Last Sunday's event at the Japanese Garden was a wonderfully creative day. This year, we were up in the friendship garden part of the Japanese Garden, away from the major foot traffic around the pond. This placed us near the sumi-e painting and the marbled paint fan dipping, but away from the crowds.
At first, I was a bit disappointed, but as the day progressed it turned out the location had its own merits. It was a bit quieter without the distractions of the main garden. This meant that we had a lot more people this year who were willing to try to compose their own haiku.
We had several different projects, aimed at different age groups, spread across two tables. At one, for our youngest visitors, we had coloring sheets featuring a classic Japanese haiku with an illustration they could color. I would read the haiku to the children as they colored. We also had some blank sheets printed with Chiyo-Ni's morning glory haiku. We had an illustration showing how to draw a morning glory, but some children preferred to trace it.
At the second table, I had a stack of photos I had taken of the Japanese Garden over the years along with some 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 inch card stock. Each visitor to our table could pick one photo, glue it to the card and then write a haiku about the garden. We had several books of haiku on display, so some preferred to copy a poem by Basho or Issa on their card. One teenager copied her poem in Japanese.
Five members of the Southern California Haiku Study Group were on hand. Science fiction poet Kendall Evans stopped by and wrote a remembrance haiku for the koi who used to swim in that garden. I didn't actually write any haiku there, but have written almost a dozen about the garden in the last couple of days.
top row: Naia, Victor P Gendrano, Wendy Wright
botton row: Deborah P Kolodji, Margaret Hehman-Smith
More of my garden photos are in a flickr set: