hosts: Firdaus Parvez & Kala Ramesh
A Thursday Feature.
poet of the month: Gavin Austin
23rd November 2023
Gavin Austin lives in Sydney, Australia. His work has been widely published in anthologies and journals, and he has been recognised in literary competitions. In 2016, Gavin was awarded a Writing Fellow of the FAW NSW Inc., and was the Featured Poet in the January 2016 issue of cattails. Also, he was the Poet in Focus 57, Presence #72, March 2022. The Drifting Sands Special Feature, Girt by Sea was Gavin’s undertaking; a partnership of his photography and poetry from Australian writers. He currently has two published poetry collections: Shadow Play, Dragonwick, Aus., and changing light, Alba Publishing, UK. Gavin was shortlisted for a Touchstone Award 2022 for Individual Poem. He is currently completing a collection of haibun and haiku, which he hopes to publish late 2023. You can find Gavin in The Poet’s Hub Gavin Austin – Drifting Sands Haibun – Poet's Hub (drifting-sands-haibun.org)
We asked Gavin some questions and he has been kind in answering them.
Do you show your work in progress to anyone, or is it a solitary work that you keep close to your chest before letting it go for publication?
My writing is a solitary pursuit. I often have several things in various stages of completion. However, I do have a couple of trusted writer friends, with whom I meet up every few months. I do share work in progress with them, and they are always very generous and helpful with their feedback. It is a good way of testing out if a piece is working or not. I can see if these friends are reading and interpreting the work as I wish it to be. If a line is clumsy it will soon show up as I read and share the work. However, often I won’t get the chance to ask my friends for their thoughts, and this is where I must use my own judgement and go with my intuition as I ready work to be sent off for possible publication.
Take special note of the rich scenery and the minute details.
I was clean bowled by the haiku.
Thanks, Gavin, for giving us such masterpieces.
The connecting shuttle bus is on time. Stowing my bag, I take a seat behind the driver and wonder if I may have gone to school with him. I sit, staring through glass.
Pale fingers of dusk rake the bushland. Beyond a waning sunset, the sky is washed-out blue. Hills rise and fall, furrowed with channels of darkness. Displayed like a trophy, the highest peak glows in slanted sunlight; a paradox of splendour and desolation. Until the aubergine outline swallows the last of the light. Breathing deeply, I inhale the fragrance of gum, fern and moss. I feel immediately at home.
I choose the pony
with the damaged ear
contemporary haibun online #19.2, August 2023
Every rose has a thorn. And life is not a bed of roses!
SCARS - a word that has not left even one person born on this earth unscathed. Write about your life and the lessons you've learned from it.
Haibun outside this prompt is welcome too
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Important: Since we're swamped with submissions, and our editors are only human, mistakes can happen. Please, please, remember to put your name, followed by your country, below each poem, even after revisions. It helps our editors; they won't have to type it in, saving them from potential typos. Thanks a ton!
1. Only two haibun per poet per prompt. Please put your name and country of residence under your poem, it makes the editors' work easier. Thanks.
2. Share your best-polished pieces.
3. Please do not post something in a hurry or something you have just written.
Let it simmer for a while.
4. When poets give suggestions and if you agree to them - post your final edited version on top of your original version.
5. Don't forget to give feedback on others' poems.
We are delighted to open the comment thread for you to share your unpublished haibun (within 300 words) to be considered for inclusion in the haikuKATHA monthly journal.