Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

love the cherry blossoms in your cheeks
--Ana Drobot (Bucharest, Romania)

* * *

classmates meeting
lots of confessions of love
thirty years delayed
--Levko Dovgan (Lviv, Ukraine)

* * *

first day of school
the smell of fortune cookies
--Eufemia Griffo (Milan, Italy)

* * *

young teacher
her letterbox full--
Valentine’s Day cards
--Andrzej Dembonczyk (Zbroslawice, Poland)

* * *

Valentine’s Day
the origami heart left
on the school playground
--Wai Mei Wong (Toronto, Canada)

* * *

years later
Valentine’s Day card
at the grave
--Tsanka Shishkova (Sofia, Bulgaria)

* * *

Trapped bubbles
beneath the thin ice
writer’s block
--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

in fits and starts
the stray dog’s coarse hairs come free--
sky of seeds
--Kyle Sullivan (Kaohsiung, Taiwan)

* * *

your hand opening
smooth pale fingers touching mine--
a jasmine blossom
--Noga Shemer (Storrs, Connecticut)

* * *

wandering hand
a ballet all in tenderness
imminent departure
--Elie Duvivier (Berlaimont, France)


At fiscal yearend
his recuperation date
extended again
--Masumi Orihara (Atsugi, Kanagawa)

The haikuist penned a perfect 5-7-5 syllables to finish-up pending paperwork. At this time of year her husband undergoes a medical examination to predict when he will recover from a chronic illness. She prayed “as long as there is a strong will, we will find a way in the long run.”

Kanematsu was undeterred by muddy spring paths obstructing his daily “ginko,” a contemplative hike through nature with the purpose of gathering ideas to write about. He’s been contributing haiku nonstop to the Asahi Haikuist for close to 28 years.

Plum blossoms--
moving my wheelchair
to their scent

Growing numbers of loyal readers come to our Network to find haiku stories they can’t find anywhere else. And they keep coming back. Kavya Janani U. shared her first haiku in this column from Chennai, India.

morning rush--
I spend my lunch money
for a short ride

Using his smartphone, T.D. Ginting downloaded an app to help him keep in synch with season words when writing haiku for every issue of this biweekly column.

72 Microseasons--
can I understand
the (is)land?

Sandra St-Laurent enjoyed seeing island fashions in snowy Whitehorse, Yukon.

Valentine’s Day
Oh! the nice bouquet
of his Hawaiian shirt

Writing from the tropical island of Java, Christopher Calvin reminded us that Indonesia has yet to participate in a Winter Olympic Games.

the long round
winter wind-vs-me

While teaching anthropology at the University of Connecticut, Noga Shemer paused for a moment when her dream escaped to run with a twinkle of feet along the edge of an ebbing surf.

behind my eyelids
a pair of sandpipers still
exploring our shore

A writing instructor at Rowan University, Thomas Klodowsky penned this poem in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

as she dances by
the window across the room
light frames her beauty

Monica Kakkar was delighted by a returning migrant. Jiro Oba took over the driver’s seat on a never-ending journey.

Green clovers attract
clouded yellow butterflies
Mustard mirage

* * *

towards a mirage
driving the car
my father left me

Devoshruti Mandal’s aromatic dinner tumbled over and was cooked in a flash in Varanasi, India.

rollercoaster ride
into a wok full of rice
two green cloves

Giuliana Ravaglia tasted candy flavored by a love that seemed to move the sun and the other stars over Bologna, Italy.

sweet corner…
that drop
on the edge of the lip

Margaret Wangare wrote this haiku in Egypt where she is temporarily working before the new semester at university begins. During his first year at university, Hussein Amuka efficiently got the housework done and kept his place organized.

a dry onion falls
from the kitchen shelves--
year-end cleaning

* * *

putting a clean plate
in the right utensil rack--
time to work

Isabelle Prondzynski ran to bring her laundry back from her garden in Nairobi, Kenya.

sudden shower--
running to save the clothes
on the line

The haikuist suggested the idea of housework as a writing topic to Patrick Wafula who coordinates the Kenya Saijiki haiku club for students. During the writing process, the teacher and Esther Wanjiku, respectively discovered several unpleasant surprises.

we find a rat’s hole
under the kitchen table--
year-end cleaning

* * *

scrubbing dry feces
cat under the bed--
year-end cleaning

Pinky Gulprit uncovered tell-tale signs. Shampy Brenda implied it was high time to be “out with the old, in with the new.”

year-end cleaning--
wiping cockroach droppings
from the cupboard floor

* * *

out with a rat’s nest
inside our old sofa--
New Year’s Eve

Jennifer Gurney swept away the confusion in Broomfield, Colorado.

My first spring clean
In my new-current home
Clearing out cobwebs

Jackie Chou pocketed a few coins as a well-intentioned tip in Pico Rivera, California.

spring cleaning
emptying the change
from dad’s old coat

Horst Ludwig uncovered a silver coin in the vernalized metropolitan area of Seattle.

Under the old bridge
under a mattress and dirt
an old half-dollar

Radhika De Silva shivered in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

chilly wind--
old man clutches
his wallet

Arvinder Kaur watched money change hands in Chandigarh, India.

a penny for the gods
the beggar prays
for luck

Francoise Maurice wistfully leafed back through the months before retirement in Draguignan, France.

the paydays
encircled in red
old notebook

Keith Evetts hoped for good results when he wrote this one-line poem: fiscal year a four-leaf clover.

Ian Willey composed this haiku at Kagawa University, to give hope to those who didn’t make the entrance examination cut, adding “they will survive, and bloom!”

those who didn’t pass--
hints of red
in the buds

C.X. Turner suggested treading carefully in Birmingham, England.

snowy apple
I trip over

Jerome Berglund cautioned fools in Minneapolis, Minnesota: fool’s gold cautiously optimistic

Rafal Zabratynski couldn’t snap a good photo but wrote a good haiku at the zoo in Rzeszow, Poland.

always one branch ahead
of my eyes

Jessica Allyson recalled life as a poor grad student in Kingston, Ontario.

saving our quarters
for tomorrow’s laundromat...
we toast with cheap beer

Barrie Levine penned this one to enthrall an audience in Wenham, Massachusetts.

performance art
dad peels off tens
for the bartender

Susan Bonk Plumridge tucked into an ultimate warm bowl of kale, Brussels sprouts and butternut squash in London, Ontario. Jerome Berglund added his favorite winter vegetable to a recipe in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

my wallet
empties quickly--
winter salad

* * *

two cups
broccoli florets
basic training

Kath Abela Wilson played a harmonious tune on a small four-stringed guitar Pasadena, California.

grandkids visit
they leave all the coins
in my ukulele

Teiichi Suzuki girds himself for tomorrow’s fake news reports in Osaka.

A lie
sometimes becomes true--
All Fools’ Day


It’s the yearend again for students and teachers at The next regular issues will appear on April 7 and 21. Readers are invited to send haiku related to the colors blushing pink or mustard yellow on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to (

* * *

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).