beneath the moonphotograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england
the heron's slow step
towards frog sound
Michael Dylan Welch
The Katikati Haiku Pathway was the brainchild of Catherine Mair. It was created as part of a millennium project that sought to reclaim wasteland around the Uretara Stream which seperated the centre of this Western Bay of Plenty District town in New Zealand from the Highfields area.
watchful the night heron lowers his neck into shadow(photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england).
I visited Catherine in 2001 and she took me on guided tour. She told me about how she came to choose the haiku used, and about the way the town co-operated, despite certain opposition, with its creation. The boulders had weathered well. After rain, water gathers in small pools on some of the lettering. We poked our fingers into one such pool. I wrote
splash of waterafter visiting the above boulder.
trickles down the stone
finds its own pathway
on the farmlandphotograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england
shadowsphotograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england
on the river
darker than the birds
Holding the water,(photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england)
held by it -
the dark mud.
William J Higginson
Catherine tells me in a recent email that since my visit there has been massive development.
- The 'river flats' are now a jig-saw of roofs and burgeoning gardens.
- Haiku on 24 boulders has been repainted.
- Two damaged author nameplates have been replaced.
- A much more visible sign has been designed
- Information boards are being designed and will be in place soon at the main car park.
- Three new boulders have been engraved adjacent to the original landing.
- Stepping stones have been installed to one boulder.
- A viewing area has been cleared to another boulder situated in the river bed.
- The Haiku Pathway booklet has been updated and reprinted.
Catherine Mair standing by the exit from the Haiku Path near two carved pieces created by a Maori carver representing one of the three marae in the district. They have since been removed for restoration.
in the evening(photograph © 2008 Sandra Simpson)
the bridge becomes dangerous
Secretary of the Pathway Focus Committee, Sandra Simpson tells me
We now have 30 engraved haiku boulders, which we believe to be the largest such grouping in English anywhere and the largest outside Japan. The poems are by 26 poets from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, Japan, Poland and England (Alan Summers).One of the new boulders is
The Haiku Pathway guidebook was updated and reprinted to coincide with the dedication of the 3 new boulders last winter (our winter May/June).
The next 2 big projects to bring to fruition are a major new entry sign, the design of which is in keeping with the pathway, and information boards for visitors, including items such as a map of all the boulders and some background to haiku.
summer clouds(photograph © 2008 Sandra Simpson)
the river and I
inclined to the sea
Further information is available at Katikati Mural Town.
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