White Pebbles Haiku Group – Spring 2019

For our Spring Meeting at the Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens and Regional Gallery at East Gosford we were greeted by sunny skies and an occasional cool wind. The gardens were adorned with colourful azaleas and delicate fronds of mauve wisteria contrasting with the manicured green bushes that form an integral part of this tranquil area.

Our initial gathering was informal as we met up in the café for drinks and coffee and general discussion with mention made of recent successes of our members apart from haiku. We were able to congratulate Colleen about her book soon to be launched, and Verna who has a work in progress which will be published at a later date.

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L to R: Maire Glacken, Colleen Keating (standing), Verna Rieschild, Marilyn Humbert, Beverley George (standing), Kent Robinson. Photo by Deb Robinson

Apologies: Samantha Hyde, Gail Hennessy

Our haiku meeting commenced promptly at 10:30 as we set off in silence for our ginko. This walk in the gardens allowed time for ideas to flow and creative haiku to be recorded and later shared at the round table in the studio room made available for our use.

To open our meeting we invited a young artist, Nick Casey, whose work was displayed in an adjacent studio, to repeat to all of us a comment Beverley had overheard him make earlier: that he was ‘not the same person’ he had been he had been before he crafted these three large vibrant paintings. We thought that this was a valid remark that could be applied across a range of creative endeavours. Nick spoke briefly but cogently of how these particular paintings and their display had affected him and had helped to change his perceptions and approach to future artistic endeavours.

Haiku and further ideas for them resulting from the morning’s ginko were read and discussed.  This is a valuable exercise as it permits constructive advice to be shared amongst those present, with insightful comments on refining a phrase or perhaps slightly changing the wording an individual poet has used.

Members read their haiku that had been accepted for the 11th Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum English Haiku contest, and two copies of the resulting printed anthology were tabled and shared. We all plan to send work for consideration to the 12th contest.

We also read aloud members’ poems that had been published on the Australian Haiku Society web-site in ‘Echidna Tracks 3’.  We learnt that ‘Echidna Tracks 4’, which is open for entries during October, will focus on “Recreation and Leisure.”

Beverley and Kent read their mutually created haiku sequence recently published in ‘Presence’ (UK) which was received with appreciation.

Further welcome news was that several of our members works are included ‘Windfall: Australian Haiku’ issue 8 2020 which Peter Macrow will mail out to subscribers in January 2020.

It was suggested that we devote more time to share and critique work following our ginko, and less time on the actual walk. Following general discussion this motion was accepted as everyone values the ideas and helpful advice that are offered at this stage of our meeting

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Our Summer meeting is scheduled for Saturday 14th December 2019.

Report: Maire Glacken