The Red Dragonflies met at Cynthia Rowe’s home in Woollahra on Saturday 12th March. We were joined by an invited guest, Dy Anreasen, who had been fortunate enough to ‘tread in Basho’s footsteps’ with Beverley’s tour last year. It is confronting, however, to reflect that we were sitting sharing haiku in Sydney on the very day that the earthquake and tsunami were wreaking such havoc on Japan and its people. Haiku must continue to remind us of, and instruct us in, the ephemeral – and therefore precious – nature of existence…
The Red Dragonflies met at Pearl Beach on Sunday 12th December for a ginko in the Crommelin Native Arboretum (which will hopefully produce a pamphlet in the new year) followed by lunch at the bayside cafe.
During the course of the afternoon, members workshopped their pre-written haiku and senryu and, as always, found much upon which to ponder and much about which to laugh.
Understandably, the sound of cicadas rang out loudest amongst the Christmas haiku, but the gentler ‘clink’ of threepences in a china bowl produced nostalgia, too, for mothers’ and grandmothers’ plum puddings…
Christmas get-together –
the joy of exchanging
An overcast day did not lessen the conviviality of the ‘red dragonflies’ group when they gathered at the home of the group’s leader, Vanessa Proctor, to share spring haiku.
All members were present.
Poems on the pre-set topics of the energy of spring, gardening, and empty snail shell were workshopped. After lunch, two anonymous haiku per member were drawn from the haiku bowl for general discussion, before the authors admitted ownership.
the day before
The Red Dragonflies
report by Beverley George
The autumn meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on Saturday, 13th March atBarbara Fisher’s home in Mosman. Vanessa Proctor led members Beverley George,Lesley Walter, Cynthia Rowe, Dawn Bruce and Barbara Fisher in a stimulatingseries of haiku exercises. One particularly challenging exercise was to write an autumnhaiku without using the word ‘autumn’, while anonymous contributions to the haikubowl provoked the usual interest and hilarity.
Vanessa also presented everyone with an attractively produced chap-book of haiku selected from work inspired by the group’s ginko at Pearl Beach last December.
The Red Dragonflies’ summer (and Christmas) meeting was held on Saturday 12th December at Pearl Beach Cafe, Pearl Beach, where members enjoyed a delicious lunch before workshopping their haiku over coffee. One of the prepared exercises had been to write a haiku about a childhood memory of Christmas. The haiku presented were testimony to the fact that memory can serve equally as well as observation in producing seemingly immediate haiku. Members agreed that, as Australians, it does seem a lot easier to write evocatively about the heat of summer than it does about winter’s cold… Despite the day being a glorious summer one, members were cooled by strong easterly breezes through the cafe’s open windows, which inspired the following ‘moment’:
sea breezes sweep the cafe –
we hold on to our haiku
Lunch was followed by a ginko on the foreshore, from which convenor, Vanessa Proctor, is hoping to produce a booklet. In this way, members will relive what was a most stimulating, enjoyable and, as always, convivial occasion.
At the spring meeting of the Red Dragonflies on August 22 at Vanessa Proctor’s home, members were led by Vanessa through the rigours of writing a 12 verse Shishan renku. As several members were new to this style of writing, there was some confusion and much hilarity to begin with, but as confidence grew, everyone settled to the task. A very enjoyable meeting.
The winter meeting of the Red Dragonflies (akatombo) was held on 30th May at Dawn Bruce’s home in St Leonards. The group had planned a ginko in Dawn’s leafy garden but, due to inclement weather, the meeting was held indoors.
The Red Dragonflies met on Saturday 28th February at Barbara Fisher’s home in Mosman. All members attended and we had an enjoyable meeting discussing the theme of autumn, concentrating on moon haiku and the welcome coolness of the season.