Shamrock No 47 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 fifteen 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

Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Awards 2021


Eight haiku have been nominated as the best of the year by our readers and contributors. The following pieces that both appeared in our No. 45 were voted the best haiku published in Shamrock Haiku Journal in 2021 (in alphabetical order)

after a downpour,
the garden
of blossoming moons

-- Anatoly Kudryavitsky (Ireland) #45

too old to shake
a fly from its mane,
the grey mare

-- Michael Dylan Welch (USA) #45

The following haiku were the runners-up:

on frozen dew
the stars cascade

-- John Newson (England) #46

thawing snow
four days of footsteps
come and go

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland) #45


Three senryu have been nominated as the best of the year by our readers and contributors. The following piece that was initially published in our No. 46 became the winner in the best senryu category:

laid off...
I watch the snow
falling on snow

-- Chen-ou Liu (Canada) #46

And the runner-up were the following piece:

local wine's the best
wherever you are

-- Barbara A. Taylor (Australia) #46

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

Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2021

The prize-winning haiku from this competition are available for viewing here:

There are excellent poems aplenty on that page; check them out!

a single note
from a blue jay

sleet turns to rain
two mourning doves
sync their calls

cold fog
my cough the scent
of Earl Grey

-- Brad Bennett (USA)

rain-slick road
coming through the fog
shadow mountains

rotting tree stump
the slow work
of woodpeckers

-- Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)

starless night
glow of a raccoon's eyes
in the backyard

a dandelion's first bloom bees keep coming

-- Albert Schlaht (USA)

driving before dawn
another rabbit leaps
into my commute

Tesuque downpour
the petrichor
of potsherds

-- Alanna C. Burke (USA)

distant thunder
slowing to a drip
locust song

outdoor church service
cicadas fill in
for the choir

-- Lori Becherer (USA)

sultry night
through the open windows
stench of the old gasworks

nightfall –
fruit bats sail through
the Milky Way

-- Mark Miller (Australia)

leaves and cloud...
shapes shifting
on a summer breeze

low tide...
finding a moon
among the rockpools

-- Jo McInerney (Australia)

birds at dawn
louder and louder

on the tip
of the birds beak
a drop of rainbow

-- Earl Livings (Australia)

a gannet vanishes
into the splash

salt marsh grasses sway freighted with light

-- Anton Floyd (Ireland)

tornado siren
a vortex of snow geese
spiraling to the pond

-- Keith Polette (USA)

autumn oak
a squirrel steals
the last leaf

-- Greg Schwartz (USA)

end of the road
the soft needles
of this new path

-- Julie Warther (USA)

winter wind
the clang
of tangling coral bells

-- Laurie Greer (USA)

rusted rail tracks
the squeaks
of winter wrens

-- Richard Matta (USA)

an old pond...
nothing to account for
the ripples

-- Stewart C. Baker (USA)

grains of salt
on my fingertips
catching light

-- Mary McCormack (USA)

no matter which path i take crescent moon

-- Deborah Burke Henderson (USA)

these tired branches
the weight
of snowfall

-- Justin Brown (USA)

what was once
a casuarina cone...
shingleback lizard

-- Owen Bullock (Australia)

the rhythm
of bouncing raindrops
frog song

-- Louise Hopewell (Australia)

under the moon's weight
a slow loris steadies
its branch

-- Richard Thomas (England)

the peewit's tail
zipping to and from
canopy light

-- Joanna Ashwell (England)

past our bedtime
the garden slippery
with slugs

-- Tony Williams (Scotland)

underground moon
flash of a
fox's fang

-- Brendan Duffin (Ireland)

long night
the eucalyptus tree
cradles the moon

-- Fionnuala Waldron (Ireland)

crack of dawn
a pearl inside
the seashell

-- Rajandeep Garg (India)

from across the prairie honeysuckle wind

-- Mona Bedi (India)

somewhere deep
in the canyon...
the birth of wind

-- Joe Sebastian (India)

icy sunrise
the frosted nest
of storks

a raven
between seasons –
winter bridge

-- Vladislav Hristov (Bulgaria; translated from Bulgarian by the author)

Before the Storm

By Elizabeth Crocket (Canada)

I glance out the window at the starless sky. Descending into a black hole, I grasp for something to hold onto. Slowly, my hands turn the pages of a glossy magazine to steady myself. The nurse enters the room and her presence offers the calm I am searching for.

     before we know its name
     I see it coming

Street Gang

By Bryan Cook (Canada)

It's the late 1950s in Banstead, a small country village newly minted as a London suburb. As pre-pubescent kids, we're bursting with energy which no amount of footie can abate.

We re-enact ancient British history through our "Norman street-gang", so named after our wildest member. Holes are dug in his back garden to create thatched Celtic roundhouses. "War" is waged with swords cut and sharpened from old bicycle frames; metal dustbin lids are our shields. Spears are cut from the willow thickets. We costume in old sacks. "Maidens" willingly join in, tending the fire pits. Lots of ashy bannock is sloshed down with Lucozade "mead".

     chalk downland
     Saxon warriors lie beneath
     golf fairways

Our leader finds a diagram of a Norman crossbow in the Encyclopedia Britannica. A deadly weapon is fashioned with geared winding able to fire sharpened lag bolts over a hundred feet.

     crossbow bolts
     still in the old Scots Pine
     boyhood pranks

Our bubble bursts when we thieve the hub caps off Constable Boyle's private car to add to the shiny collection on the mud walls of our roundhouses. We smarten up under the threat of being sent to a reformatory. Soon we will go our separate ways to higher education and careers in which some measure of success is due to our boyhood instincts!

     boardroom battles
     with hidden agendas
     a clerk wields the sword

En Plein Air

by R. J. Sobel (USA)

I came for the setting, a bit of a breather after a season's first rain, the perennial promise that I might seize some kind of likeness in a certain light: the singular tree – its majestic crown, outstretched branches adorned with silvery-sage beards of lace lichen – reigning in the foreground of the prospect of this vast snow-crested mountain range. But landing here on this muddy precipice – pochade box on tripod, paintbrush in hand, heart in pieces – only to behold unexpected company gathering beneath the charismatic canopy of the great live oak, gives me no respite.

Confounding, this palette of mood and atmosphere: rarefied plumes of petrichor – musky, earthy, fresh and sweet, a trace of the fusty armor of the old oak – rising up in rapturous intervals, like the congregation below, be it revival, rally, some kind of retreat, now assembled as one at the acorned apron of the prodigious tree. Taking it all in, I muse, did I somehow expect all the rest of the world to go into hibernation so I could have my little moment of solitude?

     leaving autumn
     another bear joins the den
     one great ball of fur

Clouds thickening overhead, voices chilling the air – the scented air, lingering like the perfume of a lost lover – off in the distance, the sun has broken through; bluebirds cheering above the treetops, golden patches of light mottling the pewter valley floor. I pack my gear, check my footing before heading down to firmer ground – the wry corners of my smile conceding the inescapability of the crowd, confessing I am but the portrait of a windblown leaf, weary of the winds of worldly affairs.

Out of the fragrant shadows of the mountaintops – clear of the scrub-lined path that begins and ends where the live oak stands – a splash of open spaces; the birds, heartened in the sunshine; still blank canvas on my back.

     the smell of rain
     a dream of far-off places
     in each new footprint

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Copyright © 2022 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).