Shamrock No 44 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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We are thirteen years old! Founded in January 2007, Shamrock Haiku Journal has since been published regularly. On this occasion, we have prepared SHAMROCK HAIKU JOURNAL: 2012 - 2018, a print edition of the twenty issues of Shamrock, Nos. 21 to 40, as they appeared on the Shamrock website. This paper-based collection covers the full range of English-language haiku, from classical to experimental, as well as haibun. Also included are English translations from one of the most prominent Japanese haiku poets of the 20th century, Ryuta Iida, and an essay on translating Matsuo Basho's haiku.

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Shamrock Haiku Journal: 2012 - 2018
Edited by Anatoly Kudryavitsky.

Copyright © 2012 - 2018 by Shamrock Haiku Journal.

All rights reserved.


Published in Dublin, Ireland.

Printed in the United Kingdom.

Price Euro 16.92
ISBN 978-0-244-9767-9-8

Trade paperback. 302 pp.
5.8"x8.3", perfect binding.

Preview available here

A similar compilation volume comprising issues 1 to 20
(Shamrock Haiku Journal: 2007 - 2011) is available here.

IHS International Haiku Competition 2020 announced!

The Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2020 offers prizes of Euro 150, Euro 50 and Euro 30 for unpublished haiku/senryu in English.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 2020.

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 2020, i.e. in the issues FORTY-THREE and FORTY-FOUR (you cannot vote for your own poem, though). 

To vote, send an e-mail to irishhaikusociety[at] with "Best haiku of 2020" or "Best senryu of 2020" 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 28th February, 2021. The best poems will be named in the next issue of Shamrock Haiku Journal.

hunger moon
an empty crab shell
miles from shore

desert campsite
a flash flood rearranges
our belonging

mud season
crows talking trash
in the ruts

a pair of voles
in and out of dead leaves
autumn sunlight

-- Kristen Lindquist (USA)

wild cranberries
prints of carriage and hoof
in tidal peat

dawn fingers
a turtle hatchling untangled
from grass root

mirror pond egret chasing egret

-- Bill Cooper (USA)

low sun
rows of old post holes
suddenly visible

ghost frog...
the ground cracked where
the pond was

wintry silence
sugar long settled
in the sack

-- Keith Polette (USA)

perigee moon
a hare lollops through
headlight beams

beach café
screeches of green parakeets
vie with the jukebox

dark mountain
breezes tease out wisps
of calligraphic cirrus

-- Ian Turner (England/France)

summer heat...
the sprouts
that no one planted
the softness
of morning light
creeping vines...
the cracks in the wall
we never noticed

-- Anne Carly Abad (Philippines)

garden bench
a ladybird wanders
shadow to shadow

light through
a tracery of branches
the shape of autumn

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

prairie sun
the yellow chest sacs
of sage grouse

elder flowers
the whistles we will make
from their stems

-- Debbie Strange (Canada)

quarantine –
a street fox looks for a place
to call home

first light –
half a moon tiptoes across
the arm of a crane

-- Hugh O'Donnell (Ireland)

bluebottle fly in bedroom
disturbing the lovers'

lost fidget spinner
sinking in the mud
at carnival town

-- Noel King (Ireland)

lavender stem
a bee pendulum
keeping summer time

a gust of light
on the sloping field
grasses run wild

-- Anton Floyd (Ireland)

setting sun
a bank of white anemones
nodding off

Edenville road
scent of furze
follows the cows home

-- Teresa O'Neill (Ireland)

warm rain
the smell of pine needles
rises from the forest floor

pandemic streets
the old man pulls down his mask
to smoke a pipe

-- Jay Friedenberg (USA)

making room for the wind
in the leaf

morning breeze
passing by the tumble
of two butterflies

-- Ben Moeller-Gaa (USA)

winter night
the pocket of silence
between trains

from the mist
the wingbeats
of sparrows

-- Bryan Rickert (USA)

dry June
trickling stream

in the savanna –
rattle of bushwillows

-- Roberta Beach Jacobson (USA)

a shadow play
of mice
through the lettuce leaf

field of rabbits
the chiweenie
goes bananas

-- CarrieAnn Thunell (USA)

murmur of doves
in the shade of an oak –
white trillium

old homestead...
a haystack leans
against the sun

-- Theresa A. Cancro (USA)

bare oak branches –
bird calls tangled
in the wind

-- Frank Hooven (USA)

cold moon
my dream about the future
in black and white

-- Edward Huddleston (USA)

on a fence-post
a crow peering up
at a cawing crow

-- Albert Schlaht (USA)

dirt road
each muddy puddle
a spot of blue sky

-- John Zheng (USA)

solitary morning
the darkness inside
a hollow oak

-- Ann Magyar (USA)

misty morning –
the geese
start their nests

-- Ruth Holzer (USA)

before sunrise
the purple willow
trembling with bees

-- Cynthia Anderson (USA)

alone –
the dragonfly poses
on its stalk again

-- Deborah P Kolodji (USA)

early spring
the forsythia chitters
with finches

-- Terry L. French (USA)

the backyard dogwood
in bloom

-- Chen-ou Liu (Canada)

rolling hills
the distance
we've travelled

-- Elizabeth Crocket (Canada)

up from the valley
a robin's last song

-- Nola Obee (Canada)

three that stay...
a whirling wind-squall
of yellow leaves

-- Jan Dobb (Australia)

breathing fog
circles of pawprints
in white grass

-- Louise Hopewell (Australia)

bird bath attention –
the noisy mynah checks
before dunking

-- Earl Livings (Australia)

the smell of shashlik
in the village...
the leaves ponder waking up

by the stones and roots
of Rautu,
my childhood lingers

-- Olga Logosh (Russia; translated from Russian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

old film
outside, a bird song
in black and white

country road –
below the car radio volume,

-- Carlos Martins (Brazil; translated from the Portuguese by the poet and Anatoly Kudryavitsky) 

Not Too Sharp

by Zane Parks (USA)

8th grade gym class. We come out of the locker room snickering at the twin brothers that wear boxers. They hang down below their gym shorts. There are hurdles on the track. On a lark, I run up to one, try to jump it. My foot catches. I come down knee-first into hard cinders. Coach takes me back to the locker room, cleans the wound, puts ointment and a bandage on it. He says, "Boy, that's gonna leave a nasty scar."

     picking a lime
     for her margarita
     the thorns


by Stuart Bartow (USA)

Tracing her forefinger down the bridge of my nose, she felt the gap and said, Your nose was broken. How? Then, No, don't tell me.

     hovering the bee balm

     ruby throats not sparing

Stimmen der Steine. 145 Haiku by Klaus-Dieter Wirth
Allitera Verlag, 2020.
ISBN 978-3-96233-228-0  
Available from the publisher.

This is a splendid volume by Klaus-Dieter Wirth, who has been engaged in international haiku affairs for many years. His 145 short poems from this book were all originally published between 2008 and 2010 in well-respected journals such as Blithe Spirit, Frogpond, Haiku Canada Review etc. He also contributed to Shamrock haiku journal, and had his previous collection reviewed in our #19.

The 145 poems are presented first in German, with the author's own translations into English, French, and Spanish (a small number have also been translated into Dutch). Sometimes Klaus-Dieter wrote them in English or Dutch first, but he still offers the translations, the original language of the inspiration is clearly seen by being in italics.
My personal knowledge of any language other than English is very limited, but even I can appreciate:

     vuelta de Paris

     en las ruedas de maleta

     hojas de bulevar

     back from Paris –

     at the suitcase rollers,

     leaves from the boulevard



     das Klacken
     eines Blindenstocks gegen
     falsch geparkte Autos

     the clacking
     of a blind man's stick against
     wrongly parked cars

Another rather chilling senryu (originally written in German) is as follows:

     im Luftschutzbunker
     nur noch Beben und Beten
     achzender Beton

     air raid bunker
     only trembling and praying
     deep groans of concrete

My favourite in the entire book and the one that would "win the prize", if I had one to give, is this one: 

     guided boat trip
     passing through reflections
     of centuries

The book is very meticulously annotated. The Preface is a good read also, and Klaus-Dieter Wirth presents some fresh arguments on the difference between haiku and senryu, the latter he calls the "narrow relative" of the former. This was the third volume collecting his haiku (and senryu) published around the world, and I would like to seek out and read their earlier volumes and indeed any future ones.

Noel King, July 2020

Noel King is from Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland. His poetry collections are published by Salmon Poetry: Prophesying the Past (2010), The Stern Wave (2013), and Sons (2015). A short story collection, The Key Signature & Other Stories, has been published by Liberties Press in 2017.

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Copyright © 2020 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).