Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Thursday 13 April 2023

After the greetings and personal catch-up as lunch orders arrived, we were soon into the thick of haiku talk at The Oaks. Five of us shared the table this month—Glenys Ferguson, Hazel Hall, Kathy Kituai, Gregory Piko and Jan Dobb.  We missed Marietta McGregor who is out of town.

However, Marietta was indeed in our thoughts as we passed around a copy of the latest Presence which announces her second prize in the Martin Lucas Haiku Award.  Warm congrats to Marietta!  As well as appreciating Marietta’s fine poem, we each read aloud from our own work on other pages, delighted to find all of us represented.

Glenys then presented us with the draft of a haiku she is working on, seeking our response and suggestions.  Possibilities were discussed, and some surprising options revealed the scope that a good haiku can offer.  To share such trust with each other is certainly heart-warming. Thanks Glen.

This led on to some to-and-fro talk about trends in published haiku— especially in certain journals—and even the definition of ‘published’ itself. Haiku remains a living and evolving form. 

Greg raised the curious topic of artificial intelligence, which has been known to produce haiku (?) on request.  Some unsettling food for thought here as haiku, along with other forms of creativity, is confronted with an ever-pervasive tech world.  

On the other hand, technology may counter the rising costs of print publishing plus postage.  In an endeavour to be more budget-friendly, some print journals, such as Modern Haiku, are addressing this issue.  Greg circulated some relevant correspondence.

As a grand finale to the afternoon, Hazel introduced cherita, a verse form she has been practising.  Cherita—a Malay word for story or tale—consists of one line + two lines +three lines (in any order).  We found ourselves intrigued.  Is it like tanka?  Could parts resemble haiku?  We read from a journal of cherita that Hazel circulated.  Initial impressions ranged from hmmm. . . to wow!  A challenge to take away with us.  Perhaps next month, some offerings of first attempts . . .?

Jan Dobb

Author: leanneausthaiku

Secretary, Australian Haiku Society

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