~ The Katikati Haiku Pathway ~

harder to say
goodbye to my rock
than it is
to take it with me
in my memory

In 1997 Katikati was a town which I had not visited. I met Catherine Mair while staying in an 'artists cottage' in Picton, where I was attending the Haiku Sounds Conference, organised by Ernest Berry and the Poetry Society of New Zealand.

We were speaking of our dreams. Catherine was dreaming of a millennium project for the town of Katikati, one which would have a haiku flavour. My dream was to one day have my own haiku carved on a rock in a public park in my home town of Murwillumbah, in northern New South Wales!

Catherine went home to Katikati with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. She soon set the town ablaze with her idea of a public pathway, along the banks of the Uretara River. The proposal for such a project was accepted by the Council, the Open Air Art Inc. Committee, and the citizens of the town.

The story of the town and its attractions, including the Haiku Pathway, is given on
Katikati Town Web Site

a pathway view

I have visited Katikati on several occasions. The 'mural' town never fails to arouse my spirit and refresh my zest for creativity and life. The first time I visited Katikati there was no pathway, but I could see it in my mind, as it would one day meander along the banks of the river. Upon my second visit the first stage had been implemented, and walking it was a thrilling experience.

a pathway view

The last time I was there, the second stage had been built and I attended the Official Opening Ceremony. The Haiku Pathway has a calming, meditative atmosphere. The local wildlife don't appear to mind that it has been built. In fact they seem to enjoy the spirituality of the park and the people who come to share it with them.

My haiku on the Pathway are:

stationary bus
talking we visit places
within each other

jan's rock

&

watchful the night heron lowers his neck into shadow

jan's rock


These Authors Have Had Their Haiku Engraved on Pathway Rocks

TAKEBE AYATARI, (1719-1794) Japan
ERNEST J. BERRY, New Zealand
JANICE M. BOSTOK, Australia
YOSA BUSON, (1716-1784) Japan
TONY CHAD, New Zealand
CYRIL CHILDS, New Zealand
ED DAVIS, Australia
BERNARD GADD, New Zealand
WILLIAM J. HIGGINSON, USA
JIM KACIAN, USA
JOHN KNIGHT, Australia
CATHERINE MAIR, New Zealand
BARRY MORRALL, New Zealand
JOHN O'CONNOR, New Zealand
PATRICIA PRIME, New Zealand
SANDRA SIMPSON, New Zealand
JEANETTE STACE, New Zealand
CECILY STANTON, Australia
ALAN J. SUMMERS, England
MICHAEL DYLAN WELCH, USA

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