Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Even Canberra’s winter could not chill the warmth of our spirits as we met once again at The Oaks for coffee and haiku talk. Following the hearty greetings – Gregory Piko, Marietta McGregor, Hazel Hall, Kathy Kituai, Glenys Ferguson and Jan Dobb – things got into swing.

We were delighted to welcome Hazel’s new chapbook Step by Step (Ginnninderra Press) and several haiku were read aloud as we browsed it. The theme of this sensitive collection is summed up in the cover haiku:

little lives –
my daily circuits
of mindfulness

Hazel’s Tai Chi instructor Angelina Egan pictorially ‘walks the talk’ of Hazel’s haiku in a series of photographs. A fine way to begin our afternoon!

While on the subject of publication, a general appreciation was expressed for Echidna Tracks and the attractive way it brings an Aussie haiku to one’s inbox each morning.

Kathy, Hazel and Glenys gave feedback of the Limestone Tanka Poets presentation at Manning Clark House last week, to introduce tanka to those who are less familiar with it. As we heard of the encouraging response from some of the listeners, our thoughts turned to possibilities for an evening by our ‘Oaks mob’ to promote haiku. Ideas for later in the year will be followed up.

Jan had brought the latest issue of Ribbons that contains an article by Kathy, ‘Journeying Deeper Into a Wider Audience’ in which she describes the tanka labyrinth walk that she mentioned when we last met. This led to further discussion of how tanka (and haiku) may be meditatively experienced. Another tanka labyrinth walk is planned in Canberra at the end of September.

We were delighted to hear a whisper that Canadian, Terri Ann Carter may visit Australia in the spring and hope it may be possible to welcome her at a table under the oaks. Visitors, from near or far, are always welcome and we’ll do what we can to find a mutually convenient date.

So many comments, observations and questions were exchanged during the afternoon (e.g. can one really convey in words the depth of a personal aha moment?). Alas, any further talk will have to wait till next time. The Oaks has early closing hours in winter!

Jan Dobb

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