Red Dragonflies Autumn Meeting 2020

The autumn meeting of the Red Dragonflies was held on Saturday 7th March at our convener Vanessa Proctor’s home in Pymble, from 11.30 am to 2.30 pm. Our small group: Dawn Bruce, Cynthia Rowe, Willem Tibben and myself was even smaller this meeting because transport problems meant our sixth member, Beverley George, was unable to come. She was much missed.

Red Dragonflies March 2020
L to R: Willem Tibben, Dawn Bruce, Vanessa Proctor, Barbara Fisher and Cynthia Rowe

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Members’ News February 2020

AHS Presidency – Welcome and Thanks

Rob-Scott-AHSwebWe welcome Rob Scott to the role of President of the Australian Haiku Society. Rob Scott began his haiku journey while living in Tokyo in the mid-90’s where he became a member of the MIFA haiku circle. After writing haiku for almost 20 years, he released his first two collections, Out of Nowhere and Down to the Wire, both published by Red Moon Press (2016). In 2014, Rob completed his Master’s thesis entitled The History of Australian Haiku and the Emergence of a Local Accent, presenting a paper on his findings at the Second International Haiku Conference (2015) in Krakow, entitled Australian Haiku—Is it a Thing? He currently lives in Melbourne and has recently become a co-convener of the Fringe Myrtles haiku group. Rob is a proud member of the AHS and is excited by the opportunity to serve its members for the next 4 years.

“Firstly” he says, “I’d like to thank Vanessa for her hard work and dedication to her role as President of the AHS over these past 4 years. Her steady leadership and commitment to the promotion of haiku in this country has put the Society in a good place. I am sure I speak for everyone in expressing gratitude for Vanessa’s efforts and wishing her well in her future haiku (and non-haiku!) endeavours. It is an incredible honour for me to take on this role and I look forward to the challenge.”

Vanessa web

On behalf of the Australian Haiku Society we would like to acknowledge and thank Vanessa Proctor, for her service as President, of the AHS over the past four years.

In that time we have seen the establishment of our new website that elegantly showcases Australian haiku and the activities of our haiku poets to an international audience and encourages and promotes the contributions of our talented haiku poets. Over recent years interest in haiku has flourished, with several new groups starting up and interest in the website has grown significantly. The introduction of the popular haiku string and haiku kukai, has led to a great increase in membership with around 600 followers at last count.

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Message from Vanessa Proctor – retiring AHS President

After four years in office, my term as President of the Australian Haiku Society has come to an end. It has been both an honour and a privilege to represent the society and to have been in touch with so many wonderful haiku poets, not only in Australia but worldwide. Interest in haiku and its related forms continues to grow and we’re seeing many more haiku-related events across the country. A highlight of my time in office has been working with such dedicated poets who have a passion for furthering our mission of promoting enjoyment of haiku within Australia and bringing Australian writers to the world haiku community. I would particularly like to thank Webmaster Lynette Arden, Secretary Simon Hanson, Vice-President Lyn Reeves and Facebook Co-ordinator Maureen Sexton who have all worked and continue to work tirelessly for the society.

I’d like to introduce you to the incoming AHS President, Rob Scott. Rob is an experienced and very well-regarded poet with a passion for haiku. Please read his bio on our site. The society is in very good hands.

Wishing you all the very best in this 20th year of the Australian Haiku Society. May you continue to write and enjoy Australian haiku for many years to come.

Vanessa Proctor

Retiring President, Australian Haiku Society

Paperbark haiku: Last days of summer

Wednesday 12th February 2020

Such a pretty place – Guildford, WA is an important town in the Swan Valley with so much history. I was lucky to have grown up in the area and that makes a difference to how you see a place and its relevance to writing haiku because you know its background, its heritage, and its heritage become yours.
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Call out for Haiku on Postcards

The Polish haiku poet, Krzysztof Kokot, has begun an initiative to collect picture postcards from all over the world, on which (on the reverse side), the sender/author will post their haiku with a view to creating an exhibition of the postcards.

Send one postcard with a view of your city/region with the haiku on the back. The haiku should not be connected with the view on the postcard, but should reflect your homeland.

Write the haiku by hand. No envelopes please.

Contact Krzysztof Kokot for more information at: kwkokot@poczta.onet.pl

Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko #56

There were ten of us visited Torakina Park, at the mouth of the Brunswick River, to participate in the Cloudcatcher’s fifty-sixth ginko. It was very warm, but the sea breeze contributed to our comfort.

The site had been chosen in the hope that our beloved founder and patron, John Bird, who lives in this area, might have recovered sufficiently from his heart surgery last June to be able to join us. And he did! It was the first time for eighteen months, and our delight at having him with us once more was immense. Yes, he does carry some physical evidence of his long illness, but maintains that lovely smile, that wondrous voice, and a hug for each one as warm as ever! He involved himself in the readings, and from his lips we received some guiding words and concepts once again.

A request had been made that participants bring up to five haiku written since our last meeting, on the themes of bushfires, heat and the festive season. These were read in turn around the table, and readers and listeners noted any that warranted workshopping after the readings.

Nathalie Buckland focused our thoughts before we set off on the half hour ‘silence’, with these words: I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand today, and pay respect to all Elders past, present and emerging. This has always been a special place, where the river meets the sea. It is fitting that we gather here today, where our group had its first meeting. Also that the haiku we write are mainly focused on Nature. Walk with heightened awareness today.”

This was our fifteenth ginko at Torakina Park. However there were plenty of new images to be captured. School was back, and the antics of toddlers abounded. We had not previously seen a brush turkey climb a tree, or watched a turkey chick learning to roll in the sand, or spied a very large lady in a minuscule bikini or had a chorus of kookaburras singing so loudly that we had to stop talking as nobody could hear.

Poets had been asked to close their eyes at least once during the silence, and a number of worthy aural and olfactory images were recorded, with even a ‘tactile’ depiction of the sea on ageing legs.

We lunched together at the local hotel known as ‘The Bruns’, and are now conducting an email round-robin in which everyone is participating, even our newest (and very enthusiastic) writer, the seventy-ninth to experience the joy of a Cloudcatcher ginko.

Thursday 30 January 2020                                                        report by Quendryth Young

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Nathalie Buckland, John Bird, Quendryth Young.

 

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Around the table from the left: John Bird, Quendryth Young, Vivien Royston, Gwyneth Trysant, Helen Davison, Heather Matthew, Norma Watts, Laurel Astle, Angela Smith, Nathalie Buckland.