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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

                 Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world       



IHS International Haiku Competition 2014 announced!

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2014 offers prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English. In addition there will be up to seven Highly Commended haiku/senryu.

Details and previous winners here:

All the entries shall be postmarked by 30th November 2014. No e-mail submissions, please!

Good luck to all!

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

Add to your basket

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


Haiku & Senryu 

soft rain…
the lost scent of lilacs
comes pitter-patter back

valley fog following the bell-wether

stars come out –
all along the tideline
the twinkle of glass

a tree frog
leaps from the lily –
the greening rain

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)

the cat
chasing a fly
then its shadow

abandoned house
spiderwebs catching
afternoon light

delivering wind
through the mail slot

-- Ben Moeller-Gaa (USA)

autumn leaves –
blindsided by the burrow
of a scorpion

sun-soaked yard
the arching leaves
of lemongrass

-- Cynthia Rowe (Australia)

frosted lifeguard chair
scraping his lotto ticket
with a shell

a yawn
to the onlookers
snowy owl

-- Bill Cooper (USA)

January thaw –
a dog in booties
slides down the hill

-- Marshall Bood (Canada)

rain spangles
the fir tree
morning sunlight

-- Joanna M. Weston (Canada)

ladybird hiking
on the road of the blade


-- Noel King (Ireland)

sleepless night
between window and screen
a fluttering moth

-- Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)

a wary doe
leads her fawn
scythe moon

-- Andrew Shattuck McBride (USA)

winter breeze
some chapstick on
the mimes smile

-- Stephen A. Peters (USA)

her diamond ring
off eBay

-- Richard St. Clair (USA)

church bells at dusk
how slowly the fireflies

-- Chase Fire (USA)

backyard campout
flashlight beams search
the stars

-- Mark E. Brager (USA)

beyond this world
of black and white
rose-breasted grosbeak

-- Brent Goodman (USA)

ant mound
the spare block hosts
a million residents

-- Quendryth Young (Australia)

tarnished copper kettle
on the windowsill...
sun showers

-- Anne Curran (New Zealand)

drowning myself
in its sound

-- Rachel Sutcliffe (England)

an old tire swing
swaying in the wind

-- Bouwe Brouwer (The Netherlands)

giving birth
during the Civil War
father the enemy

-- Metod Češek (Slovenia)

end of summer
a maid rinsing pool pebbles
in the rain

-- Ramesh Anand (Malaysia)

lights out
the frogs croaking from afar
a half tone higher

-- Ernest Wit (Poland)

tuning their feathers
for autumn music

-- Judit Katalin Hollos (Hungary)


ar dhromchla na mara,
eitlíonn ealaí
os cionn scamall

(on the sea surface,
swans flying
above the clouds)

-- Buachallán Buí (Ireland; translated from the Irish by the author)

fresh snow
bird tracks converge…

-- Nikolay Grankin (Russia; translated from the Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

spring sun
golden mimosa flower-heads
on the snow

-- Lubov Pakhomova (Russia; translated from the Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

all smiles
in the family photo –
the dog dead serious

-- Anatoly Ilts (Belarus; translated from the Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

Winter Light by Clare Hartigan

"Winter Light" by Clare Hartigan (Ireland)




To Rest


by Bruce Ross (USA)



Overwhelmed by the unfathomable immensity of the Holocaust and pondering Theodor Adorno’s thought beyond metaphysics and theology “no art after Auschwitz.” Remembering the blue tattoo numbers I viewed as a child on ordinary people who had emigrated to the New World. Remembering the legend that the King of Denmark wore a yellow arm band in support of his minority citizens. Stilled to silence after viewing historical traces and memorials of this enigma here in Amsterdam but welled up with emotion.

       Sabbath candles
       laying my head down two blocks
       from Anne Frank’s house




by Raamesh Gowri Raghavan (India)

The grubby boy washes out the steps of the half-closed eatery. A dog stands by; tail a-wag in expectation. In the next shop, a light peeps from beneath a nearly closed shutter. The butcher's shop is still open where a gaunt attendant scrubs a knife. Blood mixes with grime as it flows out to the gutter, only to be dammed by cabbage and mango leaves.
     The marigold and jasmine seller cries out to the hurrying passers-by, “Three for the price of one.” So does the vegetable woman, her head half-covered, as her voice shears the silence. Eloquent and persuasive, the cadences rise and fall as she plies her rehearsed pitch.
     A shutter closes with a clang, followed closely by a motorcycle roar that soon groans away into the darkness. The clock-tower rings and I quicken my pace. I can hear the hum of the last bus' engine, and the whines of the drunk I shoved and sent swerving across the street. Elbows clash as I run through the customers of the busy, busy cigarette shop, but the bus has begun to move. A dash as I leap onto the footboard.
     The streetlights seem dimmer as my bus tears away. The bazaar sleeps.

cat's wail –
a tree of sparrows
wakes at night

One Rock out of Place

by Jay Friedenberg

A Haiku Collection

Alba Publishing, P.O. Box 266, Uxbridge,

UB9 5NX, England, 2013

40 pp, ISBN 978-0-957526-55-6

Available from

Priced at Euro 9/USD 12/BP 8.

Alba Publishing have already brought out quite a few excellent haiku collections (the latest we reviewed was the one by the poet from Northern Ireland Clare McCotter). This time the publishers switch their attention to an overseas poet.

This collection brings together 64 haiku by the New York City haijin Jay Friedenberg, who is familiar to our readers from his publications in Shamrock. His poems have also appeared in many other quality haiku periodicals. A member of the Spring Street haiku group, he benefitted from the exchange of poetic air with such authors as Scott Mason, Doris Heitmeyer, Cor van den Heuvel and many others.

The book consists of two parts; the first is called Town and Country, the second, a smaller one, City and Street.

First thing the reader will notice is that the poet is a keen observer of nature. Why a poet sees things more clearly than others do is an interesting question. Does somebody's childlike curiosity account for his clarity of vision? The following piece presents two simple images without subjective interpretation, and they work exceptionally well together:

          summer solstice
          the sunlight
          in each wave

The following poem is a good contemporary example of a haiku that uses wabi sabi in the way that Basho pioneered:

          dark alleyway
          a homeless man
          sits on a homeless couch

Homelessness and displacement are among the main themes of this collection. Another is social criticism:

          cable TV
          on each channel
          a different apocalypse

This piece is a senryu, however the majority of poems in the book are haiku. The economy of Mr Friedenberg's style is his forte:

          Zen garden
          one rock
          out of place

          hidden pond –
          water striders
          ride the last light

Both are among my favourite pieces in the book. The latter is also an excellent example of a poem that contains so called karumi, "haiku lightness", the quality Basho admired most. He once compared it to a "shallow river over a sandy bed."

The reviewed collection comes highly recommended.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky


Doghouse Books

DOGHOUSE Books have published the first ever national anthology of haiku poetry from Ireland, Bamboo Dreams, edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky and featuring 77 Irish haijin. Reviewed here. 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
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). 
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