Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Wednesday 14 September 2022

The birds, the blossoms and new spring sunshine—the perfect backdrop as we came together for Haiku @ The Oaks. It was a mini-meeting this time, as three of us found themselves unable to attend. We missed Hazel Hall, Marietta McGregor and Kathy Kituai.  With them much in mind, the remaining three—Glenys Ferguson, Gregory Piko and Jan Dobb—enjoyed a relaxed exchange of things haiku and literary.

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Wednesday 11 May 2022

With the leaves of autumn adorning The Oaks and all of Canberra in their seasonal glory, four of us came together in a spirit of kigo—Kathy Kituai, Glenys Ferguson, Marietta McGregor and Jan Dobb.  We sorely missed our other two mates—Hazel Hall and Greg Piko—and thoughts were very much with them.

As we ordered lunch and settled down, congratulations were offered to Kathy who has just had a prose poem published in the weekend Canberra Times.  We briefly discussed the dynamics of mood change and perspective when we choose to write in different genres

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Due to one thing and another, only three of us found ourselves @ The Oaks this time—Marietta McGregor, Glenys Ferguson, and Jan Dobb. Our thoughts were with our missing three—Hazel Hall, Kathy Kituai, and Greg Piko—as we settled around a small table beneath the autumn trees.

Marietta produced some copies of the attractive American haiku journal Akitsu Quarterly, till now unknown to Glenys and Jan. A browse through these soon led on to conversation with Marietta about her task as guest editor of THF ‘Haiku Dialogue’, and she was keen to express to us the stimulation of reading all the submissions and the satisfaction of readers’ feedback. An exacting and constant project that Marietta excels at.

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Filtered sunshine and leafy shadows—a perfect summer day at The Oaks as we began another year of haiku together. How good to be back again—Hazel Hall, Gregory Piko, Marietta McGregor, Glenys Ferguson, and Jan Dobb. Again though, we missed Kathy Kituai and our fond thoughts were with her.

Hazel arrived with extra copies of our recently published anthology The Ink Sinks Deeper and Marietta took several of these to post off to potential reviewers. As Hazel responded to questions about the Picaro Poets imprint of Ginninderra Press, she encouraged our publishing of personal chapbooks. Meanwhile, we have been delighted with Greg’s review of the Oaks anthology on his website      

As another year gets under way, Jan checked on people’s views about our gatherings. Any suggestions? Changes? Preferences? The consensus was to continue as is, enjoying the spontaneity and stimulation of each other’s company and input, and of not being bound by homework or obligatory expectations. All except Marietta—who admitted that she rather likes a bit of homework. With that, she was encouraged to undertake her own and to bring us the results. So that’s exactly what she did—immediately!

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday,14 December 2021

The end of the year already, and what a year! Despite all, it was such joy to welcome each other again as we gathered beneath the bird-squawking trees at The Oaks–Hazel Hall, Marietta McGregor, Gregory Piko, Glenys Ferguson, and Jan Dobb. We missed Kathy Kituai who could not be with us but who was much in our thoughts.

During our relaxed conversations of haiku and life, which seemed appropriate for an end-of-year gathering, little gifts and greetings were exchanged across the table to express our appreciation of the bonding we’ve come to experience. Friendship in haiku is certainly something special.

Then came the big highlight of the day!

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

At last, after missing the last two of our monthly gatherings, the easing of lockdown saw us once again beneath the trees at The Oaks. What a joy to see this delightful venue back in full swing with chatting patrons and bustling staff. Even the birds were back in full voice, albeit overdoing their gusto to drown out conversations. The six of us all welcomed each other: Kathy Kituai, Glenys Ferguson, Hazel Hall, Marietta McGregor, Gregory Piko, and Jan Dobb.

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Despite blue sky and sunshine, the chill of Canberra’s winter meant another indoor gathering this month. Hot soup and fish & chips were orders of the day as five of us gathered by a heater in The Oaks marquee–Kathy Kituai, Hazel Hall, Marietta McGregor, Glenys Ferguson and Jan Dobb. We missed the cheerful company of Gregory Piko who is out of town just now. 

Our greetings and life-sharing included thoughts of Sheila Sondik, our ‘ex officio’ member, who is enduring the horrendous heatwave in north-west US.

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Haiku @ The Oaks, Canberra

Tuesday 13 April 2021

The autumn sun held a hint of chill as we gathered for our monthly chinwag at The Oaks. Around us the seasonal colours were gently on the change. We were all present this time: Kathy Kituai, Glenys Ferguson, Hazel Hall, Gregory Piko, Marietta McGregor and Jan Dobb. Also present was visitor Sue, a house guest of Jan, who was curious to experience some close-up haiku.

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