Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Despite the distancing required, the closeness of our haiku friendship was undaunted as we met again at The Oaks. All of us were present this time, spread around a previously booked table (now essential) by a heater in the marquee–Kathy Kituai, Glenys Ferguson, Marietta McGregor, Gregory Piko, Hazel Hall and Jan Dobb.

As The Oaks closes early in winter, we again met earlier than usual. This meant enjoying a lunch together as we caught up with each other and with haiku amid the aromas of fish’n’chips and linguine, a waft or two of cappuccino.  What could be cosier on a Canberra winter day?

Curiosity had been expressed about publication of two of Greg’s ‘haiku shuffles’, first in Modern Haiku and more recently in the latest Kokako. What’s he up to?

So, we’d asked if he would elaborate a little further on what he’d already posted about these on his website here and also here.

While a waiter cleared our empty plates, Greg delved into his bag for a few notes and some much appreciated ‘how to’ hand-outs. Interest ran high as he detailed his experiments with haiku shuffling, his thoughts of its possibilities, his discoveries so far. Questions were readily taken on board as he went. Glenys, who’d been inspired to have a go previously, described her initial experience along with a shuffling method she’d tried out.

Where did the time go? The Oaks was showing signs of closing shop. As we ventured out into the icy day, we were warmed with enthusiasm to have a go at a shuffle for ourselves.

We wondered, too, whether others in the wider haiku community might be interested in such a concept? What do you think of it?

Jan Dobb