Shamrock No 31 Haiku from Ireland and
the rest of the world

An international online journal that publishes quality haiku, senryu and haibun in English

(not for submissions)

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IHS International Haiku Competition 2015 announced!

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2015 offers prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English.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 / e-mailed by 30th November 2015.

Good luck to all!

sunset on Gloucester Lane –
concrete bollards
in railing shadow twine

after rain
half a dozen pigeons
making ripples

shadowland –
around the ash
a circle of black leaves

a free-for-all
in the willow arch –
sparrow convention

heat wave –
in the pond tadpoles

hauliers –
birdsong winching up
the sun!

-- Hugh O’Donnell (Ireland)

cooing pigeons
from the branches
bubbles of woodwind

wild geese
veering north
on the starmap

bluebell wood
of the sky

against the window
the fly's filigree wings
the gauze of rain

on dark foliage
jasmine flowers sip
the starlight

a sudden slit
in the papery sky –
golden ink spilt

-- Anton Floyd (Ireland)

rice picking –
grass carp
brushes ankle

dusk –
swallows weave
through bails of hay

walking to church –
the bells make the new air

daybreak –
first wind
through the oaks

father’s old house –
his voice both here
and gone

twilight –
waves breaking
with the fisherman’s casts

-- Michael Andrew (Ireland)

through thorny trees –
a scarlet tanager

evening lull
a seaside cave exhaling

a moment’s interlude
the young soldier staring
at his hands

weeping cherry tree
in the graveyard
the first to bloom

depth of autumn
horses bow before
the setting sun

-- Anatoly Kudryavitsky (Ireland)

coral trees
losing hearts
all day long

peacock spider adrift
in a gusty sea
of sunflowers

hovering peregrine
fixed above the cliff
fulcrum of shadows

drifting lotus root
the wet light

-- Paul Casey (Ireland)

spring frost
a puff of cirrus
swept from the moon's mouth

choppy waves
a young concertina player
juggling a hornpipe

last autumn's leaves
through the still May dawn

winter solstice
the footsteps of a missing dog

-- Mary O’Keeffe (Ireland)

tide on the turn
estuary driftwood
chops and churns

dense forest floor
along the rotting trunk
a row of saplings

river divides
the island granted
right of way

last rook leaves
gleaned corn field

-- Michael Scott (Northern Ireland)

season of mist
mushrooms sprout up
in the city park

moss growing
without roots…

a daffodil twines
around the bare tree

heather bush
full of bees…
starless sky

-- Alex Bramwell (England)

gloomy morning
damp irises spark
in the garden

some sort of order
in the winding path

out from the ditch
and into the ditch –
a fox’s tail

-- James Burke (Ireland)

September sunshine
buddleia abloom
with butterflies

through the mist…
beechnut burrs
crackle underfoot

morning frost
writing on the windscreen
in whorls

-- Patrick Gerard Burke (Ireland)

distant sirens
over the border bridge
a blood moon

spring dewdrops...
in my dead friend's room
the clock still ticks

floating in the pond
the frog
my drunken shadow

-- Chen-ou Liu (Canada)

a sparrow’s
wandering footprints
late snowfall

spring rain
the cat’s possession
of my chair

-- Ignatius Fay (Canada)

the dog tied
to the hospital

frozen dawn
the runner recovers
in his own steam

-- David Serjeant (England)

lightning –
the spider slips deeper
into the bath

a caterwaul
sets off the dogs
spring moon

-- Paul Chambers (Wales)

traffic junction –
carrion crows hitch a lift
on the wind

debris strewn beach –
the fishermen
gather rubbish

-- Juliet Wilson (Scotland)

reflections quiver
in the pool
willow branches

icy path –
hesitant hops
of a thrush

-- Michael Gallagher (Ireland)

leaf by leaf
the oak's slow
opening to light

first sound
of the new year
a laughing gull

-- Peter Newton (USA)

loose thump
of the bullfrog’s cello –
the moon ripples

copper beech leaves –
the dull glitter
of carp in dark water

-- Kim Welliver (USA)

last night's argument
in the morning air
wildfire smoke

lone mourning dove
follows the pair
cooler mornings

-- Alanna C. Burke (USA)

under moon glow –
sand waves
in the long jump pit

spring field –
each step an explosion
of grasshoppers

-- Kent Travis (USA)

dawn concert
a quartet of crows
debugging the lawn

-- Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)

the wren turns his head
from side to side

-- Ann Magyar (USA)

a fallow field lights up
in dewdrops

-- Lolly Williams (USA)

full moon
the black widow
keeps to the shadows

-- Cyndi Lloyd (USA)

garden gnome
cabbage leaves tickle
the white beard

-- Kyle Craig (USA)

polishing mirrors –
his children's faces shine
from a far-off hut

-- Darrell Petska (USA)

summer downpour
the cat's fur scented
with the neighbour's perfume

-- Nola Obee (Canada)

a muskrat
sequins of sun ripple
the silence

-- Debbie Strange (Canada)

window ice
the garden thaws
in sparkles

-- Simon Hanson (Australia)

local oval
a weekday wind whips leaves
into goal

-- Jan Dobb (Australia)

forked hay sheaf
coiling out of itself –
a brown snake

-- Mark Miller (Australia)

a watery sun
from the morning horizon
steam from the hog’s back

-- John Hawkhead (England)

a still morning
the cuckoo naming itself
out of sight   

-- John W. Sexton (Ireland)

just when I thought
my luck was turning
lone magpie

-- Eileen Sheehan (Ireland)

heat haze
a butterfly attempts
to land again

-- Vincent O'Connor (Ireland)

grey mist settles
in his very bones –
harsh winter

-- Kara Craig (Ireland)

fish in shallow water
escape the darkness

-- William Gibb Forsyth (Ireland)

at the water's edge
marsh marigolds
spilling yellow

-- Teresa O’Neill (Ireland)

quieting the mind
between highways
a trimmed maple

-- Nicholas Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

black butterfly
flying through
a ray of sunlight

-- Anna Klacsanzky (Ukraine)

shadows of clouds
on the summer grass
drifting continents

-- Ernest Wit (Poland)

scent of hay –
beyond the old wooden fence
a red horse running

-- Steliana Cristina Voicu (Romania)

the colour of last year’s leaves –
my homeland

golden dandelions
in the sun –

-- Polina Pecherskaya (Russia; translated from the Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

anxious times –
I can’t recognise the shoes
left on the porch

-- Ostap Slyvynsky (Ukraine; translated from the Ukrainian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

New Ink

by Ignatius Fay (Canada)

Touring tattoo studios. The work I have in mind has to look real. When people get a glimpse of my arm, I want a reaction: ‘Holy shit! For a second there, I thought…’
     Not all tattoo artists are created equal. I need one who can design the artwork, draw it on paper, then do the tattoo. I firmly believe that, if the artist can’t do justice to the artwork on paper, he/she won’t be able to do the tattoo itself.

body art
doing each other’s back
the shortest day

Entering the studio, I am immediately unsure. The walls are covered with drawings and photographs of tattoos. Not unusual. Most are Goth-skulls, snakes, Grim Reapers. Nothing unusual there either, except the sheer number. Resisting the impulse to leave, I decide to look at portfolios.
     The second portfolio piques my interest. The book doesn’t include any images like the one I want done, but elements in it indicate that he has the technical skills I seek. He is with a client, so I wait. When he emerges from his studio with her, she is obviously pleased.

coldest day
three elderly ladies
comparing first ink

He is friendly, outgoing and charming, but his enthusiasm for my project is the clincher. He loves the idea, and he is convinced that he can do it justice. He is even willing to tackle the drawings without a deposit.
     Now I am waiting – impatiently – to see his preliminary drawings.

winter-pale skin
the tattoo artist’s
red dragon logo


by Raamesh Gowri Raghavan (India)

I have before me a tourist brochure. I think it is laughing at me, the way ink soaked into paper can laugh. A way that is silent, malignant. It seems amused. That I have come to gawk, to gape. Where my forefather once cut down other people's forefathers. Like that of the brochure writer's, perhaps. Or did not. I must trust the story the ink tells me. For the blood soaked in the ground isn't saying anything.

the last installment
of our home loan –
father's last sigh

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