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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

                 Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world       



We are six years old! Founded in January 2007, Shamrock Haiku Journal has since been published quarterly. On this occasion, we have prepared SHAMROCK HAIKU JOURNAL: 2007 – 2011, a print edition of the twenty issues of Shamrock, the Journal of the Irish Haiku Society, as they appeared on the Shamrock website. This paper-based collection comprises works by 248 authors representing 38 countries. It covers the full range of English-language haiku, from classic to experimental styles, as well as haibun and selected essays on haiku.

The translated haiku that appeared regularly in Shamrock over the last five years are not included in this book, as we hope to arrange a separate publication for them.

Shamrock Anthology Cover

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Shamrock Haiku Journal: 2007 – 2011
Edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky.

Copyright © 2007 – 2011 by Shamrock Haiku Journal.

All rights reserved.

Published in Dublin, Ireland.

Printed in the United Kingdom.

Price €15.98
ISBN 978-1-4709-3830-7

Trade paperback. 240 pp.
6"x9", perfect binding.

Preview available here

Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Awards 2012



The following piece that appeared in our No. 22 was voted the best haiku published in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2012:


evening traffic 
one horn sadder
than the rest

-- Glenn G. Coats (USA)



The following haiku that first appeared in our No. 21 was a close runner-up: 


in a silver frame
that summer breeze
through our hair

-- Terry O’ Connor (Ireland)




The following piece that was first published in our No 22 became the winner in this category:


old iron bed frame
the lover my pillows
gossip about


-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)


And the runners-up were the following piece that initially appeared in our No. 21 and No 22 respectively:

morning market
the face on the t-shirt

-- Tiggy Johnson (Australia)


wax museum
from behind Henry VIII

-- Anatoly Kudryavitsky (Ireland)

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



Haiku & Senryu 

lifting fog
reveals the inlet headland
my opening mind

Mount Monadnoch
when the view opens up

vernal equinox
under forest runoff
greenest grass

the Samedan Alps
crusted with sunlit snow
deeper into myself

the Buddha's chest
fills up with light
this heat

just enough
to make my mind center
the chime's tinkle

-- Bruce Ross (USA)

between the rain clouds,
yellow furze
atop the hill

a pointing spire –
the purples and blues
of the winter sky

house deserted –
rhubarb stumps
in the back garden

a potato mound –
old ship sails
keep it dry

a lettuce head
curling to its heart –
the only one unplucked

rainy summer over –
the hatchet handle

-- Noel King (Ireland)

moon shadows
the air sharp
with woodsmoke

clouded dusk
apple blossoms
light the meadow

hard frost
the huddled sphere
of a rabbit

-- Aron Rothstein (USA)

scattered peony petals…
my years away from home


change of season –
feeling lighter
after a haircut


Lunar New Year's Eve
I fold a
red-paper crane

-- Nu Quang (USA)

summer stream
my doppelganger
casts a fly

evening pond
one by one
sunfish speak

-- Joseph Kusmiss (USA)

the moan of a dove
I trace the curves
of her womanhood

sex education:
trying to fit a condom
over a banana

-- Chen-ou Liu (USA)

forgotten battlefield
a crash of thunder
shakes the grass

wishing well...
a galaxy of stars
on stagnant water

-- Chase Fire (USA)

thoughts of past lovers basil on my fingertips

in the eye of the deer a hunter’s moon

-- Mike Blottenberger (USA)

great tit
winter silence

warm front –
rain melts the
dandelion clock

-- Robert Davey (England)

tumbling canopy...
the delicate calls
of coal tits

loughside alder –
the magpie's arrival
scatters linnets

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland)

country lane
horse and rider cast
one shadow

bleached jetty…
the groaning ropes
of the moorings

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

the first fledgling
zigzags into cabbages
new year's day

heat wave
my neighbour's drumming
goes up a few decibels

-- Jan Dobb (Australia)

masons at work –
creeping along the stone wall
afternoon fog

-- Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)

gazing away from me
toward nothingness –
this wobbly foal

-- Steven Carter (USA)

empty feeder
the hummingbird hovers
by the door

-- Richard Krawiec (USA)

candling pines:
a salamander thrashes
in the heron's beak

-- Alicia Hilton (USA)

radiant day
each marigold
an autumn sun

-- John Zheng (USA)

under a leaf
gecko licks bulbous eyes

-- Albert Schlaht (USA)

end of winter
a snowman
becomes rain

-- Craig Steele (USA)

breath of morning
maiden grass fronds arc
into the pond

-- Thomas Chockley (USA)

mountain morning –
sunrise above
a sea of fog

-- Scott Owens (USA)

heart of an oak
rising sunlight spills
out in branches

-- Mark Kaplon (USA)

my child names
the colours

-- Ramesh Anand (Malaysia)

misty evening
his empty armchair
full of shadows

-- Dawn Bruce (Australia)

by the same moon
to this very well…
our foremothers

-- Simon Hanson (Australia)

I blow out the candles
on my birthday cake…
white dwarfs

-- Dietmar Tauchner (Austria)

the ringing
in my ears
cricket song

-- Vera Constantineau (Canada)

late read
a yawn-tear soaks into
the page of my book

-- Phillip Murrell (England)

august night
the moon chooses us
to follow

-- Paul Chambers (Wales)

high cry of cygnets
floating backwards
on fast water

-- Ciarán Parkes (Ireland)

Georgian doorway –
home to a line
of homeless men

-- Hugh O’Donnell (Ireland)

queue outside the book shop –
footprints line up
snow's typography

-- Adam Rudden (Ireland)

landfill site –
poking through the rubbish,
green shoots

-- Rachel Sutcliffe (England)

winter solstice
a ruby euphorbia
near the fireplace grid

-- Diana Teneva (Bulgaria)

dissolves into whiteness –
first black-necked cranes

-- Sonam Chhoki (Bhutan)

last summer day –
her parasol blackens
the rose

-- Sergio Ortiz (Puerto Rico)

IHS International Haiku Competition 2012 Results

The Irish Haiku Society is proud to announce the results of the fifth IHS International Haiku Competition. This year we saw a further increase in the number of participating authors. 262 haiku by poets from thirteen countries/territories (Australia, Canada, Chile, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Serbia, USA and Wales) were submitted to this year’s competition. It was adjudicated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, and was judged blindly. The following is the list of prize-winning and highly commended haiku.

1st Prize

 Alan S. Bridges (Massachusetts, USA) receives the first prize of € 150 for the following haiku:

gale-force wind
a bird's nest becomes
what it was

2nd Prize

The 2nd prize of € 50 goes to Steven Carter (Arizona, USA) for the following haiku:

wind in tamaracks -
whispering to shadows,

3rd Prize

John Barlow (England) and Ernest J. Berry (New Zealand) each receive the third prize of € 30 for the following haiku:

 drawing the geese
from the stubble fields
the pink-tinged sky

(by John Barlow)


funeral march
the crunch crunch crunch
of cicada husks

(by Ernest J. Berry)



Highly Commended Haiku

In alphabetical order:


Owen Bullock (New Zealand)

on the piano
photos of the ones
who don't visit


Tracy Davidson (England)

April showers
my inside-out umbrella
drowns a snail


Cathy Drinkwater Better (Pennsylvania, USA)

November dusk
a cloud of sparrows rounds
the weathered silo


Scott Mason (New York, USA)

end of summer
the busker's trouser cuffs
collect burs


Conor O'Neill (Ireland - Chile)

the late swallow passes
the first bat


Cynthia Rowe (New South Wales, Australia)

stone steps
an electric ant takes
the handrail


 Julie Warther (Ohio, USA)

spring equinox
chaise lounge claimed
by the swollen river

 Our congratulations go to all of the winners. We also express our sincere gratitude to the Administrator of the competition, without whom…



Meditation by Ammon Con, Taiwan

"Meditation" by Ammon Con, Taiwan





Near Rue Reydeau


by Steven Carter (USA)


Like an orange amoeba the sun’s aura floats behind his closed eyes, sharing a memory of Cheshire moons seen through her blonde hair.
     Surrounding him at the park: plots of yellow roses, asters, rosemary, carnations: even lilies.
     – And the still, sad murmurs of young couples; these sounds inexplicably put him in mind of a cinematic scene he saw in Stockholm long ago: Death taking a saw to the Tree of Life, telling an actor straddling the top branch: "There are no special regulations... There are no special –"
     Ghosts of the living... So where is she now? She loved bluebells, and he imagines her in a field of flowers, opening on a forest of strange trees, the kind that might grow on a distant planet – a paradise of daily picnics: their favourite pastime.
     Here they’d live and move and have their beings until – inevitably – she would go down on her knees, praying for ants.

taste of honeysuckle –
wishing well


Book Review

Spring Clouds: Haiku

by Bruce Ross

Published by Tancho Press, Bangor, ME, USA, 2012

128 pp, ISBN 978-0-9837141-1-8

Available from Tancho Press, Suite 127, 499 Broadway, Bangor, ME 04401, USA.

Priced at $US14.95.

Bruce Ross, a former President of the Haiku Society of America, who authored four collections of his haiku, is a frequent contributor to Shamrock, as well as many other haiku publications. His previous collections, Summer Drizzles: Haiku and Haibun and Endless Small Waves: Haibun, were reviewed in our No 8 and No 12 respectively.

This is, again, a collection of his haiku. It contains 114 poems, the majority of which is his new work. The glossy front cover has a haiga by the poet.

The book has a preface where the poet discusses the possible meanings of Basho’s zoka, the word that some translate as ‘nature’ but, as Bruce Ross argues, can also be defined as ‘creation’. He goes on to make the following statement:  ‘Basho’s zoka may be understood to be not a mere collection of objects in the world, but a process out of which these objects emerge.’

Now to Bruce Ross’s haiku, which he defines as ‘feeling connected to nature.’ The poet’s superb craftsmanship transpires as soon as you start reading his book.

the sparrow leaps
and his shadow too
lightest snow

without a shadow
without a reflection
lake reeds

Bruce Ross is very adept at writing classical haiku that can stand comparison with any old Japanese and contemporary English-language haiku of the highest standard.

autumn rain
the crow shifts his feet
before cawing

old growth mountain
two red dragonflies couple
and uncouple

This is American haiku writing at its best. Bruce Ross once expressed his concern about “a danger that haiku would, in the near, future become undifferentiated from senryu.” Not many of his own poems, however, are likely to be confused with senryu or other non-haiku poems. In the reviewed collection, the piece that seems to be the closest to senryu is this:

a billion stars
and not a thought
in my head

A poet’s self-deprecating irony usually makes the readers very sympathetic to his lyrical hero.

Bruce Ross’s poems like the following will give the reader a chance to, again, admire shasei, i.e. the art of “sketching from life” given to the world by Masaoka Shiki.

spring rain
the dog house older
than the house

a solitary crow
from tree to tree
first snow

But is Bruce Ross only a neoclassicist? Let’s look at the following poem:

another snowstorm…
in and out of my dreams
the morning star

‘The morning star’ – where? In the poet’s dreams – and then coming out of them, thus becoming real? I tend to agree with Jim Kacian who states that this particular kind of haiku “uses a surprising self-referential strategy that in academia might be called post-modern.” There are not too many obviously innovative poems scattered around the pages of this collection but doesn’t every masterly haiku offer a new way of seeing the world? An innovation by its very nature, or should I call it an experiment in the unknown?

I enjoyed reading this collection very much, and I am sure that many lovers of this genre will find a nice place for it on their ‘best-loved books’ shelf.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky


Doghouse Books

DOGHOUSE Books have just published the first ever national anthology of haiku poetry from Ireland, Bamboo Dreams, edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky and featuring 77 Irish haijin. It is available to order via the Doghouse Books website.

Bamboo Dreams

Also, we have a limited number of copies left of three collections of haiku poems by two Irish haijin:

John W Sexton. Shadows Bloom. DOGHOUSE Books, 2005. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Morning at Mount Ring. DOGHOUSE Books, 2007. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Capering Moons. DOGHOUSE Books, 2011. 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
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Tel: +353 (0)66 7137547
Fax: +353 (0)66 7137547

Copyright © by Shamrock Haiku Journal. All rights reserved. All the Shamrock Haiku Journal contents are copyright by the indicated poets/artists. All the rights revert to the authors and artists upon publication in Shamrock. Any unauthorised copying of the contents of Shamrock Haiku Journal is strictly forbidden. The Shamrock logo image is copyright © by Christine Zeytounian-Belous (Paris, France). 
Copyright 2013 Shamrock Haiku Journal