Members’ News January, 2018

Well there goes January in a flash and here we go into February . . .

We have managed to catch a few snippets of last month’s news, and thank you again to all those who have sent items to share with our readers.

Haiku Musings

It is usually of great interest as well as instructional to reflect on what haiku means to others, this is certainly the case here. We continue with our series of thoughtful reflections on haiku with the publication of My Writing Practice by Dawn Bruce and Why Haiku by Lorin Ford.

These are best read in the quiet zone, unhurried and perhaps with a cup of tea.

Heron’s Nest Art Editor

Martin Taankink has recently been appointed art editor for The Heron’s Nest.

Martin was born in the small town of Bruce Rock 245 km east of Perth (where his father worked on the railways), he spent some years in Europe before settling in South Australia.

His interest in art goes back a long way. He tells me of the sale of his first painting for two shillings to the girl next door when they were both about five. As it turns out this happened to be the first and last oil he ever sold; but it did give him a love for drawing and art ever after.

Now retired, Martin previously worked in the timber industry for almost forty years and did drawing and cartooning as a hobby in his spare time. Much of his art has been published in local newspapers and magazines. He has also illustrated books, designed covers and dabbled in animation. A self-taught artist working mostly in pen, ink and watercolour he has more recently ventured into digital art. Art, he tells me, is something he has engaged in simply for the love of it.

You might recognise some of his work in two recent covers for The Heron’s Nest.


Traveling Through the Unexpected by Lynette Arden

A reminder that the launch Lynette Arden’s book of poetry Traveling Through the Unexpected will be at the Halifax Café, 187 Halifax St, Adelaide at 2 pm on Saturday 10 February – and you are invited.


Having enjoyed the read a couple of times now and most recently from the idyll vantage of a hammock between two eucalypts I have only praise for this wonderful collection.

Travelling Through the Unexpected is available through Ginninderra Press

The book is also available through on line bookstores such as Booktopia, Book Depository, Fishpond, and Amazon in hard copy and eBook versions.

Groups and Gatherings

Click here to catch up on the latest meeting of Haiku @ The Oaks

And a reminder, an invitation in fact, from our latest new haiku group the Yarra Haiku Poets


Congratulations to Martin Taankink’s and Marietta McGregor’s stunning front and back cover illustrations respectively in The Heron’s Nest 2017 Illustration Contest. To see these and all the selections in the contest visit the website

Congratulations also to Lorin Ford for a Commendation in the 2017 Polish International Haiku Contest with:

winter alone . . .
sometimes a chimney gust
stirs the embers

All results for this contest can be found here.

Creatrix Haiku Journal

WA Poets Inc. is now accepting haiku submissions for Creatrix 40 before the deadline 10th February.

Please click on the link and read the guidelines before submitting

A Haiga Story

There is nothing like a collaboration to nurture new and unexpected elements of creativity. We are treated here to a wonderful collaboration of word and image by Quendryth Young & Ron C. Moss.

“A Hundred Gourds, a quarterly journal featuring haiku, tanka, haiga, haibun and renku, was published in nineteen issues from December 2011 to June 2016, with Ron Moss as contributing artist. (It is traditional for an artist to be given a name by a teacher or mentor. In this case Steve Addiss, the well know expert and publisher of haiku art and ink painting, gave Ron his, the characters of which read as Fire Moss).

In each edition of this journal Ron selected haiku and tanka to link in some way with sumi-e (Japanese ink painting) and in September 2015, a haiku of mine, written at a Cloudcatcher ginko, was chosen for this honour. Ron kindly sent me a copy of the haiga, which I had framed to hang in my home.

It was in 2004 that I fell in love with haiku. At this time the ages of my five grandchildren spanned seven years, from nine to two, and naturally each featured in a number of haiku/senryu. Now the range is twenty-three to sixteen years, and they are starting to leave home, as I grow older.

I consulted with Ron about crafting a haiga as my gift to each grandchild from haiku evoked from incidents which the child and I had shared, and he willingly complied. What masterpieces Ron has created, that will forever bond my grandchildren with me, even after I am gone. My gratitude to Ron for these creations is enormous.”

Quendryth Young

All the haiga in this series can be enjoyed here at Haigaonline.

A Haiku Story by Gregory Piko

“In late 2016 I visited the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), located in Hobart, Tasmania. MONA is an internationally acclaimed institution that attracts visitors from around the globe.

The exhibits at MONA are often confronting and always challenging as its modern art offerings constantly play games with perceptions and expectations.

Marcel Duchamp famously declared, ‘It’s not what you see that is art, art is the gap’. That is to say, when an onlooker views a painting or other artwork the brain is energised and makes a mental leap that completes the artistic process. In this regard, MONA stimulates the mind with a barrage of high-voltage art.

You might expect the ‘old’ art at MONA, including Egyptian and other antiquities, would be hidden away in a separate gallery. But no, the old art intermingles with the new in a way that gives each work a fresh and unexpected context.

Some exhibits, such as Snake by Australian artist, Sidney Nolan, utilise scale and repetition for their impact. Snake comprises over 1,600 separate images with gradual colour variations depicting a snake weaving 44 metres along a wall.”

Greg Piko 1_resized
Gregory Piko dwarfed by Sidney Nolan’s Snake

Other exhibits invite us to contemplate peaceful, minimalist offerings based on a dinner bowl or a coat hanger. One very popular installation, bit.fall by German artist Julius Popp, displays a single word at a time. Formed in droplets that fall two storeys to the ground, each word is selected in real-time from those trending on the Internet. The fresh smell of water in the air, the sound of water hitting the ground and the anticipation as we await the next offering, combine to create a curiously hypnotic effect.

Greg Piko 2_resized
bit.fall by Julius Popp

Intrigued by the juxtaposition of old and new art and, inspired by the presentation of a single word as art, I began to develop a minimalist poem of my own. The result, first published in Modern Haiku (Vol. 48.3, 2017), was:


I was hoping this small poem would cause readers familiar with haiku to contemplate the progress of the haiku genre stretching from the 17th century to the late 20th century. This poem alludes both to an old classic haiku and a new classic. The old classic, of course, being the following poem by Japanese haiku master, Matsuo Basho (this translation by Jane Reichhold)

an old pond
a frog jumps into
the sound of water

The new poem is the minimalist classic by American haiku poet, Cor van den Heuvel:


Van den Heuvel’s poem was intended to be displayed on an otherwise empty page, where the onlooker could relate to the single word surrounded by an expanse of white.

When viewed on a printed page (or on a screen), my poem may be effective in alluding to Basho and van den Heuvel, but I like to think the onlooker would have added layers for contemplation if coldpond were displayed as a vertical sheet of water droplets on Popp’s bit.fall.”

Gregory Piko

Feel free to to visit Greg’s website.

Members’ News compiled by Simon Hanson

My son has just reminded me that today is not really Thursday; that is only a word people have chosen to call this day; This Day has never been before, it is actually a brand new day – best we make something new then for this new day . . .

%d bloggers like this: