Friday, 10 February 2012

Poetry Night in Drouin...

Little do you all know that the real reason for my visit to Australia was to attend not only Drouin's world-famous-in-Drouin Ficifolia Festival, but also its marquis even, "Baw Baw Shire Poetry Night." (ie. I happened to visit Kim the same weekend as the town's festival). What more, did you know that all these years resting inside me was a poet-who-didn't-know-it?
For what it's all worth, a small town of ockers Drouin may be, but I was thoroughly surprised by the quality of poetry spun by the bards of Baw Baw Shire.  Among the group were a raunchy middle aged woman and her poem about dominatrixes, another who recited one on colonoscopies, and the special guest invitee from Melbourne with strong anarchic views fused with a street beat that just didn't rhyme.

Humble though my attempt was, I summoned the courage to write and recite a haiku inspired both by my visits to the Hunter Valley and Mornington Penninsula wine regions and by my nearly 2 decades connection with Japanese culture. For those out there who's poetic skills stop at the colours of flowers rhymed with the relationship of the reader to sucrose levels, a haiku is a 17-syllable Japanese poem divided into 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables. Each haiku must contain a seasonal reference, called a kigo, be it stated outright ("a winter wind blew") or, more often, a nuanced reference to something from that season ("snow fell on the hills").

Without further ado, I hereby present to you my innaugrural 4-stanza haiku entitled .....
The Vintage 
A field in decay
Southern winds blow from the Sea
A vine sits dormant
The winds change their course
Sunshine wakens the sleeping
A green bud appears
A New Year is Born
Verdant vineyards yield fresh fruit
Heat bakes the dry land
Men reap the harvest
A dying burst of colour
The vines sleep once more
In case you didn't pick up on it, each stanza represents a seasonal state of a vineyard in the Southern Hemisphere, starting with winter.  It must be Southern Hemisphere because of the reference in the third stanza of summer coming at new year's. Not exactly the stuff of Shakespeare or Basho (composer of the quintessential haiku, furu ike ya - kawazu tobikomu - mizu no oto (an ancient pond - a frog jumps in - the sound of water), but still not a bad first effort. Maybe next year I will be invited back in place of the anarchic bard...

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