The 10th and final issue of the much-loved journal, Windfall: Australian Haiku, was released in January 2022.
Windfall is an annual journal edited by Beverley George and published by Peter Macrow at Blue Giraffe Press. The cover artwork is by Ron C. Moss, with design and layout by Matthew C. George.
Originating in Japan, the popularity of this short poetic genre has spread widely around the globe. Australian interest in haiku dates as far back as 1899 when an Australian haiku competition was conducted(1). Subsequently, in the 1970s, Janice Bostok produced Australia’s first haiku magazine, Tweed(2).
More recently, the Australian journal, paper wasp, ran for 20 years until ceasing publication in 2016 and, with the internet leading to growing interest in the genre, other print and online journals have encouraged and supported the writing of haiku.
For the past ten years, Windfall has focused solely on haiku about Australian urban and rural life, written by Australian residents. These poems have incorporated many elements of our landscapes, seasons, flora and fauna into the haiku form.
over the moonlit creek
a pobblebonk chorus
on a fresh cut stump
Nature haiku such as these enable Australians and others to appreciate images and sounds associated with the birds, animals and plants of this country.
in the mangroves
a jabiru crosses
winter afternoon —
golden wattle glows
on black sky canvas
Windfall has chronicled some of the best Australian haiku for a decade. Issue 10 presents haiku by 63 poets. By my count, 20 of these poets also appeared in Issue 1, which suggests around 40 of the current Windfall poets have emerged in the intervening period. The growing Australian haiku community certainly includes a healthy influx of fresh voices and fresh ideas.
Some poems in Windfall relate to the interaction between nature and the human environment.
opera house steps
a long-nosed fur seal
soaks up the sunshine
an empty packet of Smith’s
catches the sun
While others use local flora and fauna to portray aspects of Australian behaviour and culture.
in tree shadows
he stops treatment
the roughness of
without a door . . .
the Milky Way
Credit for Windfall’s success must go to editor, Beverley George, and to publisher, Peter Macrow. Beverley’s deep knowledge of the haiku form has enabled her to assemble a marvellous selection of Australian haiku for each edition of Windfall, while Peter has supported the journal throughout its life.
Beverley George selected the following haiku to conclude the 10th issue of Windfall. It was a wonderful choice, with the poem capturing a quintessentially Australian scene. But, more than that, the poem does not despair about ending. Rather, the poem celebrates the vitality of birth and renewal.
the udder punch
of a newborn
For ten years, Windfall has made an important contribution in recording the work of Australian haiku poets. Now, we all look to the future.
Review by Gregory Piko
A limited number of back issues of Windfall (No. 4 to No. 9) and of the final issue (No. 10) are available for $10 per copy, postage included. Cash or stamps are welcome, as are cheques payable to Peter Macrow. Please address to:
6/16 Osborne Street
Sandy Bay TAS 7005
1) Scott, Rob, “The History of Australian Haiku and the Emergence of a Local Accent,” The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, accessed January 22, 2022
2) Dean, Sharon Elyse , “White Heron: The Authorised Biography of Australia’s Pioneering Haiku Writer Janice M Bostok,” The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, accessed January 22, 2022