Echidna Tracks: Issue 6 – Shelter

Echidna Tracks is an independent online collection of Australian haiku. The editors publish two issues per year with each issue addressing a nominated theme.

Echidna Tracks welcomes haiku on aspects of Australian landscape, flora and fauna while acknowledging our diversity of lifestyles, values, character, customs, cultures and historical experience. Anyone can submit to Echidna Tracks, but the editors look for writing which comes from an authentic experience of either living in, or visiting, Australia.

The most recent edition of Echidna Tracks addressed the theme of shelter. The notion of shelter can take many forms: protection from danger or weather, refuge, sanctuary, shield, cover, defence, concealment – including human and non-human shelter.

caramel morning
an eastern spinebill
in the callistemon

Gregory Piko

This haiku references the creamy, caramel coloured belly of an eastern spinebill honeyeater as it shelters and feeds on sweet nectar from the crimson, bottlebrush shaped flowers of a callistemon – always a delightful sight for those living in south-eastern Australia.

Meanwhile, the built environment provides shelter from the harsh forces of nature, while still offering opportunities to observe the world around us:

rain-lashed windows . . .
we brew the oolong leaves
a seventh time

Sandra Simpson

through the leaves
through the window
the moon

Gregory Piko

alpine farmstead
every window’s
thousand-yard stare

Marietta McGregor

And, finally, this exquisite haiku by Mira Walker associates the experience of physical shelter in the botanical world with emotional shelter in the human world:

young pine cone
the tiny hatches
I keep shut

Mira Walker

Echidna Tracks Issue 6 is available in full via this link, where you will find many of the haiku are accompanied by related photographs and other images. Issue 7 of Echidna Tracks will feature haiku on the theme of Light & Colour.