Spring Equinox Haiku String 2019
Thank you all who participated from near and far around the globe in the Australian Haiku Society Spring Equinox Haiku String. The theme of Discovery was a challenging one but once again the event has been quite popular, a bit of fun and produced a few gems. If you would like to revisit the String it can be accessed here.
The Haiku Foundation September Per Diem
The Haiku Foundation Per Diem for the month of September on the theme of Day Moon was selected by Madhuri Pillai. Introducing her chosen theme she writes:
“Since the beginning of time, the moon has always enamoured us with her luminous splendour, her tranquil visage as she serenely shimmers across the sky.
Yet in our busy daily schedule often we are unaware of her presence in the sky, either shyly dodging the clouds or brazenly challenging the sun, always unobtrusive.
I hope you will enjoy the collection of poems by poets who were inspired by the day moon.”
The 2019 AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai
report by Haiku Bob (aka Rob Scott)
Nursing Six Packs to their Chests . . .
Well, it was another memorable haiku kukai despite the miserable game. Our assortment of poets, non-poets and general insurgents maintained admirable pluck throughout the afternoon, outshining and outlasting the lamentable GWS who put in a shocker. Put simply, there were fewer memorable moments out on the field than there were in the confines of the haiku commentary box!
The Grand Final kukai has been running for 8 years now and is entrenched for some of us ‘haiku-folk’ as a relative constant on the local haiku calendar. This year, as in all previous years, it attracted a liquorice allsorts of punters, many trying out haiku for the first time. Like in other poetry events I have facilitated over the years, this confirmed for me that we all have a need to create. The act of creation makes us connect to ourselves. And to each other. A kukai such as this also creates an instant community, brought together for the enjoyment of sharing haiku. As a poet, it’s hard to ask for much more.
The contributions for this kukai came from literally everywhere this year. From within Australia, we had people calling in from suburbs all over Melbourne as well as regional Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania. From further abroad, we had some brilliant contributions from poets in Poland, Croatia, North America, France and Germany! And we also had people tuning in from Ghana, India and The UK. That’s a fair chunk of the globe right there.
The poets set a cracking pace in the first quarter – the only decent quarter of the match – with almost 50 haiku posted. That’s 2 per minute! Mirroring the game, interest started to wane after half-time, with people struggling to find inspiration, save for Dusty Martin and Marlion Pickett’s heroics. As a Grand Final, it was a fizzer, with few highlights. But, as the following sample shows, haiku poets managed to capture not just the game, but the atmosphere, inside the stadium and out. Until the bitter end – Kim Jeffs’ powerful message proving that haiku can do anything.
Thanks to Australian Poetry, the Australian Haiku Society and The Footy Almanac for getting behind this event, and of course to all those who joined in. Until next year.
the meteor scores a goal
over Bass Strait
Ron C. Moss
grand final day fever
will the tigers’ giant headache
come today or tomorrow morning?
tigers and giants
the stadium brimming
in legend and myth
at the big dance
no pies available
final fitness test –
the camellia hanging on
to a branch
petals on the wind
players enter the stadium
one after another
Giants enter stage –
we hear the boos
all the way in Newcastle
the botanic gardens
peaceful on grand final day
time for mind games over
bodies laid on the line
pre-game fitness test
all eyes on the player
except the pigeons
competitors and spectators
are looking for rules
Too much time counting
Syllables and not enough
Watching the footy
Man grabs ball
Man grabs man
Ball goes on
Therase Fitzgerald Weeks
first blossoms –
every year that name
tigers in front
of the lumbering giants –
six pies in the oven
jack kicks long and scores
both sides hungry at the break
I really should eat
Half time is up now
Cue the semi-relevant
Money grabbing ads
my piano leans heavily
to the right
a sip of tea
someone starts a chainsaw
in a back yard
syllables don’t count today
only points and goals
forty seven and twelve
Camera on glum Giants fans
Text on the bottom of the screen
“Toyota oh what a feeling”
Therase Fitzgerald Weeks
can only produce
a Liliputian score
the whole day
in a moment
the maximum dexterity
of dad’s curses
the seconds tick down to zero
just like oprah
everybody gets a goal
it’s over now
in packs, Tigers fans
nursing six packs to their chests
at Jolimont station
surrounded by small Giants
a long night ahead
women of Western Sydney
will pay for Giants’ loss
Echidna Tracks Issue 3: Insects, Animals, Birds and Fish is now published.
Submissions for Echidna Tracks Issue 4: Recreation and Leisure are now open and will remain so throughout the month of October.
From the beach to the bush, from playing fields to ski slopes, from public parks to domestic spaces, Australia offers a wealth of opportunities and places to enjoy our leisure time.
We invite your previously unpublished haiku and senryu about recreation, relaxation, holidays, sport, hobbies and pastimes.
a green shoot
in the tailings
with beeping machines
Morioka International Haiku Contest 2019
Congratulations to Marietta McGregor for Honourable mentions in the first Morioka International Haiku Contest with:
around a heron
drinking the last
of the moon
For all selected haiku and judge’s comments click on this link.
Groups and Gatherings
Links to the latest reports from some of our regional groups include:
and a reminder to come along to the Paperbark Haiku Group gathering in Perth on the 16th of October.
Field of Stars – Book Launch
Field of Stars, a recent collection of haiku and senryu by Lyne Reeves was launched at the Hobart Book Shop on September 9th by Irene McGuire.
Field of Stars by Lyn Reeves is published by Walleah Press
RRP $AU 20.00
The collection is also available from online bookstores.
For your interest the launch speech by Irene McGuire is reprinted here in full:
‘We are here tonight to celebrate the publication of Lyn Reeves’ Field of Stars.
Lyn is a poet who as publisher, editor, teacher, and mentor has had a large role in the world of Tasmanian and Australian haiku.
Since becoming interested in haiku in the early 1980’s, Lyn has worked to give Australian haiku a voice. In the 18 years that she served as Haiku editor, Famous Reporter published almost 1400 haiku – and some of those poets are here today. She is the current editor for the online journal Echidna Tracks: Australian Haiku and is Vice-President of the Australian Haiku Society and leader of the Watersmeet Haiku Group.
When we talk of haiku the traditional definition of a small nature poem of 17 syllables always rises to the surface. But today’s haiku are brief – it is hard to find a successful contemporary English language haiku of more than 13 syllables.
It is not the counting of syllables that makes a haiku. It is the breath and scope of engagement with the natural world.
With the ‘now and here’, as the American poet Jim Harrison puts it in his poem ‘After Ikkyu’ – Not here and now but now and here.
In her introduction to Pardalote Press’s 2005 Watersmeet: Haiku, Lyn wrote:
“A haiku is a short poem. Traditionally it was written in only 17 syllables and dealt with nature, usually in reference to a season. Haiku usually gain their effect by suggestion. They present a clear-cut picture, which serves as a starting point for trains of thought and emotion. Because they are so short haiku rarely try to give the picture in detail. Only the outlines or important parts are drawn and the rest the reader must fill in. In this way they resemble Japanese ink sketches. A successful haiku will cause a ripple effect in the reader’s mind, revealing deeper layers of meaning than the words at first seem to express”.
Lyn’s haiku are opened ended invitations for us to see what she has seen – to pause for a moment or two and return – with an enhanced appreciation of the world in which we live and eat and work and walk and be. They shimmer with light and insight, like a Field of Stars.
Field of Stars includes a selection of Lyn’s haiku from two of her recent collaborations:
From Poets and Painters – Celebrating the Big Punchbowl 2016-2017, in which she worked with Megan Walch, are these haiku:
into a dusk of stars
tries to climb into
its mother’s cold pouch
From Small Worlds: Paintings by Luke Wagner Words by Lyn Reeves, published in 2017 are these haiku that shimmer in the same light as Luke’s luminous bonsai:
my book forgotten…
the changing script
sound of the bell
listening in silence
for the silence
And, now from Field of Stars:
holding green light
in its leaves
listening all day
a high wind
unravels the sky
Haiku is not just a poetic practice. It is a way of living in and looking at the world.
And Lyn Reeves’ world is a place for all of us.
Before handing over to Lyn I would like to thank Chris and Janet for making the Hobart Bookshop a home for poetry and the celebration of poetry in Hobart. Thank you. Thank you to Ralph Wessman, the quiet voice giving a big voice to haiku, from his years of Famous Reporter, having published over 1400 haiku, to publishing, just in the past month or so, Ron Moss’s Broken Starfish, and the reason we are here tonight – Lyn Reeves’ Field of Stars.
My final thank you is to Lyn, mentor and teacher and friend for giving me the honour of launching this superb collection. It is one that will live in our hearts and minds for a very long time.
Field of Stars is the perfect place to explore the possibilities – the breadth and scope of haiku – in all its realities and possibilities.’
Irene McGuire – September 9, 2019
Members’ News compiled by Simon Hanson