As soon as we met up for this meeting we knew it was going to be a very special one indeed. The sun was gently shining and all the diverse shades of green in the garden were sparkling. Soon we were off for our ginko and silent jotting. Smiles across the ponds and along the pathways.
On a lovely summer morning, eight of us gathered again for our White Pebbles meeting. As usual, before starting our ginko, we enjoyed catching up with each other’s news over a hot beverage at the Art Centre’s café. We missed Michael Thorley, who was unable to join us.
Whatever the season, it’s always a pleasure to connect with like-minded poets at the peaceful and vibrant Edogawa Commemorative Garden. A gift to the people of Gosford from Edogawa, its Sister City, the traditional ‘shuyu’ (strolling style) garden fittingly celebrates cultural exchange and friendship.
We each dispersed down winding pathways towards whatever sights, scents and sounds beckoned us – shadows flickering on the raked dry stone bed, a cheeky koi pursuing a duck, dry leaves dangling on spider silk and crazy paving triggering childhood memories of hopscotch.
A half an hour later, we gathered around the table in the downstairs meeting room in the gallery premises. As part of our homework, each person shared a sequence of three haiku and then absorbed thoughtful and considered feedback.
Marilyn Humbert had emailed us a very helpful worksheet with guidelines and examples on writing haibun prior to our meeting. So firstly, each person read out their attempts at creating their own and then exchanged feedback. This was followed by Marilyn’s workshop on the subject, furthering the introduction to haibun that she gave us in March last year. We browsed several publications that welcomed haibun. Marilyn spoke of the essence of haibun: the need to write in the present tense, the hook at the start, its “link and shift” nature, its descriptive prose, avoiding repetition, the poem requiring to connect to the story, yet taking it on a different direction, how to select an apt title etc. We thank Marilyn for her excellent workshop.
Our convenor, Beverley George informed us that our wonderful and highly talented founding member, Gail Hennessy, will be bowing out of White Pebbles. We will miss her very much and hope that she’ll be able to visit us occasionally.
Beverley then gave us an opportunity to talk about members’ recent creative efforts. Colleen Keating spoke of her new book, Olive Muriel Pink – a richly researched and beautifully written poetic journey. I spoke briefly about my debut novel, The Lyrebird’s Cry, a modern tale of self-discovery of a gay man trapped into an arranged marriage. While we ran out of time for more such discussion, our Haiga Picture Poet, Kent Robinson’s splendid work, featured on his new website, must also be mentioned.
Buoyed by our foray into haibun, we will most likely start to experiment with this form, apart from dabbling in haiku joy, until our next meeting in autumn.
White Pebbles spring meeting was once again held at the Edogawa Commemorative Japanese Gardens and Regional Gallery, West Gosford. Present were Beverley George (convenor), Marilyn Humbert, Kent Robinson, Michael Thorley, Colleen Keating, Verna Rieschild and Gwen Bitti. First order of business, a casual catch-up over a hot beverage.
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.
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.
What a delight it was to meet up with fellow members for our summer meeting at our regular venue, the Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens and Regional Gallery. Regrettably, and for understood and respected reasons, several of our members were unable to attend and they were missed. Present were Kent Robinson, Samantha Hyde, Gwen Bitti, Verna Rieschild and Beverley George. A welcome guest was poet Michael Thorley.
To celebrate spring and with New South Wales still in lockdown, White Pebbles members enjoyed an unhurried email meeting over three days.
Our facilitator Beverley George organised and circulated a worksheet prior to the meeting date. The word prompts reflected our ‘stay-at-home’ status, included heavy rain, first sign of Spring, sparked by others, night sky and free choice.
Each member was invited to write one or more haiku to each prompt.
The poems were emailed to all members for suggestions.
There was a feast of poems to enjoy, and considered and thoughtful comments were circulated by email over the next few days with all nine members; Beverley George, Samantha Sirimanne Hyde, Kent Robinson, Colleen Keating, Gail Hennessy, Maire Glacken, Verna Rieschild, Gwen Bitti, and Marilyn Humbert participating.
Maire Glacken shared her take on life with Covid restrictions.
mirror’s reflection Boris Johnson hairstyle revealed
White Pebbles continues to thrive with the encouragement and support of every member even though our meetings at Gosford/Edogawa Gardens have been curtailed by Covid.
At our winter meeting the seven members who attended were joined by two welcome guests, Carol Reynolds and Margaret Mahony. Another member, Samantha Hyde, although unable to be present, sent a completed worksheet well ahead of time and we were glad to include her valued poetry in our workshopping session.
As always we met at 10 a.m. for coffee and informal chat before heading off at precisely 10:30 on our ginko. The weather was cold but fine and the garden so delightful to view from the many aspects its winding pathway affords. A large Japanese maple stirring in the breeze drew the attention of every poet.