Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 9 June 2020

With the easing of isolation, we decided to venture from our cocoons and meet each other again in the real world of The Oaks. Canberra’s winter meant a table by a heater in the large marquee instead of out under the trees. And how our hearts warmed too, as we enjoyed each other’s actual presence once again – Kathy Kituai, Greg Piko, Glenys Ferguson, Hazel Hall and Jan Dobb. Unfortunately, Marietta McGregor was out of town.

In order to support The Oaks during tough times, we ordered lunch instead of just coffee and a rather celebratory air prevailed as we chatted over hearty serves of fish and chips. Hand sanitiser distanced with the pepper and salt, but despite spaces between chairs and a lack of hugs, the old camaraderie was heeding no bounds.

We commented on Greg’s selection of The Haiku Foundation’s Per Diem this month and laughed with Kathy on her delightful ‘autumn sunset’ on show the other day. A couple of us had brought along the recent Kokako which has at last arrived after Covid restrictions had caused printing delay. Some of the haiku were read and it was pleasing to see The Oaks mob well represented too. A curious coincidence this afternoon was that a few of us confessed to not writing much haiku of late but engaging in other literary forms such as long poetry, memoirs, and even sonnets.  Versatility reigns in lockdown!

However, this particular afternoon had a distinctive feel to it. We had all come together again after an extraordinary time, so it did not seem surprising that conversation ranged more widely than usual as we shared many thoughts and experiences of life in general. All in all, our venture back into the world hinted at some kind of freeing. Maybe inspiration for a haiku . . . or a tanka . . . or even perhaps, a sonnet?

Report by Jan Dobb

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