Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
There are many different approaches to writing haiku and, of course, Verandaku.
Regarding form, Japanese tradition says that there are three basic elements to a haiku: form, season, and the moment.
Usually, a haiku is a three-line poem of 17 syllables in the 5-7-5 format. A season word is included to designate what time of year it is, eg, the actual seasons: summer, autumn, winter, spring; or words that indicate temperature: hot, cool, cold, warm; or descriptions of natural phenomena peculiar to a particular time of year, eg, blossoming flowers or falling leaves, leafless trees or cyclonic deluges. Although, with climate change coming along nicely, we may have to be fairly specific in our references, should we decide to honour this part of the tradition.
The third element relates to the capturing of a moment in time, an observation of what is happening now, a something that you’ve observed to be the case in this present.
Of course, not everyone follows tradition. Some have abandoned the 5-7-5 form and even three lines, although generally that abandonment is in favour of fewer lines (2 to be precise) and fewer syllables rather than more. These kinds of haikus sometimes read like mini-sutras rather than poetry, but equally often they’re quite beautiful. They may well be your cup of tea.
Others dispense with season words, but most of us persevere with the moment: that, I think, is the ultimate essence of the haiku. Well, arguably – I wouldn’t want to profess an attachment to one perspective over another in what could be the most Zen-like of all poetry. Non-attachment rules the rules, as it were.
Veranda Life favours the 5-7-5 three line split as is apparent, but season words are optional, and of course, the moment is paramount.
I find that most of my Verandaku captures occur when I’m out walking, although sometimes watching the back yard or enjoying a storm from the front patio can be just the thing.
Walking is relaxing and meditative, as long as you can deliberately clear your mind of intrusive thoughts and allow the moment to become your friend.
After you’ve made friends, walk or sit together for a while, and then try focussing on an aspect of your surroundings. It might be the wind, or lack of it, or it could be the parrots screeching in the bottlebrush. Perhaps it’s the sound your shoes make as you change from grass to gravel to bitumen. Maybe it’s what’s happening in the sky, or a scent that drifts by and reminds you of something significant.
The fun part, well all of it’s fun, but the funnest part is taking the observation and fitting it to the 5-7-5, if that’s what you’ve chosen for your form. Or else, managing to write the momentary observation in 17 syllables or less, three lines or less.
Make a cup of tea,
Breathe, relax, sip, and watch for
yourku to arrive.
The photograph is of Lamp lit (1989), a work by artist Rosemary Gascoigne, and it was taken at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the past week of Verandakus celebrating Queensland Writers Week. I certainly enjoyed writing them and finding photos from Veranda Life’s stock of Photokus to complement them.
The photoku above was taken at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at the foot of Mt Coot-tha. The gardens cover quite a large area and incorporate a kind of arid zone featuring cactuses and succulents.
I’m no expert, but I really like the look of desert-dwelling plants, and I selected this one to celebrate a return, however brief it may be, to dry and sunny weather here in Brisbane. People’s homes have been flooded and otherwise inundated one way and another. Some have even begun to sink, so I suspect a lot of us will look upon our desert flora with some delight.
Now, there must be at least 999 great reasons to write Verandakus, but in the interests of brevity, and to encourage other wiser and wider-ranging hearts and souls to come up with their own, here are a mere 9 – look out for the bonus.
1. Writing a Verandaku gives you an almost instant sense of achievement.
2. You’re in touch with the world around you – NOW.
3. You’re creating a memoir in a moment.
4. Writing Verandakus will remind you of observations and moments in your life you would otherwise forget.
5. V-kus are short, sweet, and complete in 3 lovely lines.
6. Almost every V-ku will fit inside the 140 character limit of a Tweet. Talk about instant messaging.
7. You can compose Verandakus while simultaneously walking and getting fit – how efficient is that?
8. If you miss catching one Verandaku, another will be along any minute – the world is absolutely chocabloc with them.
9. When you catch a passing Verandaku, you’re staying in touch with the universe and therefore confirming that you belong – you love and you are loved.
And for those readers who like their lists in even blocks of 10, this one’s for you:
10. Verandakus, in fact all forms of haiku, are just plain FUN, so ENJOY yourself, my friends, and happy catching.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Here is my first attempt to embed the code for a small document I wrote about Verandaku in Google Docs:
So, let's hope the code I can see as I write this post will do the magical thing it's supposed to do.
Next, is a link to the document -
I've tested both the frame and the link and both worked. With luck, this will continue. It seems to be a fairly simple process within Google Docs, so why not have a go and try it for yourself.
Just remember to paste the link in your text editor under the Compose, or normal viewing mode, and go to Edit HTML to embed the code for the frame.
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
|Lorrie McLay, a past Secretary of the QWC Mgt Board, outside the SLQ after a recent Blogging course.|
I'm writing to let you know that next week is Queensland Writers Week. It runs from Monday the 11th to Sunday the 17th of October and is an initiative of the Queensland Writers Centre (QWC) as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
I've had a long association with the QWC since its inception, both as an individual and community organisation member (the Fellowship of Australian Writers Qld), and as a performer (through the Wordpool series), workshop facilitator, and contributor to its publications.
The QWC has seen some radical changes of venue over the years, from the rambling, creaking old government building in William Street with all its mysterious and dark nooks and crannies, to the still rather old but slightly more impressive Wickham Terrace premises, to the decidedly cool dude Metro Arts building in Edward Street in the CBD, and finally to the wonderful State Library of Queensland on the river, one of my favourite Brisbane places.
Here at Veranda Life, we've decided to make a contribution to the week of celebrations by beefing up "999 Verandakus: A Memoir of Now" to 3 a day, and posting articles on how to write Verandakus, including tips on inspiration, getting started, and keeping the flame alight.
We'd love to hear from you - perhaps you already write haikus in various forms - there are many - or maybe you've been thinking about it.
Now is the time to act. We're all about the moment here at Veranda Life, and, of course, Breathing, Relaxing, and Drinking Black Tea Often. It's a Queensland thing: Beautiful One Day, Perfectly Brewed the Next.
|SLQ's reception area, where you can find out all manner of things.|