It was encouraging to me as Convenor and a good start to the haiku year that all current members were present at our Summer meeting held on Tuesday 28th January. Previously our meeting dates were tailored to accommodate as many members as possible. This year however we will hold subsequent meetings on the third Tuesday of the month that begins each season so dates can be noted on calendars well in advance.
The meeting was held at the EG Waterhouse Camellia Gardens at Caringbah. Last time we met at this popular venue was during school holidays. This time we hoped most children were at home getting ready to go back to school the following day. Remnants of the previous weeks damaging hail storm were evident as we drove into the car park but the trees and plant life within the gardens had obviously relished the precipitation. Everything looked so green and lush.
While we were all enjoying our preferred variety of tea or coffee in the café with the heady perfume of Murraya wafting through the open windows we worked through the set exercise ‘Compare the Pair’. Members were asked to bring along first drafts and final drafts of their haiku. Discussions followed comparing each version, the changes that had been made and why and whether the result was an improved haiku. In some instances further critiquing was offered. Naturally the impact being felt by enduring drought and recent bushfires featured highly as subject matter.
We decided to have readings from the haiku bowl before we embarked on a walk through the gardens. Among the selection were haiku written by one of our newer recruits, Patricia, and I think this unedited one is worth sharing – progress is being made:
charity bins stand alone
unwanted clothes overflow
In what I suggest was close to 90% humidity we headed out with the best of intentions to enjoy a ginko. Within minutes however we realised it was not a good idea with the abundant mosquito population flying in to make the most of our unsuspecting group. We hastily retreated to some shaded seats in the less natural environment of the children’s playground where we conversed on all things other than haiku until returning to a most enjoyable light lunch back in the café. Apologies to Ros for forgetting to take our photo before she had to leave.
We look forward to our Autumn meeting which will be held on Tuesday 17th March. We have circulated notices at local libraries to encourage others interested in haiku writing to join us.