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October 2015                                         

                                                                                                                                                            Photo: Sandra Simpson  

My goodness but this year has flown by, hasn't it? As you may know I'm working for the Tauranga Arts Festival this year, doing publicity and running the Writer programme, and with the festival opening on October 22 I'm finding that there are a few more gears to shift yet! And I had my computer's hard-drive replaced last week, holding my breath somewhat. Almost all the essentials have come back and it really does run very fast now, but some of the 'old' simple things I used have been lost and, guess what, the 'new, improved' version takes more time! Isn't that just technology all over? I do sometimes wonder if we're master or servant.

But there was time at the weekend to put my head into (mostly under) some neighbourhood blossom trees and what a restorative that was. The five Prunus Awanui planted in a row were buzzing, there was a flock of waxeyes working their way through the nectar and monarch butterflies flitting about against a blue, blue sky. Spring has sprung! Did you know that the flowering cherry Awanui is a fair dinkum New Zealand tree? It was discovered and developed by Taranaki plantsman Keith Adams who saw the potential in it and named it for the area of New Plymouth he lived in. (Keith is better known for his rhododendron-hunting expeditions to the tropics.)

This month's photo is of blossom on a large, old crabapple tree in my neighbourhood. Just a picture when in full bloom. 

Sadly, we're farewelling another Christchurch poet - Greeba Brydges-Jones died on September 26. See the Haiku Happenings page for more.

Also on Haiku Happenings is information about a LitCrawl haiku event in Wellington in November. The Haiku Hike (downhill) features Doc Drumheller and Richard von Sturmer. The LitCrawl event is on the same weekend as the NZ Poetry Society conference, which includes the launch of this year's contest anthology. To see more details about the conference, go here or click on the left-hand menu.

The Contest listings have been updated to take us through to the end of the year and into January, 2016, and the author of last month's article, Karen Cesar, has supplied a selection of her Favourite Haiku.

This month's article (by yours truly) is the first part of a two-part piece on haiku and its relationship to World War 1. I hope you enjoy it, it has been fascinating to research.

Thanks, as always, to Signify, our website host, and the New Zealand Poetry Society for giving us the space on its site - free of charge. If you'd be good enough to consider joining the NZPS, it would be a small repayment for the hosting and support that we receive out of kindness. For those within New Zealand, your membership fees are tax deductible, as is any donation you make over the top of the annual sub. Read more about joining and membership benefits here, including how to join if you live outside New Zealand.

If you'd like to recommend an article, offer to write something for these pages, or generally have something to say about haiku and its related forms, please feel free to get in touch.

And don't forget to have a look at my other web venture, Sandra's Garden. If you like it, please be sure to share it with your friends.

- Sandra