In April the Red Thread Haiku Sangha mounted our biggest project yet - a dramatic reading for several voices which was to be part of an evening's entertainment at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, mounted by the celebrated Tongues & Grooves literary and music group. In the event, the sudden illness of script-writer and director George Marsh forced us to abandon - or postpone ? - this original ambitious project. Instead Ken Jones and Bill Wyatt gave readings of two of their haibun, "Going Nowhere" and "A Fistful of Frost," accompanied on the bamboo flute by the superb Chinese musician, Guor Yue (author of Music Food and Love). Prostate cancer was the subject of both pieces, and the haunting flute sound, full of desperate breath, evoked the approaching end of life with melancholy energy. An audience of some two hundred and fifty responded very well.
In October we enjoyed our tenth annual gathering at Jane Whittle's house in north Wales. Something of the flavour of this pleasant weekend house-party is evident from the following selection of haiku from the event. There were also some interesting formal discussions and readings, and much good fellowship as usual. We are open to all who are concerned to combine an interest in haiku with a contemplative spiritual practice. If this appeals to you we look forward very much to hearing from you

Ken Jones

Startled again
by that nonchalant scarecrow
in her raincoat
Beneath the Lord's Table
the quiet witness
of a maidenhair fern
In a bird cage
trembling in the wind
a dead leaf
Through a rent in the clouds
sparkling the grey sea
a silver shoal
Spoil heap stained red
spilt needles of the
crooked pine
On grey slate
tiny birch leaves
scattered by the tilting world

George Marsh

the last swallows
feed in Happy Valley
for a journey
the hour before dawn -
hear the swift-wing moon
cutting the wind
closing in
from everywhere
faintly glowing mist
with the light just so
gleams like a dove of peace
the hooknosed buzzard
brilliant strand -
a man and a woman
bury stones

Stuart Quine

with every step towards the sea a slippage of stones
summer sky high and wide yet my eye contains it
bolted and chained the way to the mountains

Helen Robinson

names of the departed
lost to lichen
halfway an old bridge
stone slotted into stone
the path gets harder now
into the sea's incessant surge
the field's gentle trickle
over each hill
the ravens' croak
a grey morning
young robin
singing at first light
brought in by the cat
beach wrack
each rock pool
its own Sargasso Sea

Jane Whittle

breaking wave
after white wave -
another short day
facing the sea
hunched on the shore
you - and a rock
green water
unravelled by sunlit waves
my breath comes slowly
crack in the rock
clenching a pale pebble
this October moon
black root in the sand
islanded by ebbing tides
ten thousand years
creamy foam
licking the green bones
of an ice-age tree

Bill Wyatt

hey scarecrow
why are you wearing
that frown ?
cigarette butt
a shooting star beneath
the harvest moon
kitchen cobwebs -
the last skinny spider
peering at me
on a whisky high
bidding good night to the moon -
hungover dawn
teeth playing me up
a sleepless night - even that
owl cannot bring comfort
(for Stuart)
hairy caterpillar
heading for the sea - what is
it that attracts you ?


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