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London Haiku Group Anthology

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Photo by Frank Williams

On 2nd July 2017, thirteen members of the London Haiku Group ran by Coordinator, Mark Gilfillan assembled for a meeting at the Royal Festival Hall. Each person brought along six poems for critiquing. A few months earlier it was agreed that the Group would produce an Anthology based on the poems brought along for critiquing. The Anthology would be edited by Frank Williams. From each person two poems were chosen by popular vote for inclusion in the project. We also welcomed two new people to the Group. Each person read out their poems and they were commented upon. The quality of work submitted was excellent, and showcased the wide variety of styles being produced, which added an extra interest and sparkle to the discussion. It is hoped that the Anthology will be finalised by the end of 2017. After the meeting a few members retired to the bar for refreshments and a general chat. The next meeting was scheduled for 3 September 2017 at the Royal Festival Hall, meeting at 12.45pm by the ticket office for a 1pm start.

Write-up by Frank Williams

BHS Spring Gathering 10 June 2017

BHS SPRING GATHERING, SATURDAY 10 JUNE 2017 11 AM – 5 PM
ST DENYS HALL, CHURCH STREET, CHISWICK

This year the Spring Gathering of the BHS took place in the St. Denys Hall which is close to the River Thames in Chiswick. There were three parts to the day:

(1) Haiku Today

In the morning session we had a series of lively discussions about some commonly used statements regarding haiku.  This exercise, as one might expect, led to the expression of the differing points of view which exist within the society regarding the nature of haiku.

The group then took part in a simulated editing exercise in which two or three haiku had to be selected for publication from the ten which had been submitted. Interestingly, given the divergence of opinion in the first exercise, there was a more general agreement on the haiku which should be published.

 

(2) Ginko

We were fortunate in having a sunny afternoon for the ginko (a haiku-writing wander around the riverside area of old Chiswick Parish Church). When we returned we shared and discussed the haiku that had been produced.

Here are some of the haiku which were written on the ginko:

incoming tide
river lapping against
the slipway
— David Bingham

tide rising
the constant bob
of each moored boat
— Andrew Shimield

polling day fades
two pigeons
share a snog
— David Jacobs

river trash
trapped between the owner
and the dog
— Rose Ades

Beached house boats
side by side
wallow in the mud
— Howard Colyer

summer breeze
combing the river
ripple by ripple
— Debbie Antebi

Chiswick Park
on the wind
African wedding music
— Kate B Hall

riverbank garden
gone to wilderness except
daylilies
— Susan Lee Kerr

a crucifix stands apart
mobile phones rise and fall
“I do”, she replies
— Mark Floyer

old cemetery
each gravestone set
at a jaunty angle
— Frank Williams

splashes of colour
wild flowers
the artist’s grave
— Mark Gilfillan BHS_2

(3) Speed Renga
 
The day finished with a fast-paced, swap-around burst of shared haiku creativity.

Format for all, devised by Frank Williams, is Format: v1 spring, v2 love, v3 summer, v4 autumn or moon, v5 winter, v6 spring. The idea for Speed Renga was devised by David Bingham and Dick Pettit. The conductor was Susan Lee Kerr. The premise is sociable group poetry writing, with the added ‘speed’ element of changing places so that the working groups change and poets get to work together and get to know each other in this fun, fast creativity.

Here is the renga voted favourite by those who participated:

“The Sixth Ice Cream “

hey you, wind
stop tossing and tangling
my plum blossom tree

blown from my hand
the love poem you sent me

at the beach
dad staggers back
with five ice creams

wrestling with nightmares
the full moon awakens me

fairy lights
each one a different colour
on the bare branches

chimes of goldfinches
drowned out by wrens
— Susan Lee Kerr, David Bingham, Frank Williams, Debbi Antebi, Rose Ades, Rose Ades

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Overall, it was a splendid day and much enjoyed by all those who attended.  Afterwards we adjourned to a local hostelry for a relaxing drink.

Write-up by Dave Bingham and Susan Lee Kerr

The London Haiku Group

Covering London and the South East, this group meets around every two months in central London. Non BHS members are also welcome.

Co-ordinator Mark Gilfillan – email: arnoldcircus (a) hotmail . com

The Oxford Haiku Group

The Oxford Haiku Group holds informal evening meetings in Oxford pubs to share and discuss members’ haiku.  Non-BHS members are also welcome.  For more information and details of the next meeting please email Mark Ritchie at (jmarkr2013[at]gmail.com)

Green Wood Haiku

Green Wood Haiku is based in Shropshire and meets once in each of the seasons. Contact David Bingham at david . hodgebower (a) tiscali . co . uk for details of membership, meetings and events.