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12 July 2008 @ 11:06 pm
HSA - Seattle - Day Three  

Seattle Japanese Garden, Washington Park Arboretum
June 29, 2008

On Sunday, we had a ginko walk and kukai at the Seattle Japanese Garden, which is located in the Washington Park Arboretum.

At the entrance was a haiku display with sample poems from Northwest Haiku members in addition to visiting haiku poets who were there for the HSA meeting. It was fun to see one of my haiku displayed so far from home.

the world so empty
without you in it -
summer sea

- Deborah P Kolodji
from fog and brittle pine, the 2007 Yuki Teikei Society Membership Anthology

After strolling through garden tranquility, we met at the viewing platform where Michael Dylan Welch explained the writing exercise we were going to do on our ginko walk. We were to write haiku on the theme of sound.

For awhile though, the only sound I heard was the whine of camera zoom lenses and the clicks of shutters.

garden ginko
the page empty,
the camera card full

Marilyn Sandall, Lenard D. Moore, Deborah P Kolodji
Seattle Japanese Garden, June 29, 2008

However, there was also some writing going on.

Michael Dylan Welch
Seattle Japanese Garden, June 29, 2008

In my case, the inner photographer won the battle with my inner muse at the beginning of the morning’s garden exploration.

Seattle Japanese Garden
June 29, 2008

Even turtles posed (but were so quiet).

Seattle Japanese Garden
June 29, 2008

not even the plop
of a turtle

It is a challenge to write “sound haiku” in a quiet place. But perhaps it is in that very stillness, in a place where each sound is magnified, that we can listen more fully.

Seattle Japanese Garden
June 29, 2008

copper glints
from the koi pond
jangling pocket change

After we returned to the viewing platform, Carmen Sterba gave a talk on kukai, which simply means “haiku meeting” in Japanese. She explained how haiku groups in Japan use the kukai to select haiku they print in monthly magazines, some of the smaller groups apparently print upwards of 500-1000 haiku a month.

Carmen Sterba
Seattle Japanese Garden, June 29, 2008

We wrote our haiku on blank index cards without our names, just like we do each month at the Southern California Haiku Study Group. But instead of handing the cards to an assigned reader like we do in our meetings at the Pacific Asia Museum, we handed them in to be numbered and taped to long tables where everyone could walk around and read them.

HSA Kukai
Seattle Japanese Garden, June 29, 2008

It was interesting to walk around and read the haiku instead of listening to them being read aloud. One humorous moment occurred when Lenard leaned over, pointed towards one of the haiku and whispered that it was a shame the author had written “wine” when he obviously meant “wind.” He told me he liked the haiku a lot but couldn’t vote for a poem with a misspelled word.

I gulped. The haiku was mine. And I had actually meant “whine.”

So, I stood there for a moment and frantically thought of ways I could fix it without anybody noticing. Then, Lenard asked me if I was reading another haiku in front of me (because I remained temporarily frozen in place) so I confessed that the one with the misspelling was mine. And we both had a good laugh over it.

As a group, we entered 47 poems in the kukai and we were each allowed to vote for 5. Unfortunately my haiku didn’t end up with any votes, but it was a fun experience. I enjoyed experimenting with a different way of doing a kukai. It might be interesting to do it with the Southern California group sometime, although it probably wouldn’t work in the two hours currently scheduled for our meetings.

Afterwards, we went to Cafe Flora, a local vegetarian restaurant.

(r to l) Michael Dylan Welch, Michael Evans, Alice Frampton, Carmen Sterba, Karma Tenzing Wangchuk, Bethel Prescott, Deborah Kolodji, Curtis Manley, Sue Miller, Lenard D. Moore

(r to l) David Ash, Ida Freilinger, Gerald McBreen, Brendan McBreen

After lunch, some of us returned to the garden where Duo En plays on Sunday afternoons from 1-3 pm.

John Falconer from Duo En
Seattle Japanese Garden, June 29, 2008

All too soon, it was time to say farewell to all of my new/old haiku friends. I’m looking forward seeing them all again at some other haiku gathering somewhere.

(l to r): Alice Frampton, Lenard D. Moore, Michael Dylan Welch, Deborah P Kolodji
June 29, 2008

(Deleted comment)
Deborah P Kolodji: JGardenBridgedkolodji on July 14th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
I had a total mental block.

Oh, well.

p.s. I'm glad you liked the turtle ku. Too bad I didn't write it then, so I could have entered it instead.
(Anonymous) on July 14th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
The Sound of Silence
Thanks, Debbie for your photo-haiku travel journal. I'll enjoy sending this to
family and friends as the best way to share the Haiku Weekend in Seattle.

I especially appreciate your humor. It was my idea to choose the topic for our haiku (on sounds), so I found this last entry amusing since it did turn out to be an extremely quiet place. Perhaps, a zoo would have afforded a greater variety of sounds. Actually, my first idea for the topic was insects. It's good Michael vetoed that cause I didn't see any insects.

Here's a haiku a I wrote at another Japanese Garden (in Portland last year):

water iris--
the garden's hush swallows
all chatter

Please share these three journal entries with Randy Brooks, so he can put them up
on the Haiku Society of America's website for the HSA quarterly meetings.


ruralwriterruralwriter on July 14th, 2008 02:13 am (UTC)
Gorgeous photos! I haven't been to Seattle in years.

I especially liked the no-sound sound haiku! (Perhaps it's because I like turtles!)
snaky_poetsnaky_poet on July 14th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
Sounds like such fun!
snaky_poetsnaky_poet on July 14th, 2008 03:32 am (UTC)
Oops, no pun intended.
(Anonymous) on July 14th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your haibun journal with photos. You've caught the excitement and energy of the weekend activities. Your haiku bring back the "moments" of shared learning and being together. What a treat to "be there" again.

You caught Seattle at its best. Our summers are wonderful and as a native northwesterner, I love our winter gray, too.

Thanks! Marilyn Sandall

(Anonymous) on July 14th, 2008 04:48 pm (UTC)
Seattle's Japanese Garden is included in North America's top 25 Japanese Gardens in a list on blist. Check it out.