Haiku Stars

garden 2
Japanese Garden
Campbelltown Arts Centre
haiku workshop poem

This November it was a pleasure to share the essence of haiku with a group of local children experiencing the Japanese garden at b Campbelltown Arts Centre.

in the tea house
In the tea house

We thought about the sights, sounds, textures, smells and tastes of the garden experience after their ginko.

Using some ancient and modern examples, the children then wrote original poems. We wrote the poems inside origami stars to create a haiku “surprise”.

It was great to experience haiku in the ambience of the Japanese garden.

haiku workshop poem2

Thank you to West Words for the opportunity of sharing haiku!

A Winter Ginko

winter huddle.jpg

It was a wabi-sabi sort of day last weekend, when I met with poetry friends for a garden ginko. We took some time to slow down, walk around a winter garden, and notice the textures of foliage, stone and wood.

Camellias, jonquils, and other rarer blooms we couldn’t name were there for the keen-eyed poet to discover.

In these moments of reflection, we may have also learnt something about ourselves.

stone tubs
that once held the weekly wash
now cradle spring bulbs
. . . each day I find
a new skill to master

© Julie Thorndyke

Verdant

verdant

She looked down at her hands,
which were itching as if swollen with fluid,
and calmly saw

that there were thick, green, finger-sized caterpillars
with pointy, raised, pale-yellow dots
protruding from their backs,

emerging from her skin,
rising like veins transposed into a different
key of flesh—

like drops of sweat
they formed,
rose and dropped away
from her wrists,
her hands and forearms,
only to be followed
by another,
and another,

until her whole arm
seemed to be nothing but

a fat squirming caterpillar and the room
in which she and the poet conversed
nothing more than a greenhouse

surging with foliage
and dripping
with the moisture
of primitive life.

Julie Thorndyke

Haibun

 wisteria

Tending to the Miraculous

I haven’t watered the garden for more than a year. I take water restrictions seriously. I have not dobbed in the neighbours who water their lawns in the dark of night; I have not installed a rain water tank. I have just let the garden ‘be’.

Dark pink daisies by the letter box erupted first. A crowd of round, dense cerise heads watching me as I look for letters. Someone next door has pruned the buds from my star jasmine. I try not to let the anger rise. I’d been looking forward to the white star petals. I carry two bills and a writers’ newsletter across moss-rimmed bricks up the drive. Violets on long, vigorous stems emerge from every crevice of the rockery. Twisted vines of purple sarsaparilla cover the native frangipani. Lillipilli berries cluster amongst glossy rippled leaves.

After a weekend away we arrive home to a burst of yellow—freesias are out, all across the lawn, under the budding maple tree, amongst the azaleas which have never looked so well. I make smelly posies to fill the house with their grandma fragrance.

Today the lavender heads are opening and a flush of roses revel in unexpected spring rain. The strident tones of TV politicians denounce the other side, watering their crop of terror. I look at my miracle garden and wonder at the resilience of spring—someone, somewhere, is tending the garden.

spring rain
the bowed head
of the peace rose

 Julie Thorndyke

First published Contemporary Haibun Online  December 2006, vol 2 no 4

© Julie Thorndyke 2015. All rights reserved.