyo.

opening the year’s first bag of coffee--
aroma and quiet happiness

Richard L. Matta sipped a tapioca drink made with brown sugar syrup, black tea and milk in San Diego, California. The popular bubble tea originated in the high-growth economy of Taiwan--the Asian tiger.

first spring crocus
the sweetness
of tiger milk tea

Enjoying a sunny day in Marmora, Ontario, John Hamley asked: “On which of these three-lines, if at all, could a hyphen be effectively placed?”

The rooster strides
over melting snow
dark butterfly

Robin Rich spotted spots on the back of a tiger’s ear at the zoo. Refika Dedic’s sense of fear grew overnight while lying on the cold ground.

dots and dashes
morse code emergency
a tiger blinks

* * *

homeless and
tiger in the forest

These haiku by Patrick Sweeney and St-Laurent, respectively, will make your teeth tingle.

long icicles
sinking into the dark flesh
of the empty apartment

* * *

haute cuisine
vampires’ sugar rush
a taste of my french canadian blood

Eleonore Nickolay said her dentist in Vaires sur Marne, France “is a real chatterbox … about chess, home and garden work, cooking recipes, etc., while I--open-mouthed--am unable to reply.”

my dentist goes into raptures
about maple syrup

While window shopping, Nickolay couldn’t resist buying something to brighten a cloudy day. John Zheng penned an ekphrastic haiku while admiring a monochrome photograph taken in Mississippi in the 1930s by Eudora Welty. Ignatius Fay bought a gift in Sudbury, Ontario.

cloudy new year
my crush for
the red coat

* * *

window shopping
her curious eyes reflected
on the window

* * *

dwindling snowbanks
her new shoes

Devoshruti Mandal was entranced by a golden glow in Varanasi, India. Kanematsu was hypnotized by the way winter vines produced an intricate pattern of interlaced black lines on a cement wall. Ramona Linke was spellbound by tiny ice crystals that fell between conifers. Tsanka Shishkova followed gnarled branches.

maple syrup...
she wiped sunrays
off the floor

* * *

withered ivies drawn
on the wall

* * *

Year of the Tiger
diamond dust trickles
from the black pines

* * *

lace shadows
on the cherry-lined path
aroma of spring

Roberta Beach Jacobson contemplated her last brushstroke in Indianola, Iowa. Hifsa Ashraf was comforted underfoot. Arvinder Kaur cheered an alter ego in Chandigarh, India. Marie Derley remained wary in Wallonia, Belgium.

among maple leaves
sharing my death poem
with robins

* * *

solitary walk
paving my way
the maple leaves

* * *

robin’s carol
a friend with the same name
sipping scotch

* * *

handsome stranger
the maple with nice leaves
doesn’t give syrup

Mandal wrote a tribute to Joe Canadian, a plaid-shirted character who promoted his country and favorite beer in a television commercial at the turn of the century. Maurice looks forward to the start of this year’s sugaring off season when maple syrup producers fill their buckets with sap.

joe canadians
on every shelf

* * *

fresh snow
the last can of maple syrup
on the shelf

Luminita Suse is happy whenever it snows in Gloucester, Ontario, according to this haiku that was originally published in a “Haiku Canada” members’ anthology. In Bedford, U.K., Paul Millar fancied himself as an Olympic skier.

the first and the last

* * *

after work
through the crowd

Stoianka Boianova described the ecosystem in Sofia, Bulgaria. Patricia Hawkhead admired winding clusters of flowers in Bradford on Avon, U.K.

beech tree by a river
in the rhizomes -- fishes
in the branches -- robins

* * *

morning light
wisteria racemes
spool into late snow

Teiichi Suzuki spent the day in Osaka admiring winter trees and roses. Turner rebloomed. Sweeney was nonplussed by the cloudy weather. Randall Herman may have meditated on the path to emptiness and formlessness in Victoria, Texas.

holding up the weight
of snow clouds

* * *

winter rosebud--
another chance
to bloom

* * *

oyster-gray sky...
my prescription

* * *

shrine visit…
the snail inched
into thin air


The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network appears March 18. Readers are invited to send haiku related to the color green 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 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 The International University of Kagoshima, 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: “Teaching and Learning Haiku in English” (2022); “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).