Tag Archives: haiku by Graham Nunn

Grandma’s House

first of spring
memories of grandma’s house
overgrown

*

wrong turn
thirty kilometres
of silence

*

ahead
the ocean
pure of us

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Diving into the haiku pond

Haiku can be a slippery thing, but the form has grown in popularity the world over, with many fine journals now dedicated to publishing haiku and other Japanese forms. So for those wanting to dive a little deeper into the haiku pond, I will be leading people through a workshop this Friday night at the delightful Valori Espresso Lounge, that begins by exploring some of the (many) definitions of haiku, including my favourite by Jack Kerouac:

I propose that the “Western Haiku” simply say a lot in three short lines in any western language. Above all, a haiku must be very simple and free of poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi Pastorella.

Together, we will then bust a few myths about the need to count syllables, discuss the fragment and phrase theory, explore the concepts of wabi and sabi, examine 8 techniques for writing quality haiku used by many of the haiku masters and then finally look at some techniques for revising your work and places to publish.

This workshop runs as a precursor to the June Full Moon Ginko which I will be leading from Valori Espresso Lounge on Friday June 17.

There are still limited places left in both the workshop and the ginko. Each session is priced at $20 each, so if you would like to book a spot you can contact Therese and Maurizio at valoriespressoloungeandgallery@hotmail.com

Valori Espresso Lounge is located at 71C Landsborough Ave, Scarborough.

The workshop runs from 6:30pm – 8pm.

Here’s two recent haiku from my trip to Blackall:

                                                                   first frost
                                                                   the silence
                                                                   of each white breath

*

                                                                   road home
                                                                   a crow’s wing waves
                                                                   up from the tar

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Downfall Creek: a haiku sequence

                                                              river stone
                                                              we sit in silence
                                                              as the water babbles

                                                                            *

                                                               blue sky
                                                               nose deep
                                                               in a spider’s web

                                                                             *

                                                                spot of sunlight
                                                                on the forest floor
                                                                emperor butterfly

                                                                              *

                                                                  too wild
                                                                  for these pages
                                                                  autumn violets

                                                                              *

                                                                 gentle breeze
                                                                 the bare head
                                                                 of a dandelion

                                                                             *

                                                                  on the path
                                                                  of fallen leaves
                                                                  silence returns

                                                                              *

                                                                               photographs by Cindy Keong

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Lowering Sky: a haiku sequence

 

                                                                   low cloud
                                                                   swallows skim
                                                                   the tallest grass stalks

                                                                                *

                                                                   first raindrops
                                                                   names on the memorial stone
                                                                                                                  clearer

                                                                                *

                                                                   in the rose garden
                                                                   only a bee
                                                                   braves the thorns

                                                                                *

                                                                   two boys
                                                                   in the shadow of the fig tree
                                                                   boxing

                                                                                *

                                                                  deep in thought
                                                                  the wind turns
                                                                  my page

                                                                               *

                                                                                photograph by Cindy Keong

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Emerging: a Mt Coot-tha Gardens haiku sequence

                                                          emerging from
                                                          the angel trumpet
                                                          autumn sun

                                                                         *

                                                          fresh lavender
                                                          leaning in
                                                          to hear it’s song

                                                           still morning
                                                           ducks paddle through
                                                           the tai-chi master’s reflection

                                                                         *

                                                           in the shadow
                                                           of the camelia
                                                           wild violets

                                                             bird song
                                                             searching the sky
                                                             for an answer

                                                                         *

                                                             reading graffiti
                                                             on the bamboo
                                                             I too was here

                                                                                photographs by Cindy Keong

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Footprints: a Sandgate haiku sequence

                                                                                        photograph by Cindy Keong

 

                                                                   deep
                                                                   in a footprint
                                                                   lone seagull

                                                                   no fish today
                                                                   scales dry
                                                                   on the jetty

                                                                   kite flying
                                                                   the beagle’s ears
                                                                   full of wind

                                                                   whistling
                                                                   through the holes in my hat
                                                                   the sound of waves

                                                                   a single pine needle
                                                                   the ripple it makes
                                                                   in the ocean

                                                                   ebb tide
                                                                   how long will
                                                                   this footprint last

                                                                                            

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Brisbane River Ginko

On Sunday, I braved the autumn drizzle and a very large group of cyclists and set off along the bank of the Brisbane River along with six haiku enthusiasts on the first of our planned ginko. 

While it may not have been the kind of day that pulls you from your Sunday morning slumber, it is amazing how the small world of an umbrella makes you focus. Here’s a haiku sequence I wrote while out walking:

                                   Brisbane River Sequence

                                               dawn river
                                               my head
                                               yet to clear

                                               morning walk
                                               just enough rain
                                               to give the river voice

                                              standing alone
                                              the puddle at the edge
                                              of shelter

                                              waiting for
                                              the 7am ferry
                                              lone cormorant

                                             whistling at the joggers
                                             the old man’s
                                             hearing aide

                                             magpie song
                                             the day brightens
                                             under my umbrella

At the end of our ginko, we gathered together and shared our morning’s work, each poet presenting their favourite haiku of the morning, then casting their vote to select the poem of the trip. The winning poem from the Brisbane River Ginko was written by Cindy Keong.

                                                             lingering heat
                                                             my sweat beads
                                                             on the lawn

Next Sunday we are off to Sandgate for a coastal ginko. Nothing like sea air in your lungs to start the morning.

                                                                          * all photographs by Cindy Keong

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