Shamrock Haiku Journal

Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world

Issue 6



Haiku Journal

of the Irish Haiku Society


Attenzione: Poets

The editor of Shamrock Haiku Journal has recently returned from Tuscany where he and a few other haiku poets from several European countries had spent a week enjoying gorgeous seaviews, as well as wonderful Italian hospitality. The foreign part of the group learned a few Italian words, which always come in handy if you wish to communicate with the locals. One of the interesting words that we memorised was attenzione – it always appears on metallic plates next to a picture of a large-toothed dog.

There were a few situations where we thought about finding an appropriate Italian word – e.g. when an Italian poet lit a cigarette in the mines we were visiting, directly under the “No smoking! Explosive atmosphere” poster. Or when a certain Swedish female writer started whispering in other poets’ ears that Shamrock published the Swedish author Tomas Tranströmer without his permission. If a person is subject to illusions and delusions of a very singular kind, the facts are not likely to prevail. Of course, we mentioned Tomas Tranströmer’s written permission to publish his poems that we keep on file and are prepared to show to an interested party… All in vain. The dogs on metallic plates showed their teeth, the Swedish haiku poet had a sulky dogged expression on her face, and resorted to personal insults, in the “never defend, always attack” style…

Well, what can we say? Attenzione: poets!


Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Award


The following piece by John Barlow (England) published in our No 4 was voted the best haiku poem that appeared in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2007:


a bee bumbles

through nettles


The runner-up was the following haiku by Rose Hunter (Canada that also appeared in Shamrock No 4:


mid-morning sun

turning our chairs

bit by bit


A piece by Petar Tchouhov (Bulgaria) was voted the best senryu poem published in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2007:


Father’s Day
the little girl wants
a male doll


(First published in Shamrock Haiku Journal No 4. Translated by the author)


Many congratulations to the winners!



Focus on



In this issue, we continue publishing haiku from the Balkans. As our readers surely remember, works by a few haijin from Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro appeared in our No 3. The current issue focuses on Croatia, the country where the haiku movement is one of the best developed in Europe. We commit to publishing haiku from Serbia and Slovenia, as well as works from other countries, in the forthcoming issues of our magazine.




water has risen
the stork
suddenly legless



silent people
with flowers

-- Tomislav Marjan Bilosnić (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





all out!
wasps defending their nest
from an axeman




looking out the window –

on my neighbour’s roof,

yellow dandelion


-- Zlata Bogović (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





a raindrop lands

on my palm

full moon


-- Borivoj Bukva (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





pretending to be asleep,

a little girl falls

into a doze


-- Marijan Cekolj (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





look at this clover
with folded green petals

it prays to Buddha!



under the hooves
of a king’s equestrian statue,
twenty pigeons


hundreds cherry petals
covered by two
magnolia petals


-- Vladimir Devidé (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




chirping crickets
wake up
the dawn



photographer falls –
what a nice picture

of the sky!



hopping in the yard,
a few sparrows and

and a breadcrumb


-- Dina Franin (translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




Saturday cleaning –
Hoover gorging
on rose petals



New Year’s Day
falling snow
fills chestnut shells



twilight hour
a peacock folding up
his tail



desolate garden
a plum petal takes shelter
in an empty snail shell


-- Željko Funda (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




farmyard –
bindweed tendrils patching
the old fence


 -- Željko Funda (translated by the author)




boathouse in autumn
canoes and kayaks
dreaming of oars


-- Anica Gečić (translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




empty nest on the roof –
up aloft, two storks

battle it out



storm wind
starting a spectacular dance

of snowflakes

-- Anica Gečić (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




on the virgin snow,
a squirrel’s trail

and pieces of nutshell

-- Franjo Hrg (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




up the grass blade…
a tiny snail has started
on a journey



on the hill-slope,
a tractor ploughing

the horizon

-- Ivan I. Ivanćan (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




night calm –
the boat rocking
a drowsy fisherman

-- Julija Ivić (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




spider’s web –

no hanging insects this morning,

only dewdrops

-- Ivanka Glogović Klarić (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




empty medow
hay and its fragrance
taken away



sitting by the stove
my granny tells me stories

of her granny

-- Dubravko Korbus (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




crickets nowhere to be seen –

the bark of an olive tree,

-- Marinko Kovačević (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




shower has stopped –
the whole village

under the rainbow

-- Zdravko Kurnik (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




summer evening –
tin soldiers sleeping

on the mown grass

-- Vesna Kurs (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




hoarfrost on the lawn –
a dog warms up his paws
with his breath



guarding the vineyards,
summer houses

-- Timjana Mahećić (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





invisible fruit-pickers –
their song
wandering through the fog



from one patch of lettuce
to another…

a glossy slug trail

-- Vjera Majstrović (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





despite everything,
her dog wags its tail

when we meet



in front of an inn
cows in the lorry awaiting

the driver drinking



hailstorm over –

broken flowers

exhale fragrance




winter moonlight –

shadows of trees marking

a path in the wood




for a moment

white butterfly has flown

into the dark tunnel


-- Tomislav Maretić (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




in the dusk –
a vanishing angler,
the glow of his cigarette



rainy street –
steps and voices,

fewer and fewer


-- Duško Mataš (translated by DV Rošić and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




on a park bench,
a dry leaf
on its own



this old woman’s
straw hat –
flowers blossoming on it!



under the tower-clock
a man waiting
looking at his watch


-- Duško Mataš (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




low tide
boys playing

on the seabed

-- Marija Marela Mimica (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




girl wielding a broom

sweeps the courtyard,
dances with leaves




fragile and fluffy,
sparkling with silver frost –

the moonlit wire fence




so pale,

this sickle moon

above the glittering city


-- Ružica Mokos (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




hanging their heads

under the weight of rainwater,

first snowdrops



tram doors open –
enter sparrows’

-- Ružica Mokos (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




walking across the graveyard –
black marble
reflects me accurately

-- Ivan Nadilo (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




blizzard again
snowflakes covering

the postman’s footprints



reflection of the moon
gently rocking a boat…

midnight hour



old grating
a spider web still catching


-- Boris Nazansky (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




snow gone

grow higher

-- Zdenko Oreč (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




plum petals landing
– so carefully! –
in nettles



a woman sweeping leaves
from her husband’s grave

onto another

-- Ivan Pahernik (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




windy day –
a broom and a bucket,

all that’s left of a snowman

summer storm
the slug

-- Sanja Petrov (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




a cow under
the apple-tree
gnawing on petals

-- Zvonko Petrovič (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




slowing down
with each passing day,

old neighbours’ footsteps

-- Dunja Pezelj (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




birds leaving this place
the autumn wind carries along

a nest

-- Ivo Posavec (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




cold morning –
from a passing car,

Eine kleine Nachtmusik


-- Ljerka Postek Jalaca (translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




out cycling,
I pedal on to catch up with
the setting sun

-- Ljerka Postek Jalaca (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




a boy at the puddle –
with his bucket he
scoops out the sun

-- Jasminka Predojev(translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)



spring in the city –
on the café table,
fresh artificial flowers

-- Zivko Prodanović (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




morning snowfall –
garlic in the kitchen basket
sprouting up



starless night –
in one of the windows,
flickering candle-light

-- Vida Pust-Škrgulja (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




a bunch of ants
drinking sunshine
from a dewdrop

-- Vjekoslav Romich (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




old country road
two cows pulling a cart

-- Stjepan Rožić (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




a butterfly fluttering
above the bridge –
a child stops crying

-- Mirko Varga (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




southerly wind
causing strife

between the boats

-- Mirko Vidović (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)



sunset –
winter waves rinsing
walkers’ shadows



early March –
scarecrow in the field
frightening snowflakes away

autumn sunset –
the wind takes away
the birch-tree’s golden tears



a hay-loft and a stable
resting against
each other

-- Djurdja Vukelić Rožić (transl. by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)



sliding across the harp strings
of a weeping willow,
wind’s fingers



empty seashell –
a raindrop’s home

-- Djurdja Vukelić Rožić (transl. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





morning walk…
I touch a leaf –
it sighs and starts to smell



narrowly missing each other
and the summer –

two girls roller-skating



summer lunchtime –
instead of a seagull,

a crow watches over the sea



sea-coast in autumn –
rippled water and
swaying tree-tops



autumn –
between two skyscrapers,
a trembling apple-tree

-- Jadran Zalokar (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)




lazy day –
stretching itself,
the grandpa’s couch

-- Božena Zernec (translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)



Haiku in Croatia

Djurdja Vukelić Rožić


Haiku movement in Europe has started at the beginning of the 20-th century. Talking about Croatia, haiku were first published in this country much later, in early 1960s. The publication occurred in Split, and the haiku was written by Tonči Petrasov Marović. At approximately the same time haiku by Dubravko Ivančan of Krapina were published in Zagreb. By 1977 Croatia had its first magazine titled ‘Haiku' now regarded as the first of its kind in Europe. 'Haiku' magazine was first edited by prof. Željko Funda and by Prof. Zvonko Petrović, both from Varaždin. It was comprised of short-form poetry from the countries of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, i.e. Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia. 'Haiku' appeared more or less irregularly, and the last issue of this magazine came out in 2004.

Utterly surprising is the number of quality haiku poets in this country, the population of which, according to the 2004 census, is 4.5 million people. In modern-days Croatia there are approximately four hundred haiku poets. Croatian haijin have formed four haiku associations based in  Samobor, Zagreb, Rijeka and Ivanić Grad. Croatian haiku associations and universities organise various haiku competitions, both nationally and internationally. Haiku contests are getting increasingly popular these years. Croatian haijin were the proud winners of quite a number of haiku awards for their haiku written in their own tongue. Translations of their work into English and Japanese were awarded many prestigious haiku prizes abroad, e.g. in such countries as Japan and the USA.Their works has been collected in many prestigious haiku anthologies, and appeared in such haiku magazines as “Vrabac/Sparrow”, “Haiku”, “Galeb” (these three haven't been in circulation for quite a few years) and the recently establihed “Iris”. There are also two Croatian websites publishing and promoting haiku:, and Every year new poets try their hands at writing haiku. A few mainstream Croatian poets are also known to write haiku: to name but a few, Luko Paljetak, Enes Kišević, Pajo Kanižaj and the late Dragutin Tadijanović.

One of the most prominent haiku poets in Croatia is Prof. Vladimir Devidé, mathematician and Japanologist. We must point out his devotion to and his successful efforts in promoting the genre, as well as Japanese culture and literature in general, in his home country. His work as a haiku poets spanned a period of nearly half a century. Nearly every library in Croatia has his books on the shelves, and they are always in demand. All in all, he has published 19 books, including collections of haiku poetry, books on Japan and on Japanese culture. He has also published numerous essays on haiku in Croatian and foreign literary magazines, made numerous appearances on the national radio and television, lectured extensively throughout the country, and was always there for younger poets to help them master the haiku genre. It is difficult to overestimate his work as a magazine editor and as the organiser of haiku symposia and festivals, not to mention that he was the founder of several Croatian haiku associations. Croatian haiku movement owes him a lot.

Croatian haiku associations have been busy in the last couple of decades organising haiku meetings, gatherings and competitions. The latter offered prizes for haiku written in Croatian and in English, and sometimes even in a few dialects of the Croatian language, e.g. in the Kajkavian and Tschakavian Dialects. Annual haiku gatherings take place in Samobor (the latest was the sixteenth), in Ludbreg, in Krapina (named after the late Dubravko Ivančan), in Milna on Brač Island, and in Kloštar Ivanić (the latest was the sixth). Both the haiku contest in Kloštar Ivanić and the Ludbreg Calendar Rokovnik are international haiku contests offering prizes for haiku written in English. On each occasion the organisers publish booklets containing the award-winning haiku.

The introduction of the Internet in 1990's helped haiku to take roots in Croatia. Unforunatelly, quite a number of Croatian poets still don't own a personal computer. Those who are active on the web exchange information on a regular basis, and share their work with fellow haijin.

The Croatian language,as well as its dialects, has a structure somewhat similar to Japanese – at least, the number of syllables in Croatian words is approximately the same as the number of onji in Japanese words.  This encourages Croatian haiku writers to use similar metric structures. Also, Croatian climate is very much like that of Japan. Both countries have four seasons, with distinctive differences between them. Jim Kacian once suggested that one of the probable reasons for Croatia having quite a number of quality haiku poets is the local lifestyle: many of the Croats still live in small towns and villages, and they remain quite close to nature throughout their lives. Many of those who are based in big cities have also holiday homes in a rural area. Scenic landscapes and the ever-changing Adriatic Sea can also account for the desire of Croatian poets to write about our beautiful country.


(translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

Djurdja Vukelić Rožić is a member of The Association of Croatian Haiku Poets, Zagreb; she was the editor-in-chief of the "Haiku" magazine.


"Butterfly" by Zoran Turkalj (Croatia)


Haiku & Senryu

As our readers will surely notice, we publish in this section a few haiku/senryu by new Irish haiku poets: Sharon Burrell, Sean Donegan, Susan Kelly, Robert Naczas, Andrew Michael O’Brien. For most of them, as well as for our renowned writer and editor Pat Boran, this is the first publication in an international haiku periodical. We wish the poets the best of luck on their haiku-no-michi, i.e. on the haiku path!




first bleak day –
passing in parallel
wakes of geese



step by toddler step –
the intimacy
of pebbles


suddenly a leaf
still on the willow twig
turns kingfisher

-- Diana Webb (England)





hedge –
new shoots
out of line



cattle train…
the underground station
smells of grass



box of fabric –
sorting my
past intentions

-- Quendryth Young (Australia)





early autumn
the conductor too
coughs between movements



melting ice
a black crow has perched
on the lifebuoy



early spring
giggles from an iPod
in the lecture room

-- Lars Vargo (Sweden)




chilly morning –
geese in formation
over the Dart line


evening thunderstorm
housemartins nesting
in our balcony


depth of winter –
a train’s headlights glowing
in the half-light

-- Sharon Burrell (Ireland)





ebbing tide –
the sandcastle



clearing sky
pattern of pine needles
where a puddle was

-- Nathalie Buckland (Australia)





rainstorm –
roof leaks
water music



leafless trees –
a one-legged man
swinging between sticks

-- Hugh O’Donnell (Ireland)





she closes her eyes
to bite the apple

autumn breeze


hazy day

an old man
studies his palm

-- Philip Miller (USA)




water-logged field
the horses’ new companions



antique salesman
his wad of notes
smells musty

-- Richard J. Turner (England)




spring morning
the calf’s slobber
catches sunlight



in the last of the light a hoopoe’s crest

-- Robert Lucky (USA)




arctic winds…
the chimney
bubbles over

arctic winds…
a homeless man walks past
the shelter

-- Charlotte Digregorio (USA)




an unsought shovel –
it newlyweds
the first snowfall



woman at the wrong stop
waiting for
her bus

-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)




parched fields
a purple peak stabbing
the clouded sky



plummeting in a spiral flap
of flightless wings,
new-born chicks

-- Susan Kelly (Ireland)




sinking in the bog,
the roof of a rusting car...
fragile fontanelle



children's playground
with its solitary swing
measuring the time

-- Sean Donegan (Ireland)



dream of a sparrow   morning

-- Pat Boran (Ireland)




shroud of mist
night enters the shack
through a skylight

-- Gautam Nadkarni (India)




hops across the grass
on its shadow

-- Greg Schwartz (USA)



late March –
in each window
a different season

-- Robert Naczas (Ireland/Poland)



named after
an Egyptian pharaoh, 
this playful cat

-- Michael Andrew O’Brien (Ireland)




singer on the stage
dancing with
his shadow

-- John Tiong Chunghoo (Malaysia)




dad’s bread…
another grey hair
in the mix

-- Helen Buckingham (England)



Day after Christmas

by Roberta Beary (USA)

We are at the mother of all sales, scrunched up against the hats, the no-good, the bad and the downright ugly. Try this one, she orders, and this, and this. There is no room to move, let alone try something on.  With stone face, I lift my hands and obey. She is, after all, my big sister. Buy the red one, she points, yelling for all to hear, it makes your nose look less big.


my neighbor's tree kicked
to the curb


by Roberta Beary (USA)


the cute redhead talks like this – dad walked out? when i was five? and might come back? even though it's a long shot? and the old guy next to her leans over and asks why mom gave him up but kept his sister and a nerdy college kid mumbles about finding his father passed out on the kitchen floor the cigarette burning in his hand and i tell anyone who'll listen the first drink was poured here 100 years before i was born.

a slight wobble
in the high wire…
winter crows


Book Review

"Ten Years Haikujane" by Jane Reichhold.
AHA Books, Calofornia, USA, 2008.
ISBN: 0-944676-45-6
Available via

The new book by the renowned American poet Jane Reichhold brings together her haiku written between 1999 and 2008. Known to many as the author of "Enjoying Haiku: a Hands-on Guide" brought out by Kodansha International, she has published 31 collections of haiku, tanka and renga. Her translation of "Complete Haiku of Basho" is due from Kodansha International. The haiku in Jane Reichhold's "Ten Years Haikujane",
generally seven to a page, are grouped under the year, in which they were written. The book can be viewed as a kind of haiku diary, remarkable for the sharpness of the author's vision but also very moving. The poems are deeply felt and beautifully crafted. Just two examples:

crystal vase
even the flowers
have a moon

a morning moon
lining up the planets
I dream of beads

Overall, the book is a worthwhile addition to anybody's haiku library.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky