Celebrating winter light by Colleen Keating

 

 

It was the week before the Winter school break. We decided to come for a few days up the coast before the holiday. We believe the best kept secret is the Winter Beach.
And the past few days are the proof of that . . .
Rugged up and out walking we have enjoyed the soft landing of light on the lake, on the waves, on the birds’ wings, at dawn and at dusk .
The icing for us on our break is the waxing moon and the climax last night of the full moon, called the Strawberry Moon. We walked along the beach by the cold June sea to wait and watch for its appearance like one waits for a much anticipated celebrity. And she did not disappoint. In rich strawberry and cream she rose trailing clouds of salmon-pink, hints of saffron.

 

And Arvo Pärt seem to be with us as a Spiegle im Spiegle music played in colour and sound along the beach the moon with its golden path shimmering along the ocean dappled and rippled at the edge as the incoming tide gave the sand a mirror effect. Yes many have grappled with this celebration of light, One of my favourite artists JMW Turner is such a one with his paintings that burst with light.

Besides us on the beach was a fisherman,  four giggley girls one who told me she had already taken 200 photos, a few photographers up higher , a few seagull feeding from wet sand and a lone pelican, Michael and me.

 

Strawberry moon
a pelican and us two
drink-in the pink pool 

 

across the ocean
winter moon
unites us

our local aurora
light runs across the sky
and into my memory

How can I show we were immersed in a painting. Yes it could be a Turner?

Michael has just read a poem by Jack Cooper who calls himself an ‘observational free verse poet inspired by existence’ and this experience is a celebration for a poet.
as Mary Oliver writes about the take off of a swan across the sky,

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

 

 

Winter Solstice and haiku by Colleen Keating

Monday marks the Winter Solstice.

Leading off, here is a haiku by the 17th Century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho.

Like many haikus, it is deceptively simple: each line enacted by the next.

Winter solitude
in a world of one colour
the sound of wind.

 

What is the Winter Solstice?

The Winter Solstice has been celebrated for centuries and is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. It’s a time that is known for the sun to stand still before moving forwards to the slow progression of longer days. It has carried strong symbolism and some people refer to it as a rebirth of the sun. Occurring sometime between June 21- 22 June ( December 20 – 22 in the Northern Hemisphere).

It’s a time to honour the darkness and celebrate the light. It’s the perfect time for self reflection, putting yourself on pause and going within to connect to your own darkness and let go. I’m in the process of doing just that. Taking the time out that I need to re-group and letting go of thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve me.

The Winter Solstice doesn’t have to be a dark or somber reflective experience—it can be joyful and lighthearted. Winter festivals, fire and light and social gatherings are all part of it too. Celebrate the birth or return of the light

Here are two winter solstice haiku written by one of the haiku masters

snowflakes flitting down
a winter solstice<
celebration

Issa– translated by David G. Lanoue

 

winter solstice in Japan
plum trees
in bloom!

Issa – translated by David G. Lanoue

 

 

Some of my  own thoughts: 

winter stroll 

a celebration dance

willy wag tail         col

 

 

winter stroll 

a canteen of spoonbills

filtering the mud         col

 

winter blues

only a heron and i 

drink in the light     col

ocean squall

a hawk soars 

in a cold up-draught   col

 

winter solstice 

my grand-daughter rides her bike 

without training wheels   col

 

winter solstice 

shadow of light turns

 on the nearby hill     col

 

the year’s shortest day

the sun breaks the horizon

anew    col

winter beach

winds abrasive dance 

keeps it lonely      col

 

 

winter lake

a cormorant hangs his wings 

out on the wind    col

wind chilled air 

cormorants sit brooding 

on every post    col

 

just another day

three pelicans wait for

return of fishing boats  col

 

winter solstice 

apples crisp for picking 

in the nearby hills          col

winter warmth

minestrone soup served with 

home-made bread    col

 

winter drive 

to pick apples

childhood memory             col

 

 

 

 

 

winter trees

birdwatching

made weasy     col

 

 

 

family gathering

with food laden table

her last meal            col

 

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

Patterns so easily missed on beach walks Colleen Keating

 the still point

the wide expanse of sky and sea
wakes to morning light
seizes the shimmer of dawn

its cerise and gold
reflects in rills of radiance
out to the ocean’s edge.

 

my poet’s eye turns to small things
easily missed
in the splendour of the scene

miniature patterns
minute designs
still and still moving

 

 

 

molluscs creep unhurriedly
leaving a sand trail
in their wake

 

runnels of water and sand
find a balance like playing statues
stop as sculptures of model rivers and forests

 

 

generosity

the ocean is forever generous
rolling in
like one with arms wide open
taking gently
all that no longer serves
our higher good .

the baggage of worry fear and guilt
are taken carried
and washed away

the sea banishes all morning megrims
clean as the unblemished sand
that i step onto


to join the seagull
that flies in.

seagull 

my morning footsteps
are tiny imprints
arrowed
over ruffs of sand

the lift off
pathless
swinging
the compass needle
moves the horizon
always looked at
to never arrive
a hover of blue air

 

Haiku

late spring walk
along tidal line
joy of bare feet

 

 

summer beach walk
how pleasing
with sandals in my hands

the sun flings
a pool of light
on the ocean 

 

 

 

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

White Pebbles Haiku Group – Winter

White Pebbles

 

Convenor: Beverley George

In the winter poem many of us are familiar with, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening , the poet stops on the darkest evening of the year, ‘to watch his woods fill up with snow’.  Like the poet, Robert Front, the White Pebbles Haiku Group stopped to watch the winter scene unfolding at  the Gosford /Edogawa Japanese Gardens on the Central Coast this past Saturday 15th June just a week out from the dark and shortest day of the year (Winter Solticies this year June 20/21st )

We all look forward  to our meetings and our winter ‘stopping’ was no exception.

This is our second winter walk together. ; with Beverley George our leader, present were Verna Rieschild, Marilyn Humbert, Maire Glacken. Samantha Hyde, Colleen Keating with a heart-felt apologies from Gail Hennessy and Kent Robinson.  

We began our morning with a welcome coffee and catch-up in the cafe 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;  Today the cheeky plowers were busy, their call ringing out continuously. Lingering leaves from the maple trees were  drifting down  many children were feeding the the koi , ducks were active catching most of the food and the light playful nature of the children reminded us winter is only a season not an age. 

Some of the group sat in the open tea room overlooking the white pebble beach, Some took advantage of sitting in the winter sun under the climbing wisteria. 

After our ginko  (season walk) we  are privileged,  each visit to enjoy a quiet working space in the Art Gallery and we gathered at the round table to share our writing and work sheets. 

 

 

Beverley  introduced the group to Haiga  inspiring us with her beautiful  greeting cards. We had all done our homework which was to bring a winter scene and our haiku to go with it  and at our sharing time it was enlightening to discuss our work . Next meeting we will continue to work with more haiga.

We marvelled at the rich and varied takings from our winter observations.  We are encouraged and affirmed by our sharing.   We left inspired in our haiku writing and look forward to our spring meeting Saturday 14th September 2019.

Just one final observation since our Autumn meeting  a new gengo (era) has been declared with the new reigning Emperor.  Reiwa was announced and  is based on the Manyo-shin – Japan’s oldest Anthology of Poems. It means that culture can grow when people sincerely care about each other. What beautiful sentiment  and hope for our world. 

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

Colleen Keating  ( White Pebbles Haiku Group)

 

Visit to Cairns and writing poetry with the Grandchildren

Having a  few days in Cairns with the Keating, 

being there for Josh’s birthday, and having time 

with the family especially Lachie and Cammie was fun  

and one of the highlights of last month.

My Christmas poem for 2018 was seeded there  (on next post)

and I had great fun writing poetry with the boys.

One of our highlights was our walk through the Cairns Botanical Gardens 

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Cairns

by Lachlan and Grandma

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Cairns

By Lachlan Keating

 

The thing I like about the tropics

is the vegetation

The coloured leaves amaze me                                                            IMG_8936

pink, red,  purple and white 

mottled, patterned dotted and striped 

so you think leaves are only green

with chlorophyll to catch the sun

well come here with us all of you 

to the tropics and have some funIMG_8985

and you will be amazed too.IMG_8799

 

 

*********

 

 

 

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Two to three

by Lachlan Keating

From our balcony

in the palm tree

last night we saw a nest

With two eggs

IMG_8993IMG_8714

This morning 

the mother was on the nest

but when she flew off

to sit on a nearby branch 

there were three eggs!

 

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( The story didn’t end there.  Lo and behold the next morning there were four eggs.

When we did our research we discovered she is a Friar Bird. Friar birds lays one egg a day, laying  from two to five eggs. Yet five eggs is very rare.  Did we have a rare bird?  We waited till this morning and when she left her nest to sit on a nearby branch and sing her morning song there were still four. So she is special but not rare . Now she will sit for many hours a day to incubate the eggs and they will hatch in about 28 days.  I wish we could stay in our Air B&B till then but we have to leave this beautiful sight at the end of the week. Maybe the next guests will enjoy the developments )  

 

 

The Blue Balloon

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The Blue Balloon                                    

by Lachlan Keating

In the poolIMG_8720

we had a blue balloon

we blew it up

got the end 

and pulled it down

half way under the water

and we let it go

wham!

it flew up into the sky

we got a shock it went so high!

 

IMG_8730

 

Tricking Grandma

by Cameron Keating

When Grandma was resting 

on the towel

I snuck over to the pool

and filled my balloon up

with water and air

then I crept back

over to Grandma 

and squeezed 

the balloon really hard 

and sprayed water 

all over Grandma.

 

 

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Waterfalls

by Grandma,  Lachie and Cammie

We swim in the cold wet gorges

and it is fun,

diving and jumping off rocks, 

playing in the sun.

Splashing under waterfalls 

resting on warm ledges

we listen out for bird calls.

The sign says no crocodiles

for miles and miles and miles,

but we still look out 

and keep our eye about.

When you swim in gorges 

in the month of May

the splashing water falling

is lots and lots of fun

jumping in in such a ball

but later, some say

when the dry comes in 

and there is a very hot sun

it would be a miracle

to see a cascading waterfall 

 

Unknown

Territory Day

by Lachlan and Cameron  Keating

edited and typed by Grandma

Alice was on fire

on Territory Day.

Boom buzz bang

wham whiz whirl

kabam pop bomb

surprises

twist and twirl

the sky lit up 

red like fire

purple like blueberries

green like grass 

and blue too

it was such fun

all colours of the rainbow

orange and yellow too

like stars and balls of sun.

****

Both boys having been learning about Haiku 

( A small poem originating in Japan.)  It consists of three lines

Line 1 has a beat of 5

Line 2 has a beat  of 7 and 

Line 3 has a beat of 5  

This is good for the boys as they learn to count the number of beats 

and to think of a story and have the discipline of the  form. However Modern Haiku like to write less then 5 –  7 – 5. 

The first two Haiku were written by the boys for their home schooling.

 

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Birds

flocks of colour glide

wings flapping swooping diving

flying feathered friends

Lachlan Keating

 

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Water

deep pools of water

floating  flowing  tingling skin

cold splash kicking fun

Cameron Keating

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More haiku by Cammie and Grandma having fun 

 

blue Cassowary

in the Daintree National Park

walking on our track

 

***

Cassowary bird

you surprised us in the bush

with your tiny chick

 

images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

munching little fish

an humongous crocodile

while we were watching 

 

***

vicious crocodile

with sharp teeth and scaly skin

we won’t swim with you 

 

***

scary crocodile 

we know you are hiding

in that swimming hole