Gathering of Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra, on Monday 19 September 2016

Morning drizzle and mists gave way to blue sky and sunshine as six of us met around an outside table with our coffee, tea, a tempting cake or two, and assorted bits of haiku and tanka.  A persistent wattle bird tried to join our gathering — for gourmet reasons rather than poetic — before heading to test his luck elsewhere.  Duck parents shepherded their lone baby duckling on the wet green lawns.

The five of us were all able to be present — Greg Piko, Glenys Ferguson, Kathy Kituai, Marietta McGregor and Jan Dobb.  For the third time since we began meeting together a year or so ago, we were delighted to welcome Sheila Sondik from Bellingham in Washington State.  Sheila, who is now a good friend, has family in Canberra and it’s a joy to have her meet with us when she visits.

As usual, we all came with much to share and discuss in our informal way and it was not long before we were all buzzing.  The recent Poetry on the Move Festival in Canberra was reported on, we shared our pleasure at each other’s publications and successes, Jan outlined a meeting of the Red Kelpies in Melbourne the previous weekend which she attended as a guest, Marietta alerted us to upcoming deadlines and opportunities to publish and compete, Kathy gave some impromptu and informative input on tanka prose, some individual haiku were read or recited as occasion called for them . . .  Everyone had good things to contribute and we could have gone on all day.  Alas, the parking meters were running out and the coffee cups long empty.  This bunch of local haiku/tanka poets headed off from the cafe still spilling animated chatter. What a treat!

Any haiku poets visiting Canberra are welcome to join with us over a cuppa.  If you let us know you’re coming, we’ll aim for a morning to coincide with your stay.

Jan Dobb

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