Fringe Myrtles Haiku Meeting, May 2021

Finally, after 1 year, 5 months and 17 days (534 days!) the Fringe Myrtles were able to kiss Zoom meetings goodbye and meet toe-to-toe at the glorious Melbourne Botanical Gardens. You could not wipe the smile from our faces as we gathered along with throngs of other sun-seeking Melbournians on a glorious autumn afternoon at the Tea House Terrace, situated opposite the Ornamental Lake. It was like a dream.

The Ornamental Lake, Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

In attendance we had Jennifer Sutherland, Louise Hopewell, Robbie Cairns, Rob Scott, Liv Saint-James, Rick Gabb and Alice Wanderer. Marisa Fazio also contributed a haiku for the meeting and we received additional apologies from Janet Howie, Takanori Hayakawa and Myron Lysenko.

The meeting began with a hearty congratulations to Louise and Jennifer who placed 1st and 3rd respectively in the inaugural John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku among 890 entries! – quite a feather in the proverbial cap for our little group of haiku nutters!

Jennifer then treated us to a delightful presentation and workshop on the rengay form. Rengay, a collaborative six-verse linked thematic poem written by two or three poets, was invented by haiku poet, Garry Gay, who was purportedly looking for a means of collaborating with other poets rather than writing alone – something that definitely appealed to our lonely, locked-down hearts and minds. We broke off into pairs and groups to try some of our own which was great fun.

Jennifer Sutherland making a point.

The poets then shared 14 haiku on the theme of ‘moon’, which included the following from Marisa Fazio who couldn’t attend the meeting due to sickness. We look forward to seeing you soon Marisa!

keeping vigil all night and day moon

— Marisa Fazio

The next Fringe Myrtles meeting will be held in winter at a time and place to be confirmed. Can’t wait to see you all again!

— Rob Scott

Autumn colours. Photo courtesy of Robbie Cairns.