war – in the fields first green shoots
–Helga Stania (Ettiswil, Switzerland)

* * *

farmers market
syncopated greens
in a basket of reeds
–Lorraine A. Padden (San Diego, Calif.)

* * *

wet litter
sunlight on the furl
of a fern fern
–Marcie Wessels (San Diego, CA)

* * *

green salad
mom place some spring
on my plate
–Mona Bedi (Delhi, India)

* * *

green salad
for the lunch
ruminate on life
–Lorelyn De la Cruz Arevalo (Bombon, Philippines)

* * *

first green tomato
last too
–Roberta Beach Jacobson (Indianola, Iowa)

* * *

a walk in the field
raw asparagus by hand
wake the snakes
–Ljiljana Dobra (Sibenik, Croatia)

* * *

a horse rolls
in the green meadow
the earth rotates
–Mike Gallagher (Ballyduff, County Kerry, Ireland)

* * *

sunny oceans
kelp forests sway
to the rhythm of the current
–Angi Holden (Cheshire, England)

* * *

in the pouring rain
posing for the camera
momentary sun
–John S. Gilbertson (Greenville, SC)


my buto face
dance with Jizo
laughing mountain
–Sanae Kagawa (Tokyo)

The haikuist smiled warmly and put on the facial expression of a blurry-eyed stone Buddha sitting in a flowery field. In the instant that followed, the solo dance performer relaxed her toes, feet and legs.

sunken legs
of my butoh dance
deepens the mist

Disheartened by a drier-than-usual Buddhist New Year water festival due to political unrest in Yangon, Myanmar, Hla Yin Mon said she was watching peaceful cherry blossom events in Japan instead. She wrote a haiku while vicariously watching videos online of the pink arch formed by rows of trees along a winding river that empties into Tokyo Bay. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Xenia Tran was able to take a boat trip around Loch Ness, Scotland.

late spring–
the Meguro river
pink again

* * *

morning cruise–
good hospitality
for nessie hunters

Ian Willey, professor of English at Kagawa University, woke up listening to the four-note opening motif of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

before dawn
a channeling bird

Matsuo Basho recorded the first movements of grasshoppers, frogs and birds, as well as the budding, coloring and falling of leaves. Borrowing a verse from the tragic Noh play on the warrior “Sanemori” by Zeami Motokiyo (1363-1443), the master poet wrote in 1689: muzan ya na kabuto no shita no kirigirisu.

What cruelty!
trapped by a helmet–

Writing from Kerala, India, Lakshmi Iyer would have liked to ask the master poet a question.

basho’s frog
was it

Dejan Ivanovic prefers the way things were moving in Lazarevac, Serbia. Anna Goluba checked out a little neighbor in Warsaw, Poland, whom she wrote about in the April 29, 2016 issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network: Among the Green Blades His stubborn gaze…grasshopper.

Bamboo leaves–
the path of the green grasshoppers
used to jump

* * *

Deepening twilight
Always hidden under the green blades

Devoshruti Mandal lifted a huge heart-shaped leaf in Varanasi, India. Pat Davis found acorns in Deerfield, New Hampshire.

spring morning–
under the elephant ear leaves
two squirrels

* * *

stone wall
the squirrel’s hideout
is no longer a secret

Stephen J. DeGuire discovered a petrified forest at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.

fossil fern–
perfectly pressed sheet;
save the green

Scientists, naturalists, gardeners as well as members of the Royal Meteorological Society have tracked the evolution of plants and flowering patterns for over 200 years using a database known as Nature’s Calendar. Observing his lawn, Alan Summers noted: “Although robins are a symbol of Christmas in the UK, I saw even more robins as winter progressed into spring.”

robins everywhere
the white noise of winter
fades in spring

American haikist Lafcadio and Croatian Slobodan Pupovac respectively spent most of a long spring day watching cattle graze.

bleat sheep
in the green grass
waiting to be gathered

* * *

mountain glade
how grass disappears
in the cow’s mouth

Readers may wonder what Eric Kimura ate last night on Lanikai Beach, Hawaii.

The pan remembers
Last night’s dinner and reminders
My nose this morning

Since last spring, climatologists from the Japan Meteorological Agency have renewed their way of phenologically observing animals and plants. The data collected assesses the rate at which the seasons change and measures the cultural significance of changes during the four seasons, including how climate change affects ecosystems. Satoru Kanematsu loves the idea of ​​rewilding his lawn and garden so native bees can pollinate dandelions and wisteria.

No mowing May
weeds in full bloom
bee feast

* * *

Buzzing thunderstorm
fuji in full bloom

While weeding her garden, Masumi Orihara said she couldn’t help but think of the “buzz of plane attacks in Ukraine”.

nothing but honey
the buzz of air search
nothing but…

As Mother’s Day approaches, Giuliana Ravaglia wrote this haiku to express the passing time in Bologna.

leaf in the wind….
shadow noise
who leaves

In an essay called his Vain Thoughts on Literature, Shiki (1893) asked why the Japanese people had been inspired to write short poems: “Japanese and Chinese poems are mostly about nature. European and American poems mainly deal with human affairs. he asserted, reasoning, “Because the poems describing nature are simple and pure, they tend to be short. Because human affairs are complicated and confusing, poems about them tend to be long.

This pithy haiku by Teiichi Suzuki in Osaka was influenced by Basho and the Chinese poet Chuang Tzu (369 BC – 286 BC). Kanematsu visited the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya.

on the broken helmet

* * *

Long spring day–
an old gorilla
deep in thought

Vincenzo Adamo took shelter in Trapani, Sicily.

inside the shelter
a sparrow follows me–
tremble on my shoulders

Janice Bostock (1942-2011) illustrated how nature’s light can guide humans through difficult times on the last three lines of this tanka which began “white heron / returned from feeding grounds”.

at dusk
light up the darkening sky
of my return trip

————————————————– ———————————————

Read haiku by fireflies at http://www.asahi.com/ajw/special/haiku/. The next issue of the Asahi Haikuist Network will appear on May 20. Readers are invited to send haiku on postage stamps, on a postcard to David McMurray at Kagoshima International University, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or by e-mail to [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).