QLD Writers Week (October 10 – 16) is just around the corner and there is plenty happening all across the state as part of the celebrations. I will be hosting a series of posts from some mighty fine QLD Poets all next week, focussing on the role of place in poetry and I will also be stepping out with some haiku lovers to run a Ginko on Sunday October 16 to bring the week to a close. The full program is now online here, so be sure to check it out and see what is happening in your neck of the woods!
To get into the spirit, I will leave you with a haiku…
mangroves stand in pools
For my 40th birthday, I was lucky enough to be given a gift voucher to spend at one of Brisbane’s independent book stores, Coaldrakes. I walked out with two books, David Byrne’s (Talking Heads), Bicycle Diaries and Elisabeth Tova Bailey’s, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. I am certain that Bicycle Diaries will be an incredible read, in fact, I plan to take it overseas with me so that I can read his reflections on San Francisco while I am there, but it was Tova Bailey’s, Wild Snail that captivated me at first sight. I mean… that title, it had me right from the start. And as soon as I delved in, I was deep in her world, a world of mystery illness and a gentle forest snail.
Part memoir, part scientific study, part meditative journal on the connectedness of humans and the natural world, this is a book that I know I will carry with me forever. The writing is spell like in it’s ability to hold you. The language is spare and graceful, poetic in the way it is put together; each chapter opening with a quote or a poem about snails. Some of my favourite quotes come from the haiku masters, Buson & Issa, who wrote many poems about the humble snail.
In the last few days (particularly after a big weekend in the yard), I too, have penned a handful of snail haiku, as after reading this astonishing book, I have a new found respect for the snail.
a snail drags moonlight
up the wall
the clock ticks
its slow hours
following the snail’s wake
Here is a book trailer for The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating… this book just might change the way you see and hear the world.
at this hour
my eyes the same colour
The Winter Junicho I have been involved in is now finished. It is always a thrill to be involved in collaborative writing projects as they not only bring out the best in me, they also spark ideas for poems, I may not have otherwise written. So a huge thanks to Ashley, Valeria, Barbara, Joseph & Claire for their stunning verses and an extra special thanks to Ashley for his creative leadership of the project. The Junicho – Year of the Rabbit, is now up on the Issa’s Snail website.
And as I am gearing up for next weekend’s Ginko (haiku walk) and haiku workshop (which, by the way still has a few places left, so don’t be afraid to book!), here’s two new haiku to ponder.
from the pigeons
at dusk – purpled
Want a quick hit of haiku?
I am currently participating in a Junicho lead by Ashley Capes and was asked to submit three haiku for a summer verse. Here are the poems I submitted:
every cloud is
a dead lamb
behind a stand of pines
the sun slips
sky to sea
and back again
To see which one was selected head over to Issa’s Snail. There are some mighty fine verses waiting for you!