Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WEA - first ginko at Botanic Gardens

Farm Cove 

Walking through Chinatown on my way to teach the  WEA class, people are eating breakfasts which smell like dinner. I pass a restaurant called “Eating World”. After the theory part of class, we make our way to Circular Quay.  I try to imagine the beginnings of English settlement here, in this tight curve of bay – I’ve been reading “The Fatal Shore” by Robert Hughes. Over in the next bay where we're going, the settlers attempted to grow their food. Nowadays it’s the gracious foreshore of the Botanic Gardens.

Farm Cove now:
a catamaran
girls shrieking on deck

I gather my students in a grove of bamboo, where we’re a little sheltered from the cold wind. Shelley had remembered from the morning - “Learn about ….a bamboo plant from a bamboo plant”. Basho

party music
the winds swallows
a chunk of it

The poets walk around writing – they walk slowly. I wander over to a man who is harvesting some kind of fruit from a tree. He is African. He tells me that this tree is a relative of the coffee plant, and that its young leaves if chewed are good for …was it arthritis? He tells me the name and I write it down – its common name is khat ( who knows if that is the right spelling). I have a taste, it's almost fruity.
I wish the poets would walk faster. Then I could warm up.

cold again
my arms in this thin jacket
leaden October

But there are so many delights, not the least of which is people-watching. Graham wrote a senryu ( satirical take on human affairs) about a woman we saw at Circular Quay. Here are my senryus:

in pink gumboots
running to the next puddle

a bare shoulders display -
flicked back by the cold wind,
her hair

Is this a senryu, below, or a haiku? I’m not sure.

one minute detour...
given to
the Asian gardens

Only one minute? 
We had two rounds of sharing our work. The best was the sharing in the cafĂ©, with cake and hot chocolate and tea. So that’s what they were thinking about! This was my best effort:

lotuses arise
from stinking black mud
moorhen is at ease

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WEA course: haiku ginko, writing zen Sat. Oct 22 & 29


“I think the course may have been life changing for me. It has opened up a new and exciting area of interest."
“Excellent course an introduction to Haiku for me. Interesting, engaging teacher, a poet herself. Wonderful inclusion of 2 lessons spent writing outdoors. Valuable handouts at beginning of course covering course content and relevant information. Teacher remained focused and was able to always steer the students back to topic. Each student was given equal opportunity to participate."

"I'd just like to say how much I got out of your course. Re-reading the notes I made in class has been inspiring………..Thank you for a wonderful 5 sessions.”

You too, could wander about the Botanic Gardens and learn how to write haiku! have a look at the WEA website for further details. You'd be welcome to join us, but be quick! it starts this Saturday, October 22. There'll be 2 Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4 pm. 

Here's one of mine from that course. I "thought" ( not really thought, more like letting the original draft compost in the bottom drawer of my mind) about this for 3 or 4 months. 

cockies in the tree-top
a sickle moon 
scrapes them off