On June 11th, seven White Pebbles members met at Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens for our winter meeting. As always, we caught up for a brief chat over coffee or tea before heading out into the garden at precisely 10:30 to walk in silence and jot what we observed.
We all appreciate that this Japanese-style garden adjacent to the Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre provides an ideal venue to celebrate the changing seasons.
Ginko over, the time came to gather in our workshopping room, seated at the round table; the right space in which to read a few of our own haiku, brought with us or jotted today, and benefit from our fellow members’ thoughtful appreciation and helpful responses.
Twists and Turns
Michael Thorley took the group through a variety of re-writings of Basho’s famous haiku on the frog leaping into the pond. This haiku has been re-expressed by many poets over the years, including Shiki, Australia’s Harold Stewart, Lucien Stryk, Allen Ginsberg and James Kirkup (who rewrote it in a simple three-word effort).
The group looked with interest at the success, or otherwise, of these rewritings.
Thank you, Michael.
In sad response to his parting from this earth but with spirited acknowledgement of his major contribution to haiku in Australia, we stood around the table and in turn read, one by one, ten of John Bird’s haiku. We feel sure that readers of this post will want to revisit them too and think of many other personal favourite examples of his work.
White Pebbles Haiku Group
Haiku written by John Bird shared in respect at White Pebbles Haiku Winter Meeting
barking dogs – the swaggie’s slow progress through town Yellow Moon 2004 cloudless sky the village church holds up a cross Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 1 2013 world stirring water in the poacher starts to simmer Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 2 2014 fly tent – looking at the emu looking in Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 2 2014 winter beach the old timer hitches up his swimmers Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 3 2015 burbling stream the stone in my hand dries silently Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 8 2020 spring morning dog and I exchange silly grins Haiku Dreaming website anzac eve a crow watches old men clean the cenotaph Haiku Dreaming website