For Red Kelpies’ spring meeting, on September 13th, it was back to our ‘home base’ in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens and again we were lucky with the weather: fine with a warm breeze from the North.
Blue irises were out, azaleas blossomed in colourful banks; the large, white variety was the one that scented the pathway with a truly beautiful perfume. Shrub-sized prunus blossoms in a gaudy pink shouted at the subtler ranks of hellebores. Wild Elders from Africa waved their cloudy canopies of blossom. The eels, in large numbers, writhed along sleepily in the shallows of the lake and the little Black Ducks paddled over them, unfazed.
People taking the punt tours looked picturesque under the white paper umbrellas supplied to them.
Everything seemed to be basking luxuriously in the welcome sunshine. Spring at last, after a particularly cold, miserable winter!
Janet Howie had suggested our discussion topic during the follow-up to our winter meeting: ‘How do one-line haiku work?’ Everyone present had done their homework of reading a couple of essays on one-liners and finding examples to share and comment on. It was a lively discussion!
We found that, while some writers (such as Marlene Mountain and Janice M. Bostok ) had written much of their work in one-line form as an alternative style to the 3-line norm, the haiku that worked best for us were those that couldn’t achieve the same meaning/s and effect just as well over 3 lines.
The use of line breaks or the choice not to use line breaks can (and arguably, should) result in EL haiku that have different effects. Knowing this, we have choices to make each time we write or revise a haiku.
As usual, after the discussion we had lunch and each went their own way for the silent ‘ginko’, returning to share our draft haiku or notes. The next step, over the next couple of weeks, is the writing up of haiku from the day and submitting them for c & c from the group.
Our next meeting will be in the Botanic Gardens on December 13th. Enquiries from haiku writers who might like to join the group or be invited along as guests and who have at least three haiku published in edited, English-language haiku journals should be directed to Lorin Ford via haikugourds at gmail dot com, with ‘Red Kelpie Haiku Group’ in the email subject bar.
Lorin Ford, Melbourne, September 2015