Windfall: Australian Haiku Issue 9 Review by Simon Hanson

A great review of Windfall Issue 9 and I feel very excited to get a mention in the review and feel proud to be mentioed with such good haikuists.

Windfall: Australian Haiku Issue 9, 2021 – Review

Review by Simon Hanson

How fortunate we are  to have a journal like Windfall: Australian Haiku, showcasing as it does, the best of Australian haiku— bringing together familiar and new voices (and the new voices are exciting). This issue, like those before it celebrates many and varied aspects of Australian life in its country, coastal, urban and domestic settings accompanied by a host of perceptive observations around season, landform, flora and fauna and the lives of people.

we slow our stroll
to another time
outback town

Glenys Ferguson

perching magpie
the blackened stump
seamed with ash

Gavin Austin


In reviewing any journal or anthology one is invariably faced with the task of singling out particular poems for mention. There is some discomfort in doing this, made all the more acute in this instance given the quality of the entire collection. Let it be said that one could happily include any of the haiku presented in this issue as worthy of mention here. The inclusions I make here are a means of indicating something of the range of subject and style to be found in the whole issue— and a wonderful issue it is. The real task of selection has of course been done by its editor, Beverley George, choosing and sequencing 63 haiku from some 560 submitted poems, the size of the journal inevitably limiting the number of acceptances to the most outstanding haiku from the many received. We may be assured that the entire process of editing is heartfelt and undertaken with much thought and feeling over many, many weeks— as has been the case with each issue over the past nine years— what a contribution to our haiku community.

colour splashed
on a grey day canvas . . .
rainbow lorikeets

Gwen Bitti


warm breeze from south west
the main and jib on hard
beating to the mark

Brian English

An editor does far more than select and organise work for any given issue.  The challenge and value of quality editing is not only to give the published poets a recognised voice but to produce a publication which offers reader enjoyment and a large measure of inspiration for further creativity. Come June and July each year many of us turn our minds to Windfall: Australian Haiku, becoming perhaps a little more attuned than usual to the “…experience of urban and rural life in Australia…”. In revisiting past issues, we might gather amongst other things a sense of what might appeal, refreshed again by the creativities of others. Of course there is the occasion of ‘that moment’behind what we do in writing haiku, but I know also— there are many haiku that are written because of Windfall. Poets only partly own their creations, much of what we do is done with others in mind and always in the larger context of the broader culture of art and poetry, local and further afield, current and historical— and for this I am grateful.

autumn stroll,
on the cement footpath
a gum leaf’s imprint

Samantha Sirimanne Hyde

outdoor pot plants
a sunshower
from the watering can

Judith E. P. Johnson

There are haiku here that speak deeply to the heart, move us in their poignancy.

op shop –
all the teddy bears
sold out

Lyn Reeves

I watched that day
her last walk by the beach
. . . ebbing tide

Colleen Keating

Others of a lighter note add a touch of humour, yet we recognise them as authentic, set in familiar circumstances.

beach picnic
a dog races past with
a ball in its grin

Norma Watts


country show
the pink stickiness
of a child’s smile

Glenys Ferguson

There are those that speak of deep time and turn our minds to the spirituality of this land and the ancient cycle of seasons

red river gums –
guardians of stone stories
in dry hollows

Susan Grant

frog chorus
the rhythm of raindrops
on the pond

Maureen Sexton

And some that may leave one agasp for their sheer beauty

snowy eve
amid cloud tatter
cold stars gleam

Kent Robinson


wood duck
cracking ice puddles
pink dawn

J L Penn

Then there is this gem that in so few words, brings home once again the fleeting nature of things, the passing of time, as the years flash by, evermore quickly so it seems.

in a puddle
for this moment
fast train

John Low

Windfall: Australian Haiku is literally pocket or handbag sized. It couldn’t be easier to take on the bus or train, to the park or garden bench, or when visiting friends. In fact, to take anywhere. With a handsome cover created by Ron C.  Moss, the whole booklet beautifully designed and laid out by Matthew C. George and the whole enterprise so ably managed and published by Peter Macrow for his Blue Giraffe Press. And as a nice touch the inside back cover lists an annually updated list of recent Australian Haiku Titles.  Pocket sized yes, but huge on stature.

The next issue of Windfall will be the last— it will mark ten years as one of our premier haiku journals; an Australian treasure; something to celebrate…

Simon Hanson
Secretary, Australian Haiku Society

White Pebbles Haiku Group : Winter Ginko 2021

White Pebbles Haiku Group Winter 2021



At our Seasonal  –  Winter Meeting. The Edogawa Commemorative Gardens, East Gosford.

How lucky are we to have this beautiful Japanese gardens adjacent to the vibrant Gosford Regional Gallery. With its white pebbled garden, raked in swirls around feature rocks, it’s Monet style bridge, traditional Tea House, pergola and wonderful topiary of trees and shrubs and we  have a few hours each new season to walk in its peace and tranquillity and using the technique of REGARDE, REGARDE and of course listening and jotting down our observtions to share with the group. And especially a wonderful group convened bythe renowed and award winning haikuist,  Beverly George .

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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.

Ginko completed, we gathered at the round table in a downstairs room of the gallery premises, so glad to be in each other’s cheerful company. To start our meeting, we asked Margaret Mahony to read aloud a haiku which had appeared on Echidna Tracks that morning, which, accompanied by an apt photograph by Gavin Austin, fitted so well with the koi activity we had just seen in the pond fringed by white pebbles.

autumn deepens
a splash of orange
in the fishpond

Louise Hopewell
(Echidna Tracks, Issue 7)

Brief business of the day included announcing that the closing date of the 13th Yamadera Bashō Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest has been extended this year until August 31st. Six White Pebbles poets had work published in the 12th Contest Collection. (This remarkable Museum is one I visited with 12 Australian friends in 2010 and the curator, Noboru Oba-sensei is still in touch from time to time to remind Australian poets of the contest.)  We also shared recent news of work on Echidna Tracks and remembered that Windfall: Australian Haiku issue 10 (the final one) will be open for submissions in July. More news about Windfall will appear on the Australian Haiku Society web-site very soon.

Our worksheet for this meeting included a brief haibun and three haiku prompted by today’s ginko: The haiku topics were white pebbles or rocks; a seasonal haiku that doesn’t mention the word ‘winter’; something we are hearing. The request for each person to bring a favourite haiku by Bashō sparked enjoyable listening and a relevant discussion about the varying subtleties and differences of translations.

Time went by so fast and unfortunately by the time we thought about a group photograph two of our busy members, Marilyn Humbert and Verna Rieschild, had just left. However here are the rest of us, in a photograph kindly taken by Deb Robinson.

left to right: Kent Robinson, Maire Glacken, Gwen Bitti, Margaret Mahony, Carol Reynolds, Beverley George, Colleen Keating

Report by Beverley George
Convenor White Pebbles Haiku Group