SA Haiku Group: Ginko Report
The SA Haiku Group met on Saturday 8 November 2008 for a ginko, at the Himeji Garden on South Terrace, Adelaide, with nine haiku poets attending on a windswept and showery morning.
The garden, opened in 1985, was built to symbolize bonds of friendship with Himeji, Sister City of Adelaide and to help the people of Adelaide understand Japanese culture. It blends two classic Japanese styles: the ‘senzui ‘(lake and mountain garden) and the ‘kare senzui’ (dry garden) and contains features which are of profound religious significance to the Japanese people.
After general discussion on what members would like to gain from the group and future meetings of the group, we dispersed to walk, stand or perhaps find a comfortable rock to perch upon and enjoy the ambience.
Haiku poets spent around three quarters of an hour experiencing the sounds, scents and sights of this exquisite garden, filled with water lily ponds, streams and manicured trees and shrubs. Here and there, carefully placed Japanese water features delighted the eye and ear. One admired feature consisted of a bamboo pipe that gradually filled with a trickle of water then, reaching a tipping point, bounced forward to discard its load.
We then gathered in the small viewing pavilion at the dry garden to admire the rock ‘islands’ and the combed ‘waves’ in the gravel. After writing up our notes, we each copied a few of our haiku on sheets of paper, to circulate for comment. We found this a useful exercise, for the more experienced writers, as well as those who were novices to the haiku form.
The group plans to hold future activities in 2009.