Despite rain making driving difficult for the majority of members who travel long distances, seven of us and a welcome return visitor met up to greet each other cheerfully at Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens and Regional Gallery on March 19th. How good it was to be together in person. Present were Marilyn Humbert, Samantha Hyde, Gwen Bitti, Gail Hennessy, Maire Glacken, Colleen Keating and Beverley George, and guest Michael Thorley. Unfortunately Kent Robinson was unable to join us this time and we very much look forward to seeing him in June.
It was an individual choice whether to ginko in the garden or the gallery and before too long we had clustered at the round table in our quiet meeting room. And here we are.
Initially we shared current haiku on the theme of journeying. Later in the meeting we read aloud haiku by White Pebbles members that had been published in Windfall: Australian Haiku 10 2022; Echidna Tracks 8; and mentioned those whose work was included in the 13th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Contest October 2021. [This fascinating Museum is one that Michael Thorley and I visited in 2010. It was also good to remember that Gail, Michael and I enjoyed a trip to Japan together in 2012. ]
The main focus of the day was a well-prepared and presented workshop by Marilyn Humbert on the topic of journeying. A frequent traveller throughout Australia, Marilyn’s tips on jotting and recording authentically that which she daily observes proved helpful to all of us as did her reminder of using the senses. Examples of eight of her published travel haiku prompted lively, appreciative responses and also had everybody coming up with ideas of their own. Even beyond the meeting Marilyn is willing to continue to workshop journeying haiku sent to her in the next few days.
A copy of an enjoyable anthology gifted me by Jan Dobb, leader of the Haiku @ The Oaks group in Canberra was passed around and enjoyed. Edited by Hazel Hall and Kathy Kituai it is titled “The Ink Sinks Deeper”.
The following day, a pleasant postscript to our meeting was a unanimous invitation to Michael Thorley to become a member of the White Pebbles haiku group, an offer which he has graciously accepted. Welcome, Michael.