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