Haiku Readings at the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival, 2019

On Thursday 22nd August, a mild and rather blustery day, four haiku poets gathered at the Auburn Botanic Gardens to represent the AHS at the 2019 Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival. Reading haiku were Vanessa Proctor, Carol Reynolds, Margaret Ruckert and Willem Tibben.


The cherry blossom season was a little late this year so the blossom was just starting to open but it still drew in the crowds. For this year’s reading we were located in the tranquil setting of the rain forest area with our own performance stage and seating area which provided a good respite from the hustle and bustle of the cherry blossom viewing areas around the lake.


A crowd gathered to hear the readings which consisted of an introduction to haiku by Vanessa Proctor, then three sets: the first themed around spring and blossom, the second focusing on senryu and the third concentrating on gardens and the natural world.

Willem Tibben and Carol Reynolds

After the reading we embarked on a ginko around the rain forest area, stopping often to observe our surroundings, especially the bird life. In particular we paid attention to experiencing the walk with our five senses. It was especially rewarding to have several first time haiku poets join us. It was a very enjoyable way to usher in spring. We look forward to taking part again in the Cherry Blossom Festival again next year.

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Left to Right:
Vanessa Proctor, Garry Glover, Willem Tibben, Carol Reynolds,
Margaret Ruckert, Laurel Astle, Patricia Meredith


747 overhead
australasian crows calling
the zen gardens

Garry Glover

roots exposed
washed by the rain

Sue Bush


blue sky day
I walk in shadows 

Claudine Labka


botanic garden
a raven sifts
the mulch

Laurel Astle


Report by Vanessa Proctor

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