Wednesday, April 02, 2008

ABC Wednesday - K is for Katikati Haiku Pathway

ABC Wednesday: K is for Katikati Haiku Pathway

beneath the moon
the heron's slow step
towards frog sound

Michael Dylan Welch
photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england

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

Janice Bostok
(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 water
trickles down the stone
finds its own pathway
after visiting the above boulder.

on the farmland
new houses
slowly rising

Patricia Prime
photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england

on the river
darker than the birds

Catherine Mair
photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england

Holding the water,
held by it -
the dark mud.

William J Higginson
(photograph © 2001, 2008 gerald england)

Catherine tells me in a recent email that since my visit there has been massive development.
  1. The 'river flats' are now a jig-saw of roofs and burgeoning gardens.
  2. Haiku on 24 boulders has been repainted.
  3. Two damaged author nameplates have been replaced.
  4. A much more visible sign has been designed
  5. Information boards are being designed and will be in place soon at the main car park.
  6. Three new boulders have been engraved adjacent to the original landing.
  7. Stepping stones have been installed to one boulder.
  8. A viewing area has been cleared to another boulder situated in the river bed.
  9. 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
the bridge becomes dangerous
tonight's moon

Takebe Ayatari
(photograph © 2008 Sandra Simpson)

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).

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.
One of the new boulders is

summer clouds
the river and I
inclined to the sea

Peter Yovu
(photograph © 2008 Sandra Simpson)

Further information is available at Katikati Mural Town.

Discover other ABC Wednesday posts by visiting Mrs. Nesbitt's Place.


  1. Gosh Gerald, what a beautiful post!
    This is what i LOVE about Wednesdays.............we all give such thought to the post. There's me on about a motorbike! LOL!
    Bless you!

  2. Wow how fascinating. What a great trek it would be to walk that pathway and come to each bolder...

  3. Beautiful photos and a fascinating post!
    Have a fun Abc-Wednesday:)

  4. Another place to add to my list of those to visit some day.

  5. An outstanding post Gerald. I enjoyed viewing and reading the haikus.

  6. What an interesting and original post. Thanks for sharing your pics and the story behind them. Happy Wednesday!

  7. Really a great post and as far as I understand fully in the spirit of mrsNesbitt´s intentions
    Hope many of the "nice" commenting bloggers take the time to visit you and learn.

  8. I know I would enjoy walking and reading each haiku on those huge boulders as I continued my journey. We have a few huge boulders in our park that have inscriptions on them, not haiku tho. Great choice for K, this lady named katikati

  9. Tried to have 10 year old pupils to write haiku poem. They really got it.

    See my ABC wednesday here.

  10. Wow, those are fantastic! What a brilliant idea. Wonderful stones.

  11. What an interesting K-post,I enjoyed the story and the photos very much.Have a wonderful wednesday:o)

  12. This must qualify as one of the most original and interesting ABCWs I have ever seen.

    Well done!

  13. This is marvelous, the pictures and for sure the information. Brilliant

  14. Wow, this is so fasinating. I would love to take a walk to see all these beautiful thoughts on the rocks.

  15. .

    Great to have this featured again, the project was utterly amazing and I was humbled to be invited by the Mayor for the official opening back in 2001.

    New Katikati book available:
    book details etc...


  16. I love Haiku (almost as much as I love limericks.)

    This is such a wonderful idea. Beautiful post.

  17. this really from heart, very beautiful...

  18. I love this post. I'm going to put the Katikati Haiku Pathway on my list of places to visit. Thank you.

  19. You have done a wonderful job with this K. :)

  20. WOW! Very interesting post! You have done a really great job here!
    Thanks for sharing:)

  21. What a wonderful place. It looks like somewhere to go and truely feel renewed. Beautiful photos too.

  22. Wow, this is a great post! Certainly better than mine :-))

  23. What an interesting and great post. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

  24. It is great to see this project growing in so many ways !

    Greetings from Japan !

    World Kigo Database

  25. Love Haiku
    Your post is lovely.
    Thank you!

  26. This must have taken
    A very long time to do.
    A wonderful post!


  27. I am definitely putting this on the list of things to see! LOVE IT!

  28. This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing it with us.

  29. A nice blend of your usual blog, a great trip and your Haiku fascination :)


  30. this looks like a wonderful walk, I enjoyed your guided tour!

  31. I had a friend once who decided he was only going to talk in Haiku. He didn't get very far with it.

    Nice pics.