Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

Visiting home finally after 3 years -- maple leaves turning red
--Cheryl Meyers (Tokyo)

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rugby scrum
banks of cumulus
pile up
--Lee Nash (Poitou-Charentes, France)

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a rugby kid girl
the only one
--Asuka Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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poor beetles
caught and made to fight
missing woods
--Haruki Kanematsu (Nagoya)

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ocean and a rock
playing with a football
all morning long
--Zelyko Funda (Varazdin, Croatia)

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War and Peace--
my Tolstoy on the bookshelf
unfinished; someday
--A.J. Anwar (Jakarta, Indonesia)

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a spider and hornet
a fierce struggle
without a winner
--Mihovila Ceperic-Biljan (Senj, Croatia)

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sharp wind--
the first godwit
colours up
--Sandra Simpson (Tauranga, New Zealand)

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Indian tiger
...all this unleashed wilderness
within me
--Vandana Parashar (Panchkula, India)

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quiet homestead--
our hen with its chicks
fighting a cat
--Josphat John (Nairobi, Kenya)


hospital hall
red and blue soccer scarf
soaked in mom’s tears
--Christopher Calvin (Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia)

The haikuist mourned the 125 home team fans who were killed when spectators panicked following a football match on Oct. 2. Many of the dead and injured were dressed in the red and blue colors of the Arema Football Club.

At the start of fall, Mike Gallagher eyed brilliant reds and golds in Ballyduff, Ireland.

summer verge
turning to saffron

Kimberly A. Horning penned this haiku on a postcard and mailed it a few days before hurricane Ian hit her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.

Girl scout camp
I take the plunge
latrine duty

While grocery shopping in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture, Yutaka Kitajima’s wife did a double take in front of a rugby ball-sized watermelon when she heard her husband suggest, “However expensive and large for us two, this may be our last chance on earth.”

Tapping on
the watermelon
second thought

Kitajima’s story didn’t end with that 3-5-3 syllable haiku, of course.

Summer gift rolls in--
Alas, grand watermelon
11 kilos!

R.C. Thomas lives in Plymouth, England, where the Plymouth Albion rugby football union club play. This intriguing one-line haiku could therefore be alluding to a rugby football scrum that involves players packing closely together with their sweaty heads down, pushing for possession of the ball: darkness wetness the sea lion’s feel for it.

A rugby fan, Satoru Kanematsu has had fitful dreams ever since being hit by a car earlier this fall. He’s hoping to get back on his feet so he can watch a live match. Even the haikuist’s hospital food reminds him of an egg-shaped rugby ball, noting how “oval food goes down smoothly.”

In a dream
kicking a ball high
my broken leg

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New coolness
peeling a boiled egg
with such ease

Reading S.M. Kozubek’s haiku will make your tongue repeatedly feel the roof of your mouth. A retired lawyer, he enjoys playing with poetics. Carl Brennan’s haiku will have you pursing your lips in an o-shape.

lake gust
looping swallows
lasso the sky

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An oversized barn
overlooking corn fields--
opera house

Anne-Marie McHarg joined a walking group in support of the visually challenged. She heard the sounds of geese and their goslings waddling along the River Wandle in the heart of London. Later in the day, she noticed a silent wader in the bush.

Flooded banks
Ducks pass through high street
Weekend visit

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Watching you
Watching me
The heron stands

Archie Carlos tried out a new fitness-tracking app on his watch in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Canada geese
crowding my walking path
more Fitbit steps

Roberta Beach Jacobson stretched her legs in Indianola, Iowa.

senior group hikes…
we ignore city parks
to hit gravel road

C.X. Turner went for a walk in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

alongside me
the whir of crickets
in gorse

As well as crickets and butterflies, of course, grasshoppers take flight at this time of year, noted John Hamley in Marmora, Ontario.

Clumsy butterfly
bumps walls and falls
a grasshopper

Ashoka Weerakkody cheered for local cricketers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the opposing team from Australia shone brightest. Parashar was all out of breath. After breathing in the heady scent of rain-washed earth, Pippa Phillips ran out of steam in St. Louis, Missouri.

losing the match
bad light plea disallowed too
summer solstice

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the way
her chest heaves
rippling wheat

* * *

my second wind runs out
before sunrise

Bona M. Santos couldn’t hear fans cheer at an airshow over the sound of an Avro jet powered, delta-winged strategic nuclear bomber’s straight-line fly over: shockwaves Vulcan’s roar across the seas.

John Hawkhead recalled the sound of whistling wind. Uchechukwu Onyedikam was startled from bed by the sudden sound of rain falling on his unharvested crops in Lagos, Nigeria.

fields of wheat
the rippling wind
of a mortar shell

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gentle autumn rain
on ripening grain

J.D. Nelson might applaud the Orionids arrival in tonight’s sky over Lafayette, Colorado.

the crickets don’t stop
for the meteor shower--
the moonless night sky

Amoolya Kamalnath composed this haiku while on safari in the jungles of Nagarahole in Karnataka, India. Albert Schepers composed magic in Windsor, Ontario.

deer herd galloping
sensing the beast
that didn’t show up

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mists appear...
beyond the wildlings

Carl Brennan lives with his cat in North Syracuse, a village near the center of New York State that he says, “resembles a fairy-tale forest, especially at this time of year.”

My young cat riding
on my shoulder through autumn--
cooler than a Muse

T.D. Ginting released a pet canary in Murakami, Chiba Prefecture.

the cage
the bird
the sky to (cl)aim

Precious Joy waited for the road to clear so she could get to school in the settlement of Soweto in Nairobi, Kenya. Her classmate, Victor Mumo, was surprised when he opened the door of an abandoned room.

hooting traffic--
Maasai cattle blocking
the road home

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deserted house--
cockroaches and rats
roam freely

Mel Goldberg admires the way that bison roam freely, sometimes blocking highways in Yellowstone National Park.

the bison
own the roads

Madeleine Basa Vinluan wrote about the relationship between a rice grower and his domestic water buffalo native to the Philippines.

beast of burden grandpa
and master farmer carabao
watch their fields turn into yellow gold

Gulprit Pinky described living conditions in Nairobi, Kenya. He studies haiku in the “Kenya Saijiki” class taught by Patrick Wafula, who submitted a haiku about his son engineering a flight experiment.

Soweto dumpsite--
a pregnant goat eating
potato peels

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a beetle tied
with a tiny string--
my son’s kite

Isabelle Prondzynski provides opportunities for students in East Africa to express themselves in English. She is adept at doing “Swahili revision every day, and now have quite a repertoire of insect names.”

learning the names
of the creepy crawlies--
language class

When barracudas age, they tend to swim alone, notes R.C. Thomas in Plymouth, U.K.

taking turns
with the earth
barracudas swim alone

Hussein Amuka is a university student in Kenya.

he stares at me
with an angry face--
hostile brother

Jerome Berglund wrote this line in Minneapolis, Minnesota: following hit a yellow light moment of truth… and lost me.

Albert Schepers drove slowly through one of Minnesota’s oldest towns. Murasaki Sagano pressed the accelerator in Tokyo.

ten thousand gnats
in Stillwater shrub buzz
spider webs

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Adjusting speed
to start the day slow/fast
early autumn

Ceperic-Biljan checked on the hard work he did yesterday.

mowed lawn--
this morning it blooms with
the gnat swarms

J.D. Nelson heard a loud jeer meant to frighten small birds into dropping their food.

The small cloud of gnats
moves up & down in the air--
a blue jay calls out

Brennan stayed home. Anna Goluba cheered a tiny hero in Warsaw, Poland. Her haiku was originally published in The Bamboo Hut (2020). Stoianka Boianova commented on the absurdity of persistent struggle in Sofia, Bulgaria.

My neighbor’s driveway
discourse on motorcycles...
ants at their antics

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Autumn evening
Across the ocean of a puddle
Ant on the leaf

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new Sisyphus myth
wind blows back down the hill
an ant with wheat grain

Charlie Smith noted that evenings are finally getting cooler in Raleigh, North Carolina.

old oil heater
Halloween ghosts
groan and moan


Climate change is changing the haiku seasons at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear Nov. 4 and 18. Readers are invited to send haiku about a country mouse or a city mouse 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 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).