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