Fringe Myrtles Haiku Meeting August 2020

The Fringe Myrtles said goodbye to the winter of 2020 (a winter of some discontent) with yet another COVID-19 lockdown-enforced Zoom meeting held on the last Sunday of August. And it was another typically lively and collaborative affair, highlighted by engrossing discussions and the sharing of original haiku.

Calling in from a chilly Hobart, Vice-President of the Australian Haiku Society, Lyn Reeves, was our guest speaker who shared her vast knowledge of publishing and editing haiku in Australia. Lyn was able to draw on her experience of editing for several journals (Famous Reporter, paper wasp and Echidna Tracks to name a few) as well as her accomplishments as owner and editor of Pardalote Press, to offer valuable insights into the process of selecting and editing haiku for publication. Her presentation also highlighted the challenge for editors worldwide — to identify haiku that upholds the core principles of the genre while maintaining a fresh voice. Lyn listed a few qualities that she looks for in haiku submissions which was valuable information for the Fringe Myrtles members. Her tips for sequencing haiku collections were also instructional and informative for group members, particularly those who are considering putting together a collection of poetry.

It was an engrossing presentation which also gave the Fringe Myrtles a rich appreciation of Lyn’s place in the history of modern haiku in Australia, as she recounted her early associations with Janice Bostok and John Knight who became her mentors. Overall, the Fringe Myrtles felt very honoured to have Lyn attend our little meeting.

In this meeting, we were also fortunate to have Micheal Dylan Welch call in to the meeting from his home in Seattle, Washington. Michael had such a great time as guest presenter at our last meeting that we couldn’t keep him away! And we were also joined by our newest member, Rick Gabb. A warm welcome Rick. We also had an impromptu tour of Madhuri Pillai’s garden (sparked by the haiku she contributed to the meeting that is featured below) which was a treat for all of us in the shackles of lockdown.

Then it was onto business, and the FM’s read and discussed their own haiku on the theme of ‘light’. There were many and various takes on this theme which provoked the usual enthusiastic discussion.

Madhuri Pillai captured the movement of light in her beautiful garden, while Laura DeBernadi’s evocative poem was, among other things, a reminder of the sense of longing that is a reality for so many people in these times.

swaying bare birch
the shimmer of the sun
on asparagus fern

Madhuri Pillai

your pink lips
at a distance
lightning

Laura DeBernardi