Photo/Illutration (Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

getting to third base scenting pink-tinged valerian
--C.F. Tash (Washington, D.C.)

* * *

freezing water--
I grudgingly work
on my laundry
--Victor Mumo (Nairobi, Kenya)

* * *

half full half empty
nothing has changed
old love
--Isabella Kramer (Nienhagen, Germany)

* * *

new day
the girl smiles at me
in the mirror
--Wai Mei Wong (Toronto, Canada)

* * *

shooting stars flicker
falling between the branches
bugs looking for love
--Noga Shemer (Storrs, Connecticut)

* * *

lunch dates
greedily consuming
more time with you
--C.X. Turner (Birmingham, England)

* * *

ignoring the camera--
the buffalo
chewing, (s)wallowing
--T.D. Ginting (Murakami, Chiba)

* * *

even frozen
the sea cucumber’s
a good listener
--Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

fallen cherry petals
becomes soil-like in color
endless metamorphosis
--Levko Dovgan, (Lviv, Ukraine)

* * *

hand in hand
he talks about their projects
to his comatose wife
--Elie Duvivier (Berlaimont, France)


taking the wife’s temperature
in retrograde
--Joel Dias-Porter (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Starting today, the planet closest to the sun appears to be spinning backward across the sky. The haikuist blamed the illusion for marital misunderstandings going on at home. Francis Attard looked toward heaven in disbelief while couples swooned in Marsa, Malta.

bald eagle moon
on the dancing floor
wrong partner

Meghan Elizabeth Jones from Calgary, Alberta, observed the courting antics of seabirds with brightly colored beaks that flew ashore from the Pacific Ocean.

warm breeze
calm spring seas
puffins dance

During the cuckoo breeding period in April, Masumi Orihara observed cuckoos courting multiple partners. Seemingly weary from all the mating activity, these brood-parasite birds do not raise their own young. Instead, the female lays her egg in the nest of another bird, which will raise the chick thinking it is one of their own. Luciana Moretto was drained by marketers in Treviso, Italy.

cost-efficient parenting
parasitic love

* * *

profit without guilt...
cuckoo’s nest

Some of the poems in today’s column welled up from ennui: a feeling of repetition and weariness. Mario Massino Zontini felt lethargic in Parma, Italy. It was all he could do to put one foot in front of the other.

for some days
I haven’t written any haiku--
a cold winter

* * *

going home
with some winter flowers--
an empty place

Lilia Racheva twirled until she got dizzy in Rousse, Bulgaria.

with spring’s wind,
I’m lost...

After their spring break, students returned to school and new hires fell into the groove at work. Wong worked overtime. Nimali Perera greeted her house pet in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

late home from work again
in the quiet kitchen
my warm plate of dinner

* * *

returning home--
cat’s sparkling eyes
at the doorstep

Angela Giordano threw her dog a bone in Avigliano, Italy.

already spring--
even the dog yawns
full of boredom

Teiichi Suzuki said he couldn’t twist open an obstinate jar of strawberry jam.

Spring table
sticky jam jar lid stuck…

Life is full of ups and downs when the weather transitions from spring to summer in Raleigh, North Carolina, according to Charlie Smith. Yutaka Kitajima watched a bird as it jumped and walked on the ground, stopping every once in a while to hold its chest out in Joetsu, Niigata Prefecture. Ljiljana Dobra experienced a frustrating day in Sibenik, Croatia.

sunrise stroll
first daffodils bow
dense fog lifts

* * *

Dusky thrush
often straightens up...
slushy patch

* * *

tired snail
crawled all day toward the grape
eaten by a starling

A weather forecaster traced the line of a front from Ettiswil to another place in Switzerland for Helga Stania: spring storm-- whence the path whither

J.L. Huffman watched birds perch in their usual positions on her veranda in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.

porch rail line-up
as the feeder stock drops
bird bank run

Govind Joshi wearily glanced at his watch, again, in Dehradun, India.

this junk dealer
wants our

Angela Giordano finally put down her phone in Avigliano, Italy: talking for hours to overcome spring boredom

Anne-Marie McHarg has been kept waiting in London, England.

Winter lingers
A feeling of weariness
Awaiting spring blossoms

Stania acquiesced.

spring after spring
obeying the wind
stone pine

Kramer felt her life flash by as she drove through an intersection. Kitajima saw the sign of a cross.

between yellow and red lights
unexpected eye contact
with the old love

* * *

Where a lark
trills away... contrails

Eva Limbach profited from a sunny break in the weather in Saarbruecken, Germany.

spring spell--
at our sidewalk cafe
the well-known gamblers

When things return to normal, daily languid routines can cause midday sleepiness and uncontrollable yawning spells. Natalia Kuznetsova felt blue in Moscow, Russia.

on the primroses--
first love blues

Maire Morrissey Cummins’ days in Glengarriff, Ireland, have recently been shaded by curious blooms of cobalt blue.

lengthening days
of spring--
blue scilla

Although their love has faded, Anna Goluba and her ex never tire of ordering the same wine as they had on a first date in Warsaw, Poland.

Date after years--
our past incarnations still
order the same wine

Belated best wishes to Helen Buckingham in Wells, England.

wedding day
clouds follow
the open trap

Joshi celebrated a wedding anniversary.

loving her more
every year
the girl now mostly gray

Giordano celebrated one more anniversary this spring.

forty years
arouses so much envy
our happiness

Sally Fox titled this haiku “Refreshing Kyoto.”

Swirling hot matcha,
Wedded to sweet wagashi
Drinking green poems

At home in Sofia, Bulgaria, Minko Tanev dreamed of untouched places.

virgin lands
cormorants in love fly
over an iceberg

Samo Kreutz worried in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

wisteria shadow
that letter she keeps

Mark Gilbert said he found a more satisfying alternative to buying a card in Nottingham, U.K. Luciana Moretto admired the lavender-blue colored delicate bell-shaped flower in Treviso, Italy.

valley bluebells
a present for my love
in the 21st century

* * *

a harebell
between these sheets
now, let it go

Writing from Ballyduff, Ireland, Mike Gallagher alluded to the “Pillow Book” musings by Sei Shonagon in 11th century Japan.

red hair
spread out in moonlight
pillow talk

Moretto composed this gentle moment.

pushing lightly aside
a wisp of my hair--
the fire left on

When stress combines with tiredness it raises the possibly for brain fog. Intermittent brain fog can cause forgetfulness and make concentration feel next to impossible. Sophia Conway linked her irritability to having nothing to eat on Vancouver Island.

Love is fleeting--
the dinner plate lies bare,
my stomach growls

With some trepidation, Mirela Brailean calmly began her first day of retirement in Iasi, Romania. Marek Printer hesitated for a moment before handing over zloty-denominated banknotes to a grocer in Kielce, Poland.

first pension
an expenses notebook, too
in the potato bag

* * *

grocery list...
I stare at the faces
of presidents

Mindfulness sustained some haikuists through spring and helped them make a smooth and happy transition. Mike Fainzilber awoke peacefully in Rehovot, Israel. Zontini said he woke up to a new day with a re-ignited zest for life. Satoru Kanematsu was eased slowly into a bathtub at a day care center in Nagoya.

after the shouting

* * *

street cafe
coffee money in my pocket--
spring morning

* * *

Morning bath--
swaying on white tiles
spring sunshine


Give your brain a boost by deciphering haiku at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear on May 5 and 19. Readers are invited to send haiku inspired by Yosa Buson’s (1716-1783) hokku: The shimmering heat… soil in a wicker basket on someone’s dear back (kagero ya ajika ni tsuchi wo mezuru-hito). Send haiku 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).