Fringe Myrtles Haiku Meeting, July 2021

After a brief frolic in the sun, the Fringe Myrtles were back in lockdown courtesy of the wildfire Delta variant that is spreading like….well, wildfire.

In attendance, we had Janet Howie, Robyn Cairns, Liv Saint-James, Louise Hopewell, Marisa Fazio, Rob Scott, Madhuri Pillai, Jennifer Sutherland and Michael Dylan Welch, who squeezed us into his busy schedule from Seattle.

Michael kicked things off, letting members know about an interesting animation movie recently released on Netflix called, ‘Words Bubble up like Soda-Pop’, a story about a shy boy who expresses himself through haiku. Louise Hopewell, the winner of the inaugural John Bird Dreaming Award for Haiku, informed the group about the Melbourne Museum Haiku a Day Project that she has contributed to, which you can see here.


Before the meeting, poets were asked to choose a favourite haiku by another poet to share during the meeting and give a brief explanation for their choice. This was a fascinating exercise, with poets choosing a wide range of poems by writers from all over the globe. It gave the members of the group an insight into the kinds of things that catch people’s eye as they flick through their respective haiku libraries. The choices prompted a lively discussion about the different techniques and styles at our disposal as we create our haiku. It was also a reminder of the many accepted formats in English Language Haiku today, which has, of course, come a long way since its emigration from Japan over a hundred years ago.


Finally, the theme of the meeting was ‘winter jumper/sweater/coat/hat’ and each member of the group shared one or two haiku on this theme, including the following:

comfort zone
wearing dad’s
old jumper

Robyn Cairns

—Rob Scott, Convenor