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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

                 Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world       



We are seven 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 2013



19 haiku have been nominated as the best of the year by our readers and contributors. The following piece that appeared in our No. 26 was voted the best haiku published in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2013:


no regrets
about rushing into it –
blossom wind

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)



The following haiku that first appeared in our Nos. 25, 24, 25 and 26 respectively were runners-up: 


small town
the only traffic light
flashing amber

-- Ignatius Fay (Canada)


forgotten battlefield
a crash of thunder
shakes the grass

-- Chase Fire (USA)

blue moon
an empty bottle
sings with the wind

-- Ben Moeller-Gaa (USA)

spring planting
I fill the scarecrow
with fresh hay

-- Robert Henry Poulin (USA)



Six senryu have been nominated as the best of the year by our readers and contributors. The following piece that was first published in our No 26 became the winner in this category:


cubist lesson
I look at my cat


-- Dawn Bruce (Australia)


And the runners-up were the following pieces that initially appeared in our Nos. 26 and 25 respectively:

shades of autumn
a phone call for someone
I used to be

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)


ironing –
all those wrinkles
on my hand

-- Duncan Richardson (Australia)

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


Haiku & Senryu 

liquid day
a dissolving sea eagle

autumn gust
a stray yellow tabby
on the doormat

hellfire sermon
the church's ceiling fans
gain speed

summer thirst
a mosquito on my thumb
on the coke straw

-- Jan Dobb (Australia)

the drumlin's curve
a pine's shadow

dormant heather
a wren ticks into
another year

steady rain
in a leafless forest
the clearing's hush

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland)

a flash of moon
her long hair
almost grey

on the lapping shore
four moons

cloudburst –
swiftly scattering

-- Vincent O’Connor (Ireland)

first rays of sun
fog frees the mountains
one stone at a time

the smoothness
of the cliff edge
where they jump

back on the wagon
after Christmas
unsold trees

-- Rachel Sutcliffe (England)

the old man's Harley
in the garden –
first frost

the first bite
is all I want
wild pear

butterfly drifting into the next life

-- S.M. Abeles (USA)

a purple thistle crown
rising over barley

New Years Day
I watch loved ones recede to
silver speck of sky

-- Martin Vaughan (Ireland)

light wind
shushes through trees

autumn wind
in the lee of the oak
its shadow in leaves

-- Patrick G. Burke (Ireland)

tracks in the snow
a cat's a bird's
a cat's

the palm trees
out of step

-- Robert Davey (England)

sweep of the sea
kelp on the tide line

mountain stream
the colour of branches
shading the water

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

luggage scale
the weight of everything
left behind

the woman on the aisle reads
Instant Weight Loss

-- Joan Prefontain (USA)

wind on the wires
even my whistle
out of tune

cherry blossoms
he shovels them
like snow

-- Glenn Coats (USA)

predawn dew
the chill of darkness
between my toes

moonlit snow
the melody
of crickets' dreams

-- Chase Fire (USA)

deep blue evening
a single line of geese
above the moon

morning return
on a train to Cardiff
half of the moon blue

-- Thomas Chockley (USA)

wind sweeps
tall grasses...
morning jazz

the darkness
in creased folds –
origami heart

-- Mark Smith (USA)

swirling fog
within the gateway a wood carrier
takes form

maple sapling
alone in the back yard
waiting for leaves

-- William Seltzer (USA)

rainstorm –
the chrysalis weaves
another dream

misted moon…
the fallow field rising
with each breath

-- Mark E. Brager (USA)

greeny canal water...
face to face
with Patrick Kavanagh

snowflakes ...
the silence drifts
into my room

-- Chen-ou Liu (Canada)

neem leaves on the ground
bitter taste
in my mouth

fierce summer rain –
ants tussle over shelter
on cattle’s backs

-- Padmini Krishnan (Singapore)

under his
fierce looking beard,
a weak chin

-- J.D.Heskin (USA)

a fool for beauty
inside the art gallery
alongside my wife

-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)

red clouds
pile up on the horizon –
yacht race

-- Joseph M. Kusmiss (USA)

frosty breath
sweeps across the forest floor
lilies droop

-- Albert Schlacht (USA)

the slow silence
of a snail

-- Gregory Longenecker (USA)

wilderness park
sleek ducks crowding
the food dispenser

-- Stewart C. Baker (USA)

long winter –
snowman melts into
his reflection

-- Theresa A. Cancro (USA)

between the bed wrinkles winter shadows

-- Martin Gottlieb Cohen (USA)

full moon
on the windowsill
a water drop

-- Louisa Howerow (Canada)

temple bell –
woman whispers
an unknown prayer

-- Samantha Sirimanne Hyde (Australia)

on a darkening sea
crimson sunset

-- Simon Hanson (Australia)

a bowl of soup
the blind man lowers his face
into its steam

-- John McManus (England)

around cone-heavy pines
goldcrest song

-- David J. Kelly (Ireland)

floating clouds...
the sea of poppies
breezes more hues

-- Neelam Dadhwal (India)

cotton flowers -
the sky blooming with

-- Pravat Kumar Padhy (India)

winter drizzle
putting the cat
to sleep

-- Ernest Wit (Poland)

full moon...
among whispering reeds,
an empty boat

-- Rita Odeh (Israel)





plume blanche...
dans la forêt glaciale
un mulot tremble

white feather...
in the icy forest
a fieldmouse trembles

le point du jour entre
dans mes rêves

intruder alarm
daybreak enters
my dreams

robe à pois
son ombre couverte
de marguerites

polka dot dress
her shadow covered
in daisies

-- Marion Clarke (Ireland; translated from the French by the poet)

pushing a broken leaf
into my coat pocket

winter morning
the bus, the wind
and a butterfly

-- Jadran Zalokar (Croatia; translated from the Croatian by the poet and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

IHS International Haiku Competition 2013 Results

The Irish Haiku Society is proud to announce the results of the sixth IHS International Haiku Competition. 148 haiku by poets from eight countries/territories (Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland and the USA) 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

 John Barlow (England) receives the first prize of € 150 for the following haiku:

over the eggs
they laid too soon
late falling snow

2nd Prize

The 2nd Prize of € 50 goes to Quendryth Young (Australia) for the following haiku:

sun's out
a drop on the lily pad
changes to green

3rd Prize

Scott Mason (New York, USA) and 
Ian Storr (England) each receive the third prize of € 30 for the following haiku:

 the faint melody
of a carousel
swirling leaves

(by Scott Mason)


winter's end
fence wire ripples
in the wake of a coot

(by Ian Storr)



Highly Commended Haiku

In alphabetical order:


Ernest Berry (New Zealand)

sacred ground
red geraniums 
where they fell


Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)

jardin d'hiver
la balancelle de mon père
toujours grinçante


winter garden
my father's swing seat
still creaking


Robert Davey (England)

dawn grey
the scratch of a claw
from the sleeping dog


Cynthia Rowe (Australia)

on the pine
a feather stiff with sleet
ice moon


Timothy Russell (USA)

a pinwheel on the next grave
suddenly starts up


Jennifer Sutherland (Australia)

dusk shadows
a peacock’s cry
across the paddocks


 Quendryth Young (Australia)

spring birdsong
a common cuckoo 
barges in

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



"Night" by Emilia Georgieva, Bulgaria







by Clyde Kessler (USA)


Black cohosh, its white flower stalk with a few ants – a scavenger's bug bane rooted in humus. I will grind up the rhizomes and sell an herbal mix for sore throats, bad kidneys, depression. No studies really exist about long-term safety, you say. Might get a damaged liver, might watch the sunrise back down into the horizon, hallucinating its core inside your heart.
     Treating most ailments with weeds, you also say, is like playing tag with a rat. I imagine the rat running across the kitchen counter, splotched gray. I rattle some dry seeds in a match box, and we both wink at each other.

father's hospice care –
the nurse talks to white roses,
the curtains open


Book Review

Measuring: Dedalus New Writers 1

by Marie Coveney, Clare McCotter, John Saunders

Published by Dedalus Press, 13 Moyclare Road, Dublin 13, Ireland, May 2012

78 pp, ISBN 978-1-906614-58-4

Available from

Priced at Euro 11.

This collection brings together work by three emerging poets Marie Coveney, Clare McCotter and John Saunders. Two of them, Marie Coveney and Clare McCotter, had their haiku published in Shamrock, although it is McCotter’s selection, and her haiku poetry in particular, that is of interest here. 

Clare McCotter has distinguished herself in the field of haiku in Ireland and the UK, and has won the Irish Haiku Society Dochas Ireland Haiku Award in 2010 and 2011. 

Within the confines of twenty pages in this slim, shared volume, McCotter manages to pack in enough haiku, tanka and haibun to populate a regular-sized individual collection. 

She has a sharp eye and an open mind for unique and original observations of the world she inhabits:

     the fallen foxglove
     a slug's soft dream

It is a world full of horses, starlight and dark and silver presences.

She has forged a distinctive voice and style without ever becoming locked into any set haiku pattern. Her work moves seamlessly from conventional 5-7-5 to slimmer lines with a generous offering of one line and occasional four line treatments. Each poem is thus given a considered, customised presentation.

Sometimes there is a tendency towards language that is overly complex (e.g. “veridical”; “sapid reliquary”) which is often a sign that some reconsideration may be called for. At times, too, the poetry can come across a tad too intense and you can’t help feeling the mood would benefit from a lighter touch. These are minor quibbles, however, and do not detract from the overall experience of a rich collection from a poet whose work deserves attention. When she gets it right as she so often does, she achieves an undeniable beauty and simplicity:

     white crocus
     the pianist’s trembling
     translucent hands

     evening star
     a silver sapling
     in the junkyard

The reader is left with a vivid, almost dreamlike impression, of having somehow participated in the experiences that McCotter recounts and for this very reason she deserves the widest possible audience. Dedalus Press, too, deserves credit for its continuing respect and support for Haiku poetry.

Martin Vaughan


Doghouse Books

DOGHOUSE Books have recently 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, there's 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
Co. Kerry

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 2014 Shamrock Haiku Journal