Tuesday poem: Wetlands haiku

August 25, 2014

perched on a log
damp bark transfers water —
my pink frog bum

P.S. Cottier

I do not understand this image...

I do not fully understand this image…

Now that damp croak of a poem was written at a great event which was held in O’Connor, just up the road from where your poetic blogger lives. (That’s me, if you were wondering.) A group of people met, heard about the wetlands and haiku, and wrote a brimming bucket of the tadpole poems.

The event was organised by Sarah St Vincent Welch (writer) and Edwina Robinson (Urban Waterways Coordinator). There are lovely photos and more poems at the following link, including some more serious ones. But I am particularly chuffed by the photo that follows on from the poem, in which I am indeed perched on a log.


Canberra is a very lucky city, with features such as the urban waterways in the inner city. (If you are imagining a city such as Paris, or Sydney, please don’t. Canberra is not that type of place at all.) The waterways return some of the creek that flowed through this area to a more natural state after it was concreted at some stage. Philosophically, it is an interesting question whether these recreated ponds are ‘natural’, but I am pleased that they exist.

Similarly, is haiku in English actually haiku? Is a haiku that contains a rhyme a proper haiku? Should we worry about such notions of form and purity?

Or should we just play?

Press this feather, fly to New Zealand, and read even more poetry:

Tuesday Poem<

4 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Wetlands haiku”

  1. Kathleen Kituai said

    Love your questions Penelope … and their would be many answers to most of them. Here is only one point of view to consider with all the others.

    Only the Japanese can write haiku. Australians write ‘Modern English Haiku’. Form is continually changing and is true to it’s original form if it remembers it’s origins and allows a growing edge. Otherwise it is nothing but free flowing words (which also has it’s place in the scheme of things .. to me at least). To understand that what not is said in haiku and tanka is of the utmost importance if we are to really understand these forms. Point to the moon and readers see the moon for themselves.

    On another matter I am recovering from a bad fall down three stairs and a landing which had me in hospital for 6 days (15th Aug — 21st Aug). My beloved daughter, Alyson, is taking care of me.

    I love your Tuesday Poems and emails.

    Much love Kathy

    I love your emails

  2. pscottier said

    Firstly, I am very sorry to hear about your fall (and landing). I hope you are recovering well.

    I was hoping you might put a comment, as I am far from an expert at haiku, as you know, whereas you have written a lot of them. It was a varied crowd at the wetlands event, in terms of experience, wasn’t it?

    Glad you like the blog, and I love getting comments.

  3. Ah I stumbled upon this post Penelope. A lovely memory and thanks for posting about the event xxx

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