ASAHI HAIKUIST NETWORK / David McMurray

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waiting for it never to end summer blueberries
–Pippa Phillips (St. Louis, Missouri)

* * *

First day sale–
the corn farm gate swings to
young and old
–Murasaki Sagano (Tokyo)

* * *

Sunday ritual
three Hail Marys
to start the mower
–Jacob Blumner (Flint, Michigan)

* * *

Alfalfa flowers
The accumulated dew
in the sleeves of the reaper
–Jasper “Ajenjo” Martinez (Hidalgo, Mexico)

* * *

block the track
a chipmunk harangues
men with guns
–Lev Hart (Calgary, AB)

* * *

spring palette
dogwoods and redbud
paint the hills
–JL Huffman (Wilkesboro, North Carolina)

* * *

snowy cherry petals
softly boxed ears
by the wind
–Patrick Sweeney (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

traces and scents
following the path
hunting
–Bona M. Santos (Los Angeles, CA)

* * *

at our picnic
flavors of old prisoner of war
watermelon seeds
–Charlotte Digregorio (Winnetka, Illinois)

* * *

slumped against the fence
clutching its last seeds
frozen sunflower
–Dana Clark-Millar (Bend, Oregon)

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FROM THE NOTEBOOK
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editors Choice
a haiku about peace
in every issue
–Elena Malec (Irvine, CA)

The haikuist knows what this column needs. Sakurako Sakai has won the “Best of Seijo” haiku contest to find out what college students need to soothe their stressful lives.

They relieve tension
Falling cherry blossoms and
My mother’s smile

Second among 132 contestants who studied haiku in English for a week at Seinan Jo Gakuin, Kita-Kyushu’s Moe Makimoto wrote about everyone’s favorite seasonal treat.

dripping
Dripping ice cream
The sounds of summer

Special mentions were awarded by the dean of the English department, Malcolm Swanson, for two haikus on sunflowers. Hibiki Inoue wrote an uplifting verse, while Natalia Sen’s sank deep into the soil of her native Ukraine.

summer is coming
sunflowers look up
gives me energy

* * *

Hot summer evenings
The sunflowers turn away
heavy and dirty soul

Lilia Racheva woke up early in Rousse, Bulgaria: prayer birds singing at dawn.

Sweeney remembered someone in their grave in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Bluebonnets bloom each spring as a visual marker of life in Texas. On May 24, Melanie Vance mourned the 21 gunshot victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Its bellflowers
has come
without him

* * *

spring is blue
in the Lone Star state
the blue caps unfurl

CX Turner stopped to watch the delicate flowers move like a thick band through an ancient woodland in Birmingham, England.

starts to spin
to the light
bluebell wood

Rachela felt that no one cared.

poppies
in a tender dance,
unnoticed by the world

Tony Williams had ‘the longest day’ in Glasgow, Scotland, adding that because ‘the grass was as long as it could be and the house was vacated a long time ago’, he felt compelled to take this look extra long.

longest day–
flowering grass
around an empty house

Kiyoshi Fukuzawa kept commemorative postage stamps marking the end of American rule over Okinawa. A fellow Canadian boon shouted hauntingly at Archie Carlos in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Ryukyu Stamps
changed to an Okinawan kitte…
fifty years have passed

* * *

an old loonie stamp
from a lake to the north
friend’s complaint

Chris Langer recorded the playful sound exchange by the Bosque River in Stephenville, Texas.

duck jokes
laugh
by the river

Rachela praised the natural art traced in the clay along the banks of the Danube: graffiti, feathers of birds along the river.

Jennifer Tan visited Gore Park near her home in Hamilton, Ontario. She looks forward to the Canadian National Exhibition next month. Carl Brennan heard a harsh cry in New York.

expect a rush of days
time is a big round wheel
a cry of pleasure

* * *

hard music
held in my young cat’s mouth
a frantic jay

John Hamley heard a high-pitched moan and then hit himself in Marmora, Ontario, before writing this one-liner to explain what he was doing: watching butterflies sting black flies.

Fukuzawa visited a tea plantation outside of Tokyo. Rosemarie Schuldes was caught in Mattsee, Austria. A velvety moment caressed Isabella Kramer in Nienhagen, Germany.

women in black
still picking tea leaves
long day

* * *

floating rose petals
at the summer house
bullet holes

* * *

summer solstice-
between falling rose petals
the song of a nightingale

Lev Hart wrote a “now you see it, now you don’t see it” haiku in Calgary, Alberta. Michal Nizgorski is happy with what he has in Gdynia, Poland. Satoru Kanematsu commented on a Spartan way of life.

in the moment I
turn to pick up my sandal
the cockroach is gone

* * *

wardrobe
pleasantly
don’t need anything

* * *

austere summer–
more McDonald’s
in Russia

Pat Davis took note of the food chain in Deerfield, New Hampshire. Fukuzawa has put away a bag of birdseed until next winter. Aaron Ozment shared a park bench in Kagoshima.

wolves
to their prey…
crows impatience

* * *

sparrows
turn to hunt spring worms–
My dried seeds remain

* * *

The lonely winter is ending
Stop feeding the pigeons old man
when the masks fall

Teiichi Suzuki opened an intriguing package from Whitehorse, Yukon.

Rainbow stamp–
thank you letter from canada
with poetic works

Carlos shared hints from St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Ashoka Weerakkody shared a memory of better times in Colombo, Sri Lanka, before curfews and power cuts.

wild flowers
of the convent
new seed packets

* * *

cumin seeds
mystical flavor of childhood
in a candy cane

Marcie Wessels got stuck during rush hour in San Diego, California.

traffic cones…
the scent of fresh asphalt
stay in the heat

While on vacation, Hamley turned around to chat with a passenger.

Women
in the back seat of a taxi
do i look cuban?

Lee Nash was hoping to rest on the drive back from Poitou-Charentes, France. Keith Evetts was hoping to share a bottle of wine at his home in Thames Ditton, UK

peak hour
a cello
take my place

* * *

in the drawer
the last time she saw him
my old corkscrew

Christopher Calvin asked the impossible in Kota Mojokerto, Indonesia.

will you stay
just… a little longer?
summer solstice

Kanematsu sat down as the sun set. Blumner lay down to reflect on his day.

cruel war
beyond the sunset glow
in Ukraine

* * *

summer solstice
my night light
sunset

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The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear on July 15 and 29. You are welcome to send haikus on war and peace on a postcard to David McMurray at Kagoshima International University, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or by e-mail at ( [email protected]).

* * *

David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for Asahi Evening News. He is a member of the editorial board of Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, a columnist for the Haiku International Association, and editor of Teaching Assistance, a column in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).

McMurray is a professor of cross-cultural studies at Kagoshima International University where he lectures on international haiku. At the Doctoral School, he supervises students doing research on haiku. He is a corresponding school teacher of haiku in English for the Asahi Cultural Center in Tokyo.

McMurray judges haiku competitions organized by Kagoshima International University, Ito En Oi Ocha, Asahi Cultural 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); “A Single Haiku Tree, Music and Metaphor” (2015); “Canada Project Collected Essays & Poems” Vols. 1-8 (2013); and “Haiku in English as a Japanese Language” (2003).

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