Members’ News, October 2020

John Bird recently contacted us with an email addressed to Rob Scott;

Dear Rob

‘I am delighted and honoured to have my name associated with the AHS International Haiku Competition. I am also delighted that you have taken the reins at the Australian Haiku Society – the Society has been blessed with excellent leadership teams which is evidenced in its progress.  I know the AHS will benefit from your leadership and I hope you have lots of fun in the Chair.  

With happy memories of the dreaming days,’

John Bird

We also recieved a wonderful letter from Quendryth Young, convener of the Cloudcatchers group –

There is huge rejoicing in the Cloudcatcher camp at your choice of name for the  ‘John Bird Dreaming Award’. Now I think of it, when considering all those haiku poets who were mentored by John (personally or by email at a distance), and then all those influenced by those folk mentored, as well as those choosing to read his work online, there must be few haiku poets in Australia whom John has not touched in some way.

 I believe his gentle guidance casts a wide range of influence and has formed a firm base for the writing of haiku in Australia.’

Quendryth Young, on behalf of the Cloudcatcher group.

John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku

Submissions remain open until March 1st 2021. Guidelines and further details can be found here.

Groups and Gatherings

To catch up on the latest from these regional groups click on the links below.

Fringe Myrtles


Haiku @ The Oaks



Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku International 2020

Congratulations to Madhuri Pillai for wining a Sakura Award in the International Cherry Blossom Festival held in Vancouver with:

cherry blossoms
mother’s baby steps
holding my hand

    Madhuri Pillai

Also congratulations for Honourable mentions awarded to:

in bucket list
to view sakura with mom

    Su Wai Hlaing


slipped into pockets
of a sun-dried shirt
cherry petals

    Marietta McGregor


Easter parade
in the flurries of kimonos
so many blossoms

    Mark Miller


on the breeze
besame mucho

    Gregory Piko


back from the picnic
cherry blossoms

    Rob Scott


from isolation
joy in the petal’d roof
of my parked car

    Barbara A. Taylor

All results and commentaries can be found here


12th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest

The Submission Collection for 2020 is now available – all of which makes for some excellent reading. If you wish you can access a PDF of the collection here


Black Tulip – An Australian & Irish Collaboration

You might enjoy this collaboration on Youtube between Ron C. Moss and Gabriel Rosenstock—with haiku and art by Ron C. Moss and written and spoken Gaelic transcreations (translations) by Gabriel Rosenstock. The magic of Gaelic beautifully spoken is an experience in itself, not to be missed.

Echidna Tracks

Submissions to the latest issue of Echidna Tracks on the theme of Shelter has now closed and the editors sincerely thank all those who have supported this venture with their offerings. We are now immersed in reading and discussions.

2020 AFL Grand Final Haiku Kukai – smoke and lasers

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020gfkukai.jpg

Well into the future, the year 2020 will need no introduction. Like every legendary age that preceded it, 2020 will go down as a larger than life, deeply transformative time that puts every other calendar year with a dark story to tell in the shade – especially for those who lived through it. Covid-19 shocked, rearranged and reinvented the world. Things we took for granted became nuggets of irrational desire – like going to the movies, having dinner out, visiting our mums and dads, and toilet paper!

More than any city in the country, Melbourne bore the brunt of the metamorphic shock of the global pandemic. Two lockdowns, one lasting 4 months, are testament to that. Collateral damage of the Covid-19 pandemic included the 2020 AFL season. Border closures and quarantine regulations posed the biggest threat to the completion of a VFL/AFL season since WW2. For the first time in history, football was played in front of no crowds, with not a single game (including the Grand Final!)  played in Melbourne after Round 5. Bubbles, hubs, quarantine breaches and the permutations of rolling fixtures and shortened quarters dominated the back pages as we sat on the edge of our couches, crossing our fingers for a meaningful, if not satisfactory resolution to a season no one had anticipated.

With the grand final wrenched away from Melbourne, and with much of the country forced to watch it from their living rooms, it was always going to be a different day. For everyone, including haiku poets entering the 9th running of the Grand Final Haiku Kukai, it was a time of curious anticipation. In true form, they rose to the challenge.

In the days leading up to the game, haiku poets reflected on the poignancy of the event:

as two thirty nears
ghost siren over Punt Rd
my bones feel the roar

Amanda Collins

grand final parade
pigeons strut through
the mall

Myron Lysenko

Grand Final—
yellow and black daisies
on my brother’s grave

Mary Stone

The afternoon of
the first night grand final –
bugger all to do

Clem Byard

grand final day
at mum’s

Glenn Harper

grand final day
the MCG fills
with seagulls

Louise Hopewell

a lone seagull
looks for a chip

Jeanie Axton

Here near St Kilda
I don’t hear any neighbours
barracking at all

Hamish Danks Brown

Some of our haiku poets follow the footy as much, if not more, than the average supporter, and engaged in some of the pre-game banter of the build-up with their uniquely fanatical and humorous offerings:

Eastern Standard Time
– Pop go the Pies
in Gabba Bubble

Bill Wootton

Something in the air
– Tom Hawkins
denies it

Bill Wootton

Late change
AFL rethinks presenting premiers
with Cartier watches

Michael Potter

smoke and lasers
the singer’s
single hit

Glenn Harper

But it’s in the clinches where all haiku poets worth their salt belong, and from the first bounce to the last, they put their heads over the ball and produced the most prolific performance in the 9-year history of this event to date. This year’s kukai generated 450 haiku in total including 330 during the game itself – approximately 3-4 per minute. A blistering pace. The highlights reel is below.

As usual, a huge thanks goes out to the poets all over the country and beyond. It was another cracking kukai. ‘Til next year at the ‘G (hopefully).

– Rob Scott (aka Haiku Bob)

playing her role
from the toss of the coin
lady luck

Simon Hanson

Geelong kicks one way
Ablett’s shoulder
goes the other

Rob Scott

each man
has four shadows-
first quarter

Jade Pisani

first goal
all the cat’s eyes
look away

Ron C. Moss

lip reading…
smooth flow
of epithets

Madhuri Pillai

balmy in Queensland
you’d think the pitch invaders
would discard their clothes

Kim Jeffs

quarter time –
more sausage rolls
than the scoreboard

Glenn Harper

it’s an even game
the lagging Facebook refresh
and my vodka brain

Derek Begg

Second quarter –
Cats give the goal posts 
a good spray

Jen Worthington

who scored that goal?
I find the replay in a haiku

Myron Lysenko

my lover
and the football
blue sky danger

Alan Summers

half time . . .
all the haiku poets
kicking goals

Ron C. Moss

Game to be won
Danger and Dusty
move forward

Ian Gostelow

go kukai poets
final half of footy
to find the goals

Ross Coward

momentum change –
she says
its over

Glenn Harper

all of a sudden
it’s close

Bee Jay

one-man supporter
painted in the colours
of the losing team

Adjei Agyei-Baah

Spellcheck hates Riewoldt
Like, seriously hates him
Wonder if he knows?

Ivana Dash

on the sidelines
Annastacia Palaszczuk
stifles a yawn

Kim Jeffs

A neighbour cheering
or is it because Uber
Eats has just arrived?

Hamish Danks Brown

spring moon –
the bald head of Ablett
still centre stage

Rob Scott

tv free house
celebrating neighbours are
my final siren

Lucy Annicka

One thought on “Members’ News, October 2020”

  1. Pingback: Myron Lysenko

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: