Shamrock No 35 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 2016 announced!

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2016 offers prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English.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 2016

Good luck to all!

Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Awards 

We invite all the readers of Shamrock Haiku Journal to vote for the best haiku/senryu poem published in 2016, i.e. in the issues THIRTY-THREE to THIRTY-FIVE (you cannot vote for your own poem, though). 

To vote, send an e-mail to irishhaikusociety[at] with "Best haiku of 2016" or "Best senryu of 2016" in the subject line. Please insert the full text of the poem you vote for (only ONE poem in each category) plus the name of its author in the body of your e-mail. The deadline for vote is 31th January, 2017. The best poems will be named in the next issue of Shamrock Haiku Journal.

dawn light
the symmetry of herons
on the water's edge

mountain lake
pine shadows quiver
with the moon

moonless night
the faint light of a ship
a long way out

-- Simon Hanson (Australia)

still pond
the willow’s shadow dapples
the willow’s reflection

night-blooming cereus
the one blossom that lasts
into day

farmers’ market
the honey vendor
swats a bee

-- Ann Magyar (USA)

forest walk –
tyre tracks lead
back to winter

early morning dash –
a duckling skips
over lily pads

old mineyard
rusty rail cart dissolving
into dust

-- Martin Vaughan (Ireland)

trail's end...
fallen wild cherries
half-ripe in sunshine

taking the shape
of an old oak's shadow
resting red deer

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland)

morning gust
last night's rain
rains again

after the fighter
a goldfinch recaptures
the sky

-- Brad Bennett (USA)

steady fall of snow
the silence between me
and my old dog

beads of sunlight
along a blade of grass ...
this talk of war

-- Chen-ou Liu (Canada)

the velvet nudge
of a horse's nose
winter chill

-- Marietta McGregor (Australia)

that moment between
dead brown leaf
and butterfly

-- Earl Livings (Australia)

evening chill
coming in with the old tom
whiff of wood-smoke

-- Mark Miller (Australia)

a deer at water's edge
the alligator's eyes
at periscope depth

-- Jay Friedenberg (USA)

end of March –
the sleepy wood frog
lets me hold her

-- Ruth Holzer (USA)

summer dawn
splashes of sunlight
ripple down the creek

-- Craig Steele (USA)

too dark
but not too dark . . .
migrating geese

-- Tom Sacramona (USA)

what I thought
was a bug –
the bug’s shadow

-- Michael Meyerhofer (USA)

abandoned tent
I unzip
last year's autumn

-- Edward Huddleston (USA)

garden faucet
a drip freezing

-- Joyce Joslin Lorenson (USA)

sepia sky
turning to rose at sunset
forest fire

-- Garry Eaton (Canada)

autumn light
under the pruned cedar
a feeding junco

-- Nola Obee (Canada)

rainy autumn ...
a tea bag
steeps the sidewalk

-- Marshall Bood (Canada)

autumn leaves
changing colours

-- Elizabeth Crocket (Canada)

my parents' house
getting smaller
osprey nest

-- John Brian Robertson (Canada)

the clock leaks
extra ticks & tocks

-- Katherine J. Munro (Canada)

old gravestones
evening shadows
over the names

-- John Hawkhead (England)

the wounded bird
in cupped hands –
two pulses

-- Anton Floyd (Ireland)

guarding the temple
great golden lantern
and on it a spider

-- Diarmuid Fitzgerald (Ireland)

swaying grass
along the sand dunes –
shadows pass

-- Sally Dunne (Ireland)

the voice of the wind
in dried trees

-- Padraig O'Morain (Ireland)

drought –
the farmer's frown
and that of a pumpkin

-- Adjei Agyei-Baah (Ghana)

so many threads…
the rain stitching the sky
to the earth

a cold day, a warm one…
even crows talk
about the weather

they get along well
prickly sow-thistle
and the bee

the star that first noticed it
snuffs out its light

a long way to go…
I chew
an unripe plum

I’m being followed…
I look back –
a dry leaf

-- Ales Razanav (Belarus; translated from the Belarusian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

At the Top

by Lynn Wohlwend (USA)

At the top of Mount Taylor, winter lingers. We hike the last 100 feet in knee-high snow to reach the peak on a sunny May afternoon. We pause in front of the sign. Elevation 11,301. We set the camera timer and ham it up: peace, thumbs up, Nixon V, big smiles, hands on hips, pioneers from ye olden days.

We put on warmer jackets and sit to eat hard-earned sandwiches while taking in the view. Three weeks until college graduation. Three weeks until jumping into the void.

I take a swig of water and choke.

     the sparrow's song
     on a blade of grass

Pensioned Off

by Padmini Krishnan (Singapore)

Totally absorbed in mesmerising piano music, I stroll along the corridor. The melodious notes come from the upper floor. The following week the pianist gives a party for his neighbours. He is a retired army major with an honest face; his eyes gleam with childlike admiration as he talks of artillery and missiles. Although he mourns his friends who perished on battlefields, he often empathizes with his enemies and even admires their strategies. Here he stands, the man who fights for the sheer thrill of it, happily oblivious to the cause of war.
     autumn rain
     a lone flower
     left behind

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