Paperbark Ginko

Wednesday 16th October, 2019

One fine spring day…

On a fine spring day, warm with a cool breeze and blue skies sporting a few white clouds, five haiku enthusiasts from Paperbark Haiku: Melissa Moffat, Elizabeth Nicholls, Rose van Son, Barry Sanbrook and Maureen Sexton, met for a ginko and to discuss the intricacies and simplicities of haiku, in the Meeting Room at the Dome Café, Maylands, WA.

We started the morning by discussing two particular types of haiku: the single image haiku and the juxtaposition haiku. We talked of fragments and phrases, cuts and crossovers, language and meanings.

It was generally agreed that although single image haiku can be stunning and have the ‘aha’ factor, the juxtaposed fragment/phrase haiku gives the reader more to bite; more to find connections and meanings for themselves.

Samples of traditional haiku by Issa, Basho, Buson, and other poets from Haiku Inspirations: Poems and Meditations on Nature and Beauty by Tom Lowenstein were read, as were some modern haiku.

examples –

snow melts
and the village overflows
with children



irises blossom
over my feet
blue sandal laces



the silence of a temple
the cry of a cicada
penetrates the rocks


A brief discussion also took place around the difficulties of translations of haiku written in languages other than English.

We also discussed the role of metaphor in haiku, its use and its possibility and agreed that implied metaphor is fine in haiku but not the overt use of metaphor.

We then set off on our ginko, making our observations among blooming red and white roses, some with a wonderful perfume, a banana tree, train station and other suburban wonders.

On our return, we shared our observations and haiku drafts. We talked about using check lists when editing haiku, and why editing is important. We also touched on haibun but left the majority of that discussion for another time.

Some haiku from the day:

red roses
and a lace curtain
instant nostalgia

Elizabeth Nicholls


spring garden
the edge cutter rounds
flower petals

Melissa Moffatt


on serrated edge

Barry Sanbrook


cumulus clouds
deep leather chairs
inside the café

Maureen Sexton


another train
friend’s garden

Rose van Son

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