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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

                 Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world       



Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Awards 2010



The following piece that appeared in our No. 13 was voted the best haiku published in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2010:


dust storm
a trickle of blood
from the horse's nose

-- Chad Lee Robinson (USA)



The following two haiku that first appeared in our No. 13 and No. 14 respectively were close runner-ups: 


winter rain -
a stuffed starling stares
at the ceiling

 -- Bouwe Brouwer (the Netherlands)


autumn rain
i'm cleaning the backside
of the mirror

-- Dietmar Tauchner (Austria)




We have joint winners in this category:


people pass by…
a dog
waiting for dog


Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA) (first published in No. 16)


bathtime reading
ink spilt years ago


-- Richard Turner (England) (first published in No. 15)


And the runner-up was the following piece that initially appeared in our No. 14:

under the operating table
a cat rubs herself
against somebody's finger

-- Michael Augustin (Germany)


We congratulate the worthy winners, and express our sincere gratitude to each and every reader who cast a vote.



Focus on


drowsy water
motionless in your eyes –
a golden evening

-- D. I. Antoniou (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

the probability
of having summer’s glow
in mid-December

-- Dionyssis Kapsalis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

little child
a handful of snowflakes
takes its time to melt

-- Sophia Karipidis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

shady shrubs
the wind reaching
the roots

inside the mirrors,
the eyes of the dead,

-- Elias Kefalas (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

barren night,
what can an evening star
do for you?

I still remember
a child’s hand, its shadow
on white flowers

memories of algae…
hold me, tell me
‘You are still alive’

-- Tassos Korfis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

blind falcon –
his cry blurs
the eye of the sun

I ask the stars
not to shine so brightly
they disappear

petrified trees –
a bronze bird
on each branch

-- Nikos Ladas (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

the masts and the stars
riding a seesaw
all night long

first nightingale
cutting the edges
of silence

-- Zissimos Lorentzatos (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

while you’re tight asleep,
the moon gives me
a derisive look

only the mirror
can stand the sight of you
without breaking down

-- John Patilis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

having killed a cicada,
the sparrow
keeps on singing

remaining silent
so I can hear you,
the seaside nightingale

-- Yorgis Pavlopoulos (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

the weight of
my brother’s shadow

-- Antonis Pillas (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

clearing autumn leaves
off the footpath –
a black bug plays dead

winter lamplight –
scooping a moth
out of the honey jar

abandoned wheat fields
a snake slides across
the threshing floor

town clock
strikes the hour
a dog sighs in his sleep

afternoon clouds –
a shadowplay on the
mountain slope

-- Rosie Roumeliotis

no boats
in the harbour
fish stand sentinel

thorny branch –
on its tip
a butterfly

all the footprints
have vanished in the sand –
sounds blend with silence

red buckle –
on the garment of darkness,
a little moon

a tinge of sunshine
on the mountain slopes –
wearing a silk shawl

-- Zoe Savina (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

twilight or sunshine,
the jasmine
remains white

empty chairs
the statues returned
to another museum

pensive woman
the weight of her breasts
reflected in the mirror

-- Giorgos Seferis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

sea foam
and the rainbow
the fish dwells under them

-- Monk Simeon (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

full moon –
an aspirin melting
in my glass

little blade of grass,
one day you’ll be
taller than me

a frightened giant,
here I stand by your side,
o daisy!

-- Christos Toumanidis (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)



The History of Haiku in Greece


by Christos Toumanidis



The first mentioning of haiku in Greece and in Cyprus can be traced back to 1904 when a theoretical article about haiku by Spyridonos De Viazi appeared in the “Iris of Athens” magazine. Some 21 years later, in 1925, another Athenian magazine “Lycabette” published six original haiku by the poet G. Stavropoulos, which were called “triplets”. Later that year, N. Hagier-Boufidis published five of his “hai-kai” in the magazine called “New Art”; the texts appeared under the assumed name, Isandros Aris, and were accompanied by a short explanatory essay describing this particular kind of poetry. Next year, the Cypriot poet Pavlos Krineos-Michaelidis published ten of his “hai-kai triplets” in the magazine titled “The Big Greek Encyclopedia”.  

The next period in the development of Greek haiku started in 1940. That year, Giorgios Seferis, who later won the Novel Prize for literature, published his poetry collection titled Exercise books, which included sixteen of his haiku. Seferis was a highly influential poet, and his haiku set the course for the later generations of Greek haiku writers.

However not much happened until 1969, when Zisimos Lorentzatos, a literary critic, essayist and poet, got his book Alphabet published. This was the first full-length collection of haiku poems that ever appeared in Greece. In three years’ time, i.e. in 1972, another haiku collection followed; this one by D. I. Antoniou; it was titled Hai-Kai and Tanka. 

The modern period in Greek haiku writing began in 1972. Such poets as Tasos Korfis, George Pavlopoulos, Anestis Evangelou, Giannis Patilis, Argyris Hionis, Zoe Savina, P. Ioannidou-Stavrou, Nikos Ladas, Dionysis Kapsalis, Elias Kefalas and Panayiotis Kapodistrias produced fine examples of the genre. As it happened, I was the editor of the first ever Anthology of Greek haiku published in 1996, and now awaiting its second, enlarged and updated edition.

In 2007, the Greek Haiku Society was founded. It is a cultural association that was founded to facilitate a further development of the genre in Greece and get more people involved in haiku writing. The Society organised several haiku exhibitions in Athens and in other Greek cities. It now has a small publishing house. Its first publication was The Bridge of Rhymes (2010), a bilingual haiku collection by two poets, Millianov Kalupi of Albania and myself. The Greek Haiku Society has recently created its own site ( which is to be further developed in the near future. We are also planning to publish a haiku magazine.

Translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Christos Toumanidis is a founding member of the Greek Haiku Society



"Aqua_53" by Vassiliki Gerokosta (Greece)



Haiku & Senryu 

winter sunlight
a whole bush twigged
with sparrows

grey day
sprigs of winter jasmine
between the fence planks

gap in the cedar
circling the sun
a dance of midges

returning in moonlight
a white moth
among the aerials

morning glories
wick of a votive candle
catches the flame

-- Diana Webb (England)

bog grasses in the evening –
a seagull
absorbs the light

monastic high cross –
on one arm, a robin,
on the other, the moon

beach sunrise
the fog returns
a dog's bark

spring dew
on a spider's web –
communion veil

shop window –
sparkling in the dark,
Orion’s reflection

-- Aisling White (Ireland)

owl gives not one hoot
but two

orange flames compete
in chimney climb

reflective window
a cat looks out
through herself

beach walk
my footprints stolen
by a wave

river weir
a grey heron
performs mime

-- John Oliver Byrne (Ireland)

dark November
even the gorse bush
has the lights on

icy morning
on the doormat a snail leaves
a gift of silver

stranded seaweed
along the high tide line
birds flock to feast

winter noon –
under fallen tree twigs
a mist uncurls

-- Maire Morrisey-Cummins (Ireland)

calm bay
a stone crab’s
new claw

between interviews
a few puffs
of the unlit cigar

heavier rain
red berries

-- Bill Cooper (USA)

coastal range –
through gaps in stratus
a glacier

forest track –
before a summer storm
the smell of charcoal

hail on slate above rafters rats scuttle

-- Rodney Williams (Australia)

winter playground                                        
ants trail up
the climbing frame

riverside café—                                           
a gull drinks from
the dripping tap

-- Nathalie Buckland (Australia)

chilly morning
the old mare snorts   
raising a trot

country morning
the milked cows melt         
into the mist

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

evening snow
a scent of rabbit
in all the air

wrinkled leaves
hotel children
smell of smoke

-- Glenn G. Coats (USA)


cold moon
snow flowers bloom
on the magnolia tree

just shy of full
the day moon
above barren trees

-- Cathy Drinkwater Better (USA)

cryptomeria bonsai –
many-armed Kali
in green sleeves

rhododendron bonsai –
nothing small
about the blossoms

-- David Ash (USA)

autumn dusk
cigarette smoke blown out the window
blows back in

creaky oar locks
after a few strokes
only fog

-- Michael Ketcheck (USA)

blanket of snow
the frozen shadow
of the spire
January dusk —
a camellia follows
the moon’s circle

-- Mark Lonergan (Ireland)

hospital walls
in the rowans
starlings snatch berries

iron shed
wild grasses press
at the locks

-- Nick Sherwood (England)

harvest moon
making a splash
on the kitchen calendar

-- Helen Buckingham (England)

the blue Pacific
slipping through my fingers
moon jellyfish

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)

but not tired
the stars

-- Matt Hetherington (Australia)

summer rains
between fallen branches
scum gathers

-- Earl Livings (Australia)

an old fish
in the quiet pond –

-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)

amid the embers
half read
Christmas cards

-- Chris Bays (USA)

spring breeze
the hems of her skirt

-- John Zheng (USA)

thin winter sun –
three pairs of red boots
cross the slush

-- Irene Brown (Scotland)

a rocking chair…
two fishing boats
nodding to each other

-- Sharon Burrell (Ireland)

waders on the shore
dancing to the beat
of the moon

-- Iggy McGovern (Ireland)

buttercup yellow   the sheen of the sky

-- Noel King (Ireland)

mid-summer sky
even the jet trails

-- Walter Daniel McGuire (Ireland)

dawn slumber
cawing of a tone deaf crow
shatters silence

-- Helen Simcox (Ireland)

sunlit grass –
heads bowed
at the funeral

-- Joanna M. Weston (Canada)

faint circle
the remains of our

-- John McManus (England)

spring rain –
alongside the road,
railroad tracks to nowhere

-- Joseph M. Kusmiss (USA)

melting snow
the spotted ponies
behind the fence

-- Frances Jones (USA)

first snow –
a manakin moonwalks
on the putting green

-- Ramesh Anand (Malaysia)


Translated Haiku

a dewdrop
bathed in dust
sprinkled with frost

-- Tatjana Debeljacki (Serbia; transl. from the Serbian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




Some Other Time


by Lucas Stensland (USA)



They are building a house across the street from her mother’s. They’ve been at it all summer. Its walls are easily bypassed plastic sheets, and the place has become a sort of playground for the neighbourhood kids when the workers leave. After watching my worn-down VHS of McCabe & Mrs. Miller, we decide to take a late-night walk and end up standing on the dirt floor of somebody’s future living room. I hold her in my arms, and we gently kiss, never opening our mouths very wide. Slowly, I put my hand under her t-shirt and lightly caress her waist. That’s as far as I go. She asks if I want to go to her mother’s and keep her company while she packs. We walk back, our shadows touching more than our hands. I wonder what it will be like next time I see her.

mix tape
how I said


Books Recieved


100 Selected Haiku of Kato Ikuya

translated and introduced by Prof. Ito Isao

Chuseki-Sha, Tokyo, 2011

104 pp.; ISBN 978-4-8060-4752-0

Available from Chuseki-Sha, Tokyo, Japan

Klaus-Dieter Wirth. Zugvoegel / Migratory Birds

150 Haiku. German/English/French/Spanish/Dutch

Hamburger Haiku Verlag, Hamburg, 2010

200 pp.; ISBN 978-3-937257-27-3

Available from


Stjepan Rozic. Biglisanje / Song of a Nightingale

Haiku. Croatian / English. English translations by Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic

Introduction by Klaus-Dieter Wirth

Otok Ivanic, Clostar Ivanic, Croatia, 2010

208 pp.; ISBN 953-7205-36-2

Available from Otok Ivanic, Vidikovac 8, 10312, Clostar Ivanic, Croatia



Doghouse Books

DOGHOUSE Books have a limited number of copies left of two collections of haiku poems by two Irish haijin:

John W Sexton. Shadows Bloom. DOGHOUSE Books. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Morning at Mount Ring. DOGHOUSE Books. Reviewed here

One can get them postage free for the price of €12 to anywhere in the world.

Also, check out here the range of poetry books and anthologies we've published.

PO Box 312
Co. Kerry

Tel: +353 (0)66 7137547
Fax: +353 (0)66 7137547

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Copyright 2011 Shamrock Haiku Journal