Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

a postcard from the relatives in America--with an Italian postage stamp
--Angela Giordano (Avigliano, Italy)

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the ending
to our relationship...
his postage stamp with a rose
--Charlotte Digregorio (Winnetka, Illinois)

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Dear John letter--
she chose the stamp with
her childhood hero
--Eva Limbach (Spain)

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goodbye letter
the extra stamp
for luck
--Keith Evetts (Thames Ditton, England)

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licking the back
of a postage stamp
the queen’s blushes
--John Hawkhead (Bradford on Avon, U.K.)

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letter today
Takuboku stamp
--John S. Gilbertson (Greenville, South Carolina)

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black metal curves
enchanting triangular stamps
I knew I would travel
--Sheila Riley (Alameda, California)

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under a golden ribbon
some old stamped envelopes
in father’s office
--Francoise Maurice (Draguignan, France)

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Straying from the cave
as small as a postage stamp--
a salamander
--Teiichi Suzuki (Osaka)

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first visits from bees
to a postage stamp-sized lot…
the newly built house
--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)


stamp on a pink envelope
torn-off lover
--Ashoka Weerakkody (Colombo, Sri Lanka)

The haikuist’s mail delivery was upended by tumultuous protests. J.D. Nelson tuned in soundwaves from Lafayette, Colorado.

crickets at the pond
on the last night in July--
radio towers

Satoru Kanematsu felt weary after the former prime minister was shot while giving a speech in Nara on July 8. Frederick Kesner was at Osaka International Airport when he got wind of Shinzo Abe’s assassination. Tsanka Shishkova fell silent in Sofia, Bulgaria, mourning the loss of Japan’s longest-serving postwar prime minister. Former Prime Minister Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1967) was commemorated on a postage stamp 30 years after his death.

Campaign speech--
a statesman shot down
midday heat

* * *

Summer streets simmer
Words raised, shots fired, then silence
smoke cloud dissipates

* * *

murder in Nara
heavy tears

Lee Nash texted a message before boarding a train in Poitou-Charentes, France. Gordana Vlasic snapped a photo in Oroslavje, Croatia.

for the older woman femoji
platform breeze

* * *

instead of emoji
I sent my boyfriend
the sunset

Writing from Menlo Park, California, Miera Rao inserted a negation on each line of her haiku to express the positive points of a postage stamp.

No color divides
Rectangles without borders
Visa not required

Giordano hesitated to mail this negation: inside the drawer the postcard I never sent you.

Elisabeth Guichard shared glad tidings from Lyon, France.

Summer report--
postcards bring only
good news

Charlie Smith penned this haiku onto a postcard with a “USA Forever” stamp depicting cherry blossoms on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

100-yen stamp
a faded picture postcard
vivid memories

Kath Abela Wilson drooled over the 45-cent “Cherry Blossoms Forever” postage stamp when it was first issued in Pasadena, California, noting that philately “was the first time I fell in love!”

quiet little boy
who collects stamps
my first romance

Robin Rich posted a letter from Brighton, England. Murasaki Sagano took her time to update the addresses of acquaintances and tie strings around all the midsummer greeting cards she gratefully received in Tokyo. Kanematsu corresponded with haiku friends in Australia.

second class stamp
hurry love

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time passes
bundling postcards--
summer camellias

* * *

midwinter greetings
from Hobart

In the mood for a crime-thriller in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Patrick Sweeney rewatched a movie starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. Teary-eyed, Suzuki rewatched the last scene of a 1970 Italian drama starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni filmed in a sunflower field near Poltava, Ukraine.

when the honest Mr. Felix says:
“for a few minutes, they were mine.”

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Not old stamps--
in the movie “Sunflower”
Sophia Loren’s tears

Yutaka Kitajima peered through a magnifying glass in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture.

Through a loupe
philatelist finds

Paula Sears may very well have queued behind a neighbor whom she knew in Exeter, New Hampshire. The talented haikuist, however, was referring to an adhesive postage stamp worth one penny in 1840 that depicted Queen Victoria’s profile on a black background.

first in line
at the post office
Penny Black

Samo Kreutz listened intently to a message delivered in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Stuck in a medical office, Mona Bedi learned how to escape Delhi, India. Looking through her albums of stamps, Anna Goluba said she could “let, for a moment, everything else go” in Warsaw, Poland.

safely arrived
without any postage stamp--
the wren’s chirping

* * *

i travel the world
with the clouds

* * *

Once upon a time
I collected stamps in a world
Without wars

Elancharan Gunasekaran prayed in Singapore. Natalia Kuznetsova paused for a moment of silence in Moscow.

at war memorial
we fought for this peace

* * *

starlit silence
embracing the troubled world
cease-fire respite

Pat Geyer got a card with the picture of a duck in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

postcard in the mail...
i watch the spoonbill wade
’cross the postage stamp

Gordana Vlasic used an online service to track a parcel shipped from Oroslavje, Croatia.

good news!
the postage stamp travels
to Poland

C.X. Turner inspected postmarks in Birmingham, England.

his love letters

In Rzeszow, Poland, Amin Jack Pedziwiater reset computer server settings.

sorting my inbox
by mail system properties
encrypted post stamps

Kristina Todorova expressed her thankfulness in Sofia, Bulgaria.

still alive
the rose on the postage stamp
my parents’ love letters

Stephen J. DeGuire admired a greeting card covered in bright pink carnations in Los Angeles. Luciana Moretto bought a colorful book of 10 stamps in Treviso, Italy.

postage free
when drawn in crayon--
Mother’s Day

* * *

balmy day
a floral stamp set
the garden I miss

Elena Malec curated a rainbow of shades in Irvine, California.

lipstick kisses
postcard stamp

Alan Peat gave up on philately but not unrequited love in Biddulph, United Kingdom.

breaking cloud
the old stamp album
full of gaps

* * *

to a lost love
i lick the stamp’s back

Priti Khullar held on, perhaps torn by sadness, in Noida, India.

first love--
old stamp
ripped but not lost

Posting a letter from the island of Vis in Croatia, Zeljko Vojkovic dispelled the adage: sealed with a lick because a kiss wouldn’t stick.

love letter
the postage stamp is glued
with a kiss

Chittaluri Satyanarayana shared this maxim from Hyderabad, India.

sticky spit
poor man’s glue for
postage stamps

In these two haiku moments by Evetts, he tried to convey sentiments that would become universal truths for the reader. The first sounds like a proverb, a passing thought. The second succeeded in capturing the essence of an actual experience.

postage stamps
the things we value more
when used

* * *

his stamp collection…
the faraway look
in her eyes

Vessislava Savova peeked out her door in Sofia, Bulgaria.

whispers in the street
a postage stamp on the back
of the postman

Writing from Tokyo, Kiyoshi Fukuzawa wonders if he can still use his 20-yen stamps dated 1973. Laughing waters, a poet in Sylacauga, Alabama, headed for the beach.

Pile of old stamps--
unknown which are still valid
all date palms

* * *

coastal sunrise--
lazy waves of the tourists
smothered in oil

Natalia Kuznetsova recalled her father’s stories of adventures far away from home in Moscow.

dad’s stamp collection--
my first guided tours
around the world

Zdenka Mlinar’s father may well have been the last philatelist in Hrvatska. Every night before bed, Bedi admires little pieces of history.

Museum Night
father’s postage stamps
family pride

* * *

precious heirloom--
dad’s stamp collection
on my nightstand


The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear on Aug. 5 and 19. You are invited to send a haiku related to bugs or beasts 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).