Paperbark Haiku WA, Zoom Winter Ginko

On a glorious winter’s day, 5th August, 2020, in Perth, Western Australia, I contemplated the healing power of the sun as it entered my study windows through thin vertical blinds.  Outside, the succulents were busy showing off their light and shade, their colour and variation; inside, I was preparing for the two hour Paperbark Haiku Zoom Winter Ginko gathering.

Poets had spent the previous few days writing haiku, alone, in their patch, then emailing three of their best to Maureen Sexton, organiser and coordinator of the event, with a short, introductory, context descriptor of how, when and where these haiku were discovered. Each of us received a copy.

Our special guest, Michael Dylan Welch (Graceguts online) had been invited, having zoomed in from Washington State, and delivered a couple of workshops. We were awed by his beautiful haiku sequence, Forgiven and his reading, with Zoom audience participation, of his latest essay, Going Nowhere: Learning Haiku from Pico Iyer.  Much excitement, discussion and questions followed.

Those participating on Zoom then read their haiku composed for the event.  Many poets remarked that it really helped to read the context descriptor of the haiku, and it certainly added layers of meaning to the haiku presented. Knowing where the poets were coming from and the climate, both physical and environmental, under which they undertook their personal ginko, gave an insight into their particular situation / isolation. Over the next three days we had the opportunity to make comment via email on the various haiku. Maureen coordinated these too!

Attendees and submissions came from near and far – from WA, SA, Victoria, Nepal and USA. The beauty and flexibility of Zoom spread before us. I have chosen a selection of haiku and haibun from voices I knew and voices new to me.

summer rain–
the piano silent
all day

Michael Dylan Welch (USA)


all day
rain fed the rain

Gary Colombo De Piazzi (WA)


bare earth
where I planted seeds
tracks of birds

Coral Carter (WA)


salt breeze
a down feather
brushes my nose

Elizabeth Nicholls (WA)


winter evening . . .
walking alone a man
with a white cane

Manoj Sharma (Nepal)


winter garden
a jet’s engine
echoes off the clouds

Maureen Sexton (WA)


curfew –
from the top of the drive
I stare into the street

Alice Wanderer (Vic)


half-moon –
Bell’s Palsy droop
or bashful grin?

Peter Burges (WA)


through the wire fence
roses and weeds –

Rose van Son (WA)


who is that
unmasked man?
a lone danger

Myron Lysenko (Vic)


rain puddle
a gum tree shimmers
on a pallid sky

Madhuri Pillai (Vic)


abandoned –
a lone garden chair
the coldest day

Maggie Van Putten (WA)


hawk wings
a mother squirrel
shakes her tail

Tom Bierovic (Florida USA)


dry creek
long winter grasses
follow the wind

Melissa Moffat (WA)


hail on my yoga morning
I salute the sun

Candy Gordon (WA)


white tissues tumble grass
a memory of snow

Scott-Patrick Mitchell (SPM) (WA)


Doctor’s appointment during the pandemic

After a half-hour walk to my appointment, I am sitting on the cold front porch of the surgery, muffled in multiple clothing layers including scarf, gloves, hooded parka.

so long waiting
for the doctor
oak leaves bud

Forty-five minutes later, he opens the front door.

‘You’re well rugged up,’ he says.

Lynette Arden (SA)


Report by Rose van Son


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