Members’ News July, 2017

July is behind us and August lies before, what opportunities await . . .

A Haiku Story

In this segment we are intending to share the background and history to a particular haiku so as to gain some understanding of the haiku’s origin, a window on how one haiku came to be.  If you have an engaging story and would like to share it we’d be very interested to hear it; send it to me via the email secretary link on the main page of the website – there is the possibility we may be able to include it in the next Members’ News.

Our Haiku Story this week comes in the form of a haibun from Beverley George and concerns a haiku that was first published on the Australian Haiku Society Winter Solstice String, June 2017.

Crouching Dragon

On my third visit to Garyu Sanso, (crouching dragon) villa, I am in the congenial company of a small group of Australian travellers. With a guide, we climb stone steps beside the Hiji River and enter the thatch-roofed building; marvel at the moon window, the exquisite openwork carvings depicting the seasons and the views from the rear deck of the gently landscaped garden that leads down to a tea-hut. Our guide points out the master carpenters’ signatures etched into a few nail heads in a section of the wooden decking. She tells of the clay pots buried beneath the earth under the house that enhance the quality of music played there on festive occasions.

We walk towards the tea hut, everyone concentrating on the guide’s words, and making occasional notes as she describes the botan moss that turns from white to green when scooped water is tipped on to it, and the living yew that supports one corner of the hut.

There is a sudden diversion. Everyone’s attention switches to a tiny creature on a bed of moss. The mouse is unperturbed by the huddle of strangers that surrounds it and continues to preen and nibble rather than hide beneath adjacent fern.

a mouse perched on moss
halts the guided garden tour –
ten cameras flash

(Garyu Sanso (Crouching Dragon) house, Ozu, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan

Beverley George

Mouse on moss Beverley George


Recent document links to the website

The Australian Haiku Society has recently placed links to the historically important First Australian Haiku Anthology: Bird, John and Bostok, Janice M. Converted to PDF format by The Haiku Foundation and available in their Digital Library, and; The Dreaming Collection: Bird, John. Converted to PDF format by The Haiku Foundation and available in their Digital Library.

Continue reading “Members’ News July, 2017”

Blowing up Balloons – review

A collaboration between Vanessa Proctor and Gregory Piko, Blowing up Balloons, is a collection of 90 haiku and senryu about the experience of becoming and being a parent. The moments shared relate to the stages in a child’s life from the first hint of pregnancy:

distracted the curve of a new moon

to the early years of childhood:

bathtime / they re-enact the sinking/ of the titanic

walking home from ballet/ my daughter pirouettes/ through the blossom

These sensitive and tender poems evoke a sense of wonder and amazement that bringing a new life into the world gives rise to, and of the joy that can be found in the presence of these little human beings entrusted to our care. The opening haiku perfectly encapsulates this:  Continue reading “Blowing up Balloons – review”

A New Vice President for the Australian Haiku Society

I would like to welcome Lyn Reeves as the new Vice President of the Australian Haiku Society. Lyn has been involved in the Society since its inception and brings a great deal of experience to the role.

I would like to thank Lynette Arden, our outgoing Vice President, for the huge amount of work she has done for the AHS over the past four and a half years. She has been very dedicated to her role as Vice President and has made a lasting contribution to the Society. We are fortunate that she will remain involved in the AHS in her capacity as Web Manager.

Vanessa Proctor, AHS President

Members’ News May 2017

With May behind us, the southern hemisphere autumn now heads towards winter while across the equator spring moves toward summer; so the world turns. Wherever you are we hope May has been an enjoyable month for you as we look forward to a creatively productive June.

Groups and Gatherings

Jan Dobb reminds us that Canberra’s autumn this year is more stunning than ever. You can catch up on the latest news and revisit the most recent gathering of Haiku@theOaks here.

Continue reading “Members’ News May 2017”

Members’ News April 2017

April has been a productive month in the world of haiku and very pleasingly creative contributions from Australia continue to blossom forth. While our news (perhaps too often) tends to focus on some of the more recognised examples of haiku success it is well to remember that kids having a go at haiku in the classroom, new group members just embarking on the haiku journey and people anywhere asking the question ‘what is haiku’ are all instances good news. If you have any stories of haiku happenings at the grassroots we’d love to hear them.

Continue reading “Members’ News April 2017”

Launch of Bushfire Moon

Ron Moss and Heather Scandrett at the launch of Bushfire Moon

On the 24th March, in the beautiful surrounds of the Allport Library in Hobart, I had the honour of launching Ron Moss’s recent book, Bushfire Moon, with the following words:

I first met Ron about seventeen years ago when his friend Ross Coward brought him along to a meeting of the then recently formed haiku group, Watersmeet. I remember sitting around the long table in the Salamanca Arts Centre meeting room. We had each brought along an object from nature as a prompt for writing, and when it came to sharing our jottings I was struck by the detailed observation and insight in the pieces Ron read out. I can still see the trail of tiny black ants Continue reading “Launch of Bushfire Moon”

A Message from the President

I would like to send a message of support to all our members in Queensland and northern NSW in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie and in this time of extreme flooding.  We sincerely hope that you and your families remain safe and well.

In happier news, March has been an exciting month for haiku in Australia.  The month began with Roberta Beary’s visit to Sydney, then Melbourne, meeting haiku poets in both cities.  Roberta is the Roving Ambassador for the Haiku Foundation this year.  Penny Harter, another distinguished American haiku poet, met poets in Melbourne. Continue reading “A Message from the President”