White Pebbles Haiku Group Summer Meeting 2024

White Pebbles Haiku Group Summer Meeting 2024

Due to unforeseen circumstances, with weather threatening safe travel, the White Pebbles summer meeting scheduled for December 9th was deferred to January 13th.

Six of our members were present and we were joined by welcome guest, Pip Griffin. Michael Thorley and Samantha Hyde were unable to attend this time and they were missed.

We gathered at 10 a.m. for a catch-up and refreshing cuppa, before setting off on our silent ginko around the garden, looking appreciatively at wider landscapes and into small spaces, listening to natural sounds, sniffing the perfumes of leaves and blossom and alert to the shifting patterns of shadows and reflections.

At 11 a.m. we gathered at an oval table in a quiet room we hire at each meeting for workshopping.

Each member had heeded the suggested worksheet distributed in advance of the meeting, and shared haiku they brought with them relevant to that, in addition to those jotted on the ginko. As always, the sharing of haiku and respect for each other’s work was paramount to the enjoyment of the day and we look forward to our autumn meeting in the gardens.

Group photo
left to right: Pip Griffin, Gwen Bitti, Marilyn Humbert, Colleen Keating, Kent Robinson, Beverley George, Maire Glacken

White Pebbles Spring Meeting and Ginko 2023

White Pebbles haiku poets gathered at the Edogawa Gardens at the Gosford Regional Gallery and Arts Centre on Saturday morning, 16th September, 2023. Present were Maire Glacken, Marilyn Humbert, Gwen Bitti, Colleen Keating, Beverley George and Kent Robinson, with apologies received from Samantha Sirimanne Hyde and Michael Thorley.

A glorious spring day greeted us. Ducks and koi carp shared the pond and water features of the gardens. As they fed the ducks, children’s laughter echoed among the beautifully manicured flora. Spring blooms of every hue brightened the walkways.

We met in the Gallery’s cafe for a catch-up before a stroll through the gardens. Over coffee, Marilyn Humbert, advised us that, in order to refine our sense of observation as we strolled, we look into the small spaces – distill whatever we saw, and trust ourselves and our senses as we composed our haiku.  We strolled the garden, feeling the warmth of the spring sunshine on our faces. The scent of blooms bursting all about and the joy of being immersed in birdsong were intoxicating.

Now it was time for a round table meeting in the niche beneath the art gallery. At the beginning of the meeting our dear friend and valued member of White Pebbles, Gail Hennessy, who sadly recently passed, was remembered fondly. The round table about which we gather is extremely significant to our group. Around it we may share ideas and each single poet is as one with all others. How fortunate we feel, that White Pebbles is such a mutually supportive group!

Beverley George distributed for purchase “under the same moon”, the Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology, in which several White Pebbles members have haiku. (Many thanks to Vanessa Proctor for furnishing Beverley with copies of this fine anthology in advance of our meeting.)

Echidna Tracks 11 was spoken of, with congratulations to all White Pebbles poets who feature therein.

We then moved on to the business of the day. Beverley had asked that we each bring a haiku that had inspired us in the early days of our haiku journey, as well as one of our own that we had composed in those early days. Matsuo Basho featured strongly as an early influence to many.

Next, we considered the haiku and images that had been gathered on the garden walk earlier. This proved an extremely productive exercise. Beverley presented some haiku that Michael Thorley had sent in. Thank you, Michael. Your sensitive haiku were a fine addition to our meeting and very much appreciated by all.

Marilyn Humbert had prepared a presentation entitled “The Art of Discovery”. She advised us in composing haiku to observe light and shade at different times throughout the day, different seasons, different weather conditions, different sounds and different moods. And to be aware of the ephemeral things – feathers, stones, bird calls, the shapes of twigs and leaves, tree trunks and bark, rough and smooth. To trust our senses. Helpfully, Marilyn supplied a number of examples of haiku written from different points of view. Many thanks to Marilyn for a most informative and thought provoking presentation.

At this point, towards the end of our meeting, we acknowledged our members who have recently had books published.
* Gwen Bitti has had a novel entitled “Between Two Worlds” published by Ginninderra Press. Gwen spoke of the writing of “Between Two Worlds” and furnished each White Pebble poet with a sachet of fragrant herbs, a snippet of silk and one of hessian to enhance sensory perception, as she spoke.
* Colleen Keating’s carefully researched book, “The Dinner Party” was also published by Ginninderra Press and we enjoyed hearing about it.
* And we recalled that only recently, in 2022, Samantha Sirimanne Hyde’s book “The Lyrebird’s Cry” was published.
Congratulations All!

This concluded the White Pebbles Spring meeting 2023. The general sentiment was all are looking forward to our summer ginko.

Kent Robinson

Group photo
Back, L to R: Colleen, Kent; Front, L to R: Beverley, Maire, Gwen, Marilyn


Author: leanneausthaiku

Secretary, Australian Haiku Society

White Pebbles Haiku Group Autumn Ginko by Beverley George

White Pebbles Haiku Group Autumn Meeting Report

March 11th 2023

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.

At 11 o’clock we gathered at the round table in the downstairs room we hire, which has glass doors that overview a quiet end of the garden. We were very sorry that two of our regular members, Samantha Hyde and Maire Glacken, were unable to attend this time, but were pleased to greet two visitors, Meredith Ferris and Frances Carleton, and our guest presenter, Carole Harrison, each of whom joined in congenially with our group and enhanced the day. Carole was one of the organisers and presenters of ‘Haiku Down Under’ on-line conference October 7-9 2022 and editor and cover-illustrator of ‘Poetry From The Edge’ the conference anthology. Members present at our meeting were Marilyn Humbert, Kent Robinson, Gwen Bitti, Colleen Keating, Verna Rieschild, Michael Thorley and Beverley George.

We shared a haiku we had each brought with us and one we had jotted on our ginko. Then it was time for our main session led by Carole Harrison, who had kindly journeyed up from Jamberoo, as she did for a Bowerbird tanka group meeting in the Pearl Beach Arboretum last year.  Her presentation was to show us how we might write haiku on stones, some of which were partly painted, others left plain. To this end Carole brought with her the stones we would use and Kent brought some dark river stones he had gathered for the purpose. Carole also brought the writing implements we needed and we wrote on two stones each – a lovely way in which to further share and enjoy haiku. It was relevant to add a simple drawing such as a leaf or feather to some of the haiku.


Kent Robinson had prepared and distributed an article about writing rengay and spoke briefly about this interesting genre. His thoughts were helpful and appreciated.

At 12:30 our meeting ended and it was up to each person whether to share lunch, journey home or enjoy the Art Gallery, or another garden stroll.  This is an aspect of our meeting location that works well for everyone, especially those who have travelled long distances to be there.

Group photo
seated left to right: Colleen Keating, Michael Thorley, Marilyn Humbert, Carole Harrison, Frances Carleton
standing left to right: Kent Robinson, Meredith Ferris, Beverley George, Gwen Bitti, Verna Rieschild

I am looking forward already to our winter meeting in June.
Beverley George
White Pebbles Haiku Group




Author: leanneausthaiku

Secretary, Australian Haiku Society

Windfall issue 10 2022 Review by Simon Hanson

Windfall: Australian Haiku, Issue 10, 2022 – Review

The 10th and final issue of the much-loved journal, Windfall: Australian Haiku, was released in January 2022.

Windfall is an annual journal edited by Beverley George and published by Peter Macrow at Blue Giraffe Press. The cover artwork is by Ron C. Moss, with design and layout by Matthew C. George.

Originating in Japan, the popularity of this short poetic genre has spread widely around the globe. Australian interest in haiku dates as far back as 1899 when an Australian haiku competition was conducted(1). Subsequently, in the 1970s, Janice Bostok produced Australia’s first haiku magazine, Tweed(2).

More recently, the Australian journal, paper wasp, ran for 20 years until ceasing publication in 2016 and, with the internet leading to growing interest in the genre, other print and online journals have encouraged and supported the writing of haiku.

For the past ten years, Windfall has focused solely on haiku about Australian urban and rural life, written by Australian residents. These poems have incorporated many elements of our landscapes, seasons, flora and fauna into the haiku form.

spring equinox
over the moonlit creek
a pobblebonk chorus

Mark Miller

into sundown
dingo tracks

Tom Staudt

virgin rainforest
ninety-four rings
on a fresh cut stump

Andrew Hede

Nature haiku such as these enable Australians and others to appreciate images and sounds associated with the birds, animals and plants of this country.

waning moon
in the mangroves
fireflies stir

Maureen Sexton

rising heat
a jabiru crosses
the sun

Cynthia Rowe

winter afternoon —
golden wattle glows
on black sky canvas

Sheryl Hemphill

Windfall has chronicled some of the best Australian haiku for a decade. Issue 10 presents haiku by 63 poets. By my count, 20 of these poets also appeared in Issue 1, which suggests around 40 of the current Windfall poets have emerged in the intervening period. The growing Australian haiku community certainly includes a healthy influx of fresh voices and fresh ideas.

Some poems in Windfall relate to the interaction between nature and the human environment.

opera house steps
a long-nosed fur seal
soaks up the sunshine

Vanessa Proctor

rainforest glade
an empty packet of Smith’s
catches the sun

Nathan Sidney

While others use local flora and fauna to portray aspects of Australian behaviour and culture.

black cockatoos
in tree shadows
he stops treatment

Earl Livings

beachside walk
the roughness of
banksia pods

Nathalie Buckland

without a door . . .
the Milky Way

Leanne Mumford

Credit for Windfall’s success must go to editor, Beverley George, and to publisher, Peter Macrow. Beverley’s deep knowledge of the haiku form has enabled her to assemble a marvellous selection of Australian haiku for each edition of Windfall, while Peter has supported the journal throughout its life.

Beverley George selected the following haiku to conclude the 10th issue of Windfall. It was a wonderful choice, with the poem capturing a quintessentially Australian scene. But, more than that, the poem does not despair about ending. Rather, the poem celebrates the vitality of birth and renewal.

sheltered paddock
the udder punch
of a newborn

Glenys Ferguson

For ten years, Windfall has made an important contribution in recording the work of Australian haiku poets. Now, we all look to the future.

Review by Gregory Piko

A limited number of back issues of Windfall (No. 4 to No. 9) and of the final issue (No. 10) are available for $10 per copy, postage included. Cash or stamps are welcome, as are cheques payable to Peter Macrow. Please address to:

Peter Macrow
6/16 Osborne Street
Sandy Bay TAS 7005

1) Scott, Rob, “The History of Australian Haiku and the Emergence of a Local Accent,” The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, accessed January 22, 2022

2) Dean, Sharon Elyse , “White Heron: The Authorised Biography of Australia’s Pioneering Haiku Writer Janice M Bostok,” The Haiku Foundation Digital Library, accessed January 22, 2022

Society of Women Writers NSW and Poetry by Colleen Keating

The Society of Women Writers enjoyed a festive dayl face to face
(for the first time for months as the meetings have been held by zoom)
A fun workshop on humour in our writing.
Two great speakers  including poet and close friend Pip Griffin giving the authors talk as she told us of the three latest publications which I have spoken of before in more detail.


and then 5 poets
including me enterained the group.

Below is  the well known poet and Haikuist, Beverley George and I dressed ready ready for our performance
which was a poem about a catch up of two friends reminiscing about by gone days. It was written by Beverley a few years back and won a FAW award.  We generated  plenty of laughter what we needed today.

Below is a collage of our Christmas celebration. from the Society’s website.


 Two of my poems read  as part of the performance. 

taking wings

if ever there were a summer day so perfect

so romantic under its mild autumn sun

constantly making love to the trees and flowers 

that it made you wish to tear at your shackles

rip off your yoke

feel exposed to its sharp pinion

and to give yourself over to brash colour

without an iota of worry

a day that made you pack a sandwich

and with a bottle of water to set out 

to walk quiet ways catching the song 

of tiny birds brimming in wild blackberry brambles 

and for a moment feel your heart sing

with even a quaver of gratitude

well today is just that kind of day 

from Fire on Water  by Colleen Keating pg.107



Maybe it is the light

that illuminates jars

of coloured minerals, powders. 

Maybe the smell of curing skin, 

or sharp tang of vinegar.

It could be the plaited basket 

of moss and flower, blue woad dye 

or sharp smell of ink 

pestled down from bald-oak.

Maybe the sight of scrolls 

rolled into alcoves 

or shelved parchments,

or the elaborate books of saints

behind the monk Volmar,

enshrined on the cumdach.

Perhaps it’s the copy of Ptolemy’s Astronomy,

or the manuscripts

Volmar points out,

from all over the Christian and Arab world. 

Maybe just crossing the threshold

when Hildegard steps through the door,

inhales the air

and feels immediately at home

in a world that sharpens curiosity.

Hildegard knows,

she has found her calling.

She wants to be a maker of books. 

from Hildegard of Bingen: A poetic journey

Just for fun this is a photo of Beverley and me . It was taken at our performance of the same poem at the retreat a few years back.


White Pebbles Haiku Group Autumn Meeting

White Pebbles Haiku Group Autumn Meeting

March 13th 2021

On our arrival for catch-up and coffee we were slightly daunted by a brief downpour. This obligingly ceased precisely at our regular ginko set-off time of 10:30. The glossy leaves of cloud-shaped bushes, neatly trimmed, glistened with small raindrops; and white crocuses lined one edge of the pathway. Jotting and silence prevailed, apart from waterfall tumble and the voice of a very young child telling her mother how much she loved the word ‘igneous’,  her favourite type of rock.

left to right: Colleen Keating, Gail Hennessy, Beverley George, Kent Robinson, Marilyn Humbert, Gwen Bitti
Photograph courtesy of Deb Robinson


Our guideline for the ginko was to write two haiku, or ideas for them, one based on something we saw that intrigued us with its colour and a second based on sound. Then to draft a haibun, or possibilities for one.

Ginko concluded, we met up at the round table, delighted to be together in the same space. We shared recently published haiku and the two new ones we had penned on colour and sound. Then it was time to explore the haibun genre.

Marilyn Humbert, who had provided haibun guidelines by email well prior to our meeting, and who was the recent guest editor of the online publication Drifting Sands Haibun – a journal of Haibun and Tanka Prose” Issue 7 2021, led the workshop.  Marilyn guided and encouraged the sharing of haibun contributed by those present, and one sent by a valued member unable to attend on the day.  Appreciative comments have arrived since from everyone!

At lunch we enjoyed the additional company of three spouses before exploring the Regional Gallery’s exhibitions of stunning photographs of Antarctica, and, by contrast, an intriguing and diverse display of birds’ nests.

White Pebbles’ members uncomplainingly drive from beyond the Central Coast to be present (e.g. Bathurst, Newcastle and Sydney) and are rewarded by the enriching experience the venue offers: a well-maintained and authentic Japanese garden; an expertly curated art gallery, a café with indoor and outdoor seating; and an imaginatively stocked gift shop run by helpful volunteers.  So whatever the weather it is a satisfying venue at which to share haiku and good company. Smiles all round.

Beverley George
White Pebbles Haiku Group

White Pebbles Haiku Group – Summer



Our seasonal walk for Summer was held on the 14th December.  It is our fourth seasonal walk for the year. We call these walks a ginko from the Japanese idea of a reflective seasonal walk and writing of haiku.

On Saturday the 14th of December the White Pebbles Haiku Group met at the Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens for a summer ginko and lunch.

Seven White Pebbles’ members attended. Beverley George convened the meeting and welcomed Maire Glacken, Colleen Keating, Verna Rieschild, Gwen Bitti, Samantha Sirimanne Hyde and Kent Robinson.


We met in the café at the Gosford Regional Gallery for refreshment, then proceeded into the garden for our ginko. As per usual, the garden was manicured immaculately. We wandered, quietly jotting images and composing haiku. Through gardenia scent, we became aware of the sound of a cascading waterfall, the melody of which was accompanied by cicada song. Ducks and koi carp that animated the garden’s pond, birthed inspiration for several haiku. The laughter of children pervaded the scene.

After our ginko, we retired to the small lunchroom, which had been reserved for us, thanks to the kindness of The Gosford Regional Gallery, for a post ginko meeting at our customary round table.

A week before, Beverley had supplied us with a work sheet. Each of us shared haiku inspired by this work sheet and found that it was a fine catalyst with which to start our meeting. We then moved on to focus on the results of our ginko. There was a wealth of imagery and inspiring haiku offered. As we sat together in our snug, we worked on images and haiku that needed a little polish. All in all, our rewarding time together was one of camaraderie and learning.

We returned to the café for lunch. A fine time was had by all and with the festive season upon us, we ate, drank and were merry! The consensus was that everyone had immensely enjoyed our summer ginko and all looked forward to meeting again in autumn.

Report by Kent Robinson

Launch of Mrs. Rickaby’s Lullaby by Julie Thorndyke


to Julie Thorndyke on the launch of her novel Mrs Rickaby’s Lullaby.

Celebrating the birth of a new book is always one of the great pleasures, after all the hard work in bring it to fruition.  It was launched by the well known poet and writers and mentor Beverley George surrounded by Julie’s family, friends and writing colleagues. And very enjoyable to share a glass of wine and some delicious cheeses while  we chatted with writer, friends old and new.

Hartog Bookshop at Macquarie Centre was a welcoming  space for just such an experience. 

Special  mention was made of Ginninderra Press and the invaluable gratitude many of us have for the support we receive from this publishing company. Thanks to Brenda and Stephen Matthews.  

Mrs. Rickaby’s Lullaby was a wonderful read, cleverly written with well developed characters and twists of story just like in real life.




White Pebbles, Autumn Meeting 2019

 White Pebbles, Autumn Meeting 2019

The poet of ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, John Keats, would be proud of our group of Haikuists taking an autumnal walk around the Gosford /Edogawa Gardens on the Central Coast this past Saturday 9th March 2019.  We were aware of the concept of ichi-go ichi-e, the Japanese idiom ‘treasuring the unrepeatable nature of the moment.’

Our happy band meets four times a year for our ginko; with Beverley George our leader and present were Kent Robinson, Verna Rieschild, Marilyn  Humbert, Maire Glacken. Samantha Hyde, Colleen Keating with an apology from Gail Hennessy

Beverley commented how lovely to see our group growing and developing over the past year.

white pebbles march 2019
L to R: Marilyn Humbert, Kent Robinson, Maire Glacken, Beverley George, Verna Rieschild, Colleen Keating, Samantha Hyde

We began our morning with a welcome coffee and catch-up on the café patio sharing some newly published work and thoughts from our ‘homework,’  – a handout that Beverley emailed earlier to help us prepare.

We spent about forty minutes contemplatively moving around the garden, walking, sitting, pondering, jotting down thoughts and ideas for haiku writing; some of us lucky enough to have a haiku readily unfold to us.

beverley in park

A quiet moment, Beverley George

Lovely to sit in the open tea room overlooking the white pebble beach, the koi and ducks performing in the pond as usual. Cheeky peewees and plovers and a solitary whip bird added to the delight of our morning.

We are privileged each visit to enjoy a quiet working space in the Art Gallery precinct and we gathered at a great round table to share our writing. We marvelled at the rich and varied takings from our observations.  I feel sure we all feel encouraged and affirmed from our sharings.

We left inspired in our haiku writing and look forward to our next winter meeting.

Some stayed to enjoy the choices from the delicious lunch menu in the café.

Report by Colleen Keating

Fire on Water: Highly Commended in SWW Awards 2018




The SWW  Book Awards were announced in the Historic State Library at a packed Literary Luncheon on Wednesday.

I am thrilled to announce Fire on Water has won the Highly Commended Award in the Society of Women Writers Biennial Poetry Award  2018.   Thank you to the SWW of NSW Inc. for running this Competition . It is very affirming to be acknowledged and i felt very proud to be standing on the podium with a group of talented poets and writers. Congratulations especially to Susan Fealty for her book Flute of Milk that was the 2018 Winner and to the other runners up, my friend Beverley George for her Tanka collection Only in Silence  and Kathryn Fry for Green Point Bearings. 

Thanks to the  acclaimed  poetry and children’s author Judge Libby Hathorn, and especially thank-you to Stephen Matthews and Ginninderra Press,  who must be very affirmed by Ginninderra’s achievements in this Competition.  Thanks to Family and friends who have wished me the best for Fire on Water and all who are buying this well Awarded book through Ginninderra  Press.














Reflection on Launch


book on petals jacarandas out our window

Fire on Water was launched on Sunday at the NSW Writers Centre by the Internationally renowned poet Beverley George with the symbolic cut of a teal blue ribbon tied around the books.

Out the window the Jacaranda trees like purple rain gave us a spectacular show all afternoon.

‘always surprise
as i listen
to the easy drift of jacaranda blossoms
settling to a hush ‘

It was an afternoon of poetry reading, friendship, sharing nibbles and a drink, with Cello music played by Nigel Parry giving a touch of the transcendent to the occasion.

cello playing A happy dayjacaranda and book