Echidna Tracks issue 9: Journeys has now finished publishing. My haiku published on August 19 was dedicated to my Scottish great-great-great grandparents Jean and William Risk. They and two of their children, including my 6-year-old great-great-grandmother Mary, emigrated to Australia in 1841.
We’d gone to the local archives where we’d been told we could get information about the cemetery. ‘Oh yes,’ the brisk woman said, ‘we have a map so we can send you right to the spot. What were their names?’ She ran her finger down the alphabetical list and ‘… ah’. All buried in unmarked graves. She could still send us ‘right to the spot’ though so I went and stood there and felt sorry for them.
goldfield cemetery —
my ancestors in the section
with no headstones
Echidna Tracks 9
Mary, by the way, was a widow with two young children by the age of 21. Five years later she married my great-great-grandfather, an Englishman, in Maldon. They and their family emigrated to New Zealand some time from 1875-1877.
I took a pottery class earlier this year, something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and, despite having to wear masks (and so occasionally having steamed-up glasses), at the end of the 6 weeks I had some things I could take pride in — two bowls, two jugs and a small planter pot, all glazed. It was a hand-building class, using slab and coil techniques, so now I’m keen to try working on a wheel.
first pottery class …
finding the jug
inside the clay
The Heron’s Nest 24.3
maybe Covid-positive …
the day’s first shadow
autumn gales –
setting tonight’s fire
The Asahi Haikuist Network was founded in 1995 by David McMurray, a Canada-born professor at the International University of Kagoshima in Japan, who still puts it together. It originally appeared in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper every week, but more recently has been posted every fortnight on the paper’s website.
David made a call for Southern Hemisphere-themed haiku and I’ve had a few selected for publication beyond the theme edition. The following haiku was written exactly as it happened, the spot being Tangimoana on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand, while the second one recalls a visit to a church, which I seem to think was in Paihia, an historic settlement in the Bay of Islands.
the road comes
to a ragged end…
Asahi Haikuist Network, August 19
whalers’ church –
all the hassocks
Asahi Haikuist Network, September 16
The centre of Tauranga has been a building site for years — first all the earthquake strengthening work that had to be carried out after the 2011 Christchurch quake sparked law reforms, then big, new buildings going up that were slowed by Covid, and we’re even having some big ones deconstructed with something new still to go on the sites. Scaffolding everywhere!
cobweb clouds …
from floor to floor