WHC Thank You Tributes

July 2002

  WHCschools – Hibiscus Petals – Thank-you Tributes

WHC Thank You Haiku for Mrs. Ferris Gilli
Instructor of Hibiscus Petals School

Triumph of Poetic Sincerity, Joint Learning, Civility and Friendship

Dear Kuyu (haiku friend),

Ferris, THANK YOU!

Please don’t ask, “For what?”, as it would mean that I would be writing my reasons for the next 24 hours or longer in at least 5000 words.

Judging from the increasing number of postings on this topic, other members seem to me to be feeling the same. We should, then, express our heartfelt gratitude to you, as poets, in the way we know best. Let us create two sets of poems.

One, let us post our celebration poems in honour of Ferris to commemorate the spectacularly successful completion of the Hibiscus School which, I’m sure, will become legendary. This will mark the triumph of the poetic sincerity, of learning together in a civil and helpful manner, of spontaneous friendship which ensued, of the high standards and quality the School has achieve, of proving that teaching and learning can be achieved without acrimony, harsh words, raised voices or show of arrogance, and also without deteriorating into a mild, comfortable and polite society of no substance or literary merit, which some mistake a well-run and civilised gathering for.

Two, let us create such haiku as would reflect what we have learnt from Ferris’ teachings for the last year in the Hibiscus Kukai, which has already been proposed. The details of the Kukai will be ironed out as soon as possible and members’ suggestions and help are most welcome.

Ferris has kindly accepted her new appointment as Director of Schools of the World Haiku Club. Congratulations! Ferris never stops. She will move on with new projects to help others as well as writing her own poems. Members of WHCschools have been so fortunate to have Ferris. I think what she has taught for the last fourteen months or so there should be shared with ten times or a hundred times larger and wider number of poets across the world.

The greatest secret of Ferris’ success at the Hibiscus is that she remained a “learner”, a beautiful contradiction which every member of WHCschools had come to realise and understand. Those humble enough must have learnt so much from Ferris which is over and above the knowledge and skills of haiku.

Without being carried away, I would go so far as to say that Ferris has proved at Hibiscus that she and her work represent one of the finest examples of what has developed in the haiku literature outside Japan (or perhaps Japan included). This gives hope and inspiration to others. She also represents the best of the West, and the best of America. There are of course people like her but it is very encouraging for anyone to witness such excellence being displayed in a very specific way and in the way in which fellow poets can benefit from it.

Ferris, may you benefit others as you have benefited us, and again, THANK YOU.

seeding itself
across many oceans
hibiscus in bloom

With best wishes,

Susumu Takiguchi
WHC Chairman
Managing Editor, World Haiku Review


Namaste, Ferris

does the dreaming butterfly
know she is me
as I hold up one
and smile

with respect, laughter and thanks….

Aurora, Colorado, US

a hibiscus
in its isness

Mary Lee McClure
Kokomo, Indiana, US

happy day
hibiscus blossoms
in my hair

Kirsty Karkow
Waldoboro, Maine, US

fireworks display –
a peach hibiscus bush
in full bloom

John Wisdom
Sarasota, Florida, US

lush morning–
I wander from bloom to bloom
with the bee

Billie Wilson
Juneau, Alaska, US

spring river…
the flow of the current
so hypnotic

Marjorie Buettner
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

fondue pot . . .
haiku moments shared
with a friend

Prinville, Oregon, US

summer vacation —
hibiscus petals dusty
with pollen


Debra Woolard Bender (Debi)
Orlando, Florida, US

of many colors
now in full bloom

In thanks and appreciation,

Victor P. Gendrano (Vic)
Carson, California, US

spring rain
the different seeds
start to sprout

Victor P. Gendrano (Vic)
Carson, California, US

almost home —
our straw baskets brimming
with hibiscus

hortensia anderson
New York City, New York, US

the biggest hibiscus
blooms for this day…
closes this night

thank you for many lessons
chibi (Dennis Holmes)
Rome, Georgia USA

afternoon dusk
the low sound of the owl

namaste, Ferris…

Joyce Maxner
Pennsylvania, USA

sunrise . . .
in each hibiscus bloom
a droplet of water

We will miss you!

Maria Steyn
Johannesburg, South Africa

hibiscus gardens
blooms spreading wings
to my heart

Deborah Russell
kuku 04-2002
Baltimore, Maryland, US

elegant dance
a crimson hibiscus
behind her ear

semi (aka Terrie Relf)
San Diego, California, US

hibiscus bow
spilling yesterday’s rain –
spring breeze

Carol Raisfeld
Atlantic Beach, New York, US

a petal unfolds
in hibiscus tea –
rereading a lesson

Anna Tambour
Nowra, New South Wales, AU

ferris wheel
the hibiscus blooms
far below

Jeanne Marie Booth
Dillard, Georgia, US

the hedge
ornate now
hibiscus in bloom

Gillena Cox
St James, Trinidad

a summer kasen renku
hibiscus in bloom

ito (Juanito Escareal)
California, US

blooming –
from one bulb
many flowers

Thank you!

Louise Linville
Florida, USA


dawn lingers
among the cockscomb
we are not alone

paul m. (Miller)
San Francisco, California, US

hibiscus petals
reflected in the pond –
she turns the page

Darrell Byrd
El Centro, California, USA

hibiscus blossom
floats out on the tide

lynne (Steel)
Hillsboro Beach, Florida, US



puppy playing –
he stops to learn
hibiscus flower

Ron Moss
Tasmania, AU

two steps right
then stop and take a bow
for the wind
through the daisies
I thank you all

You, too, Ferris!

Cindy (Tebo)
Catawissa, Missouri, USA

dusty country road
a barefoot boy’s thoughts
aloft with the hawk

soji (Gary Barnes)
Fredericksburg, Virginia, US

summer storm
hibiscus petals fall
with the rain

kathi rudawsky
Florida, US


final words
with a climbing rose I planted
moving day

Carmen Sterba
Kanagawa-ken, Japan

hibiscus seeds
across the earth
the sower rests

Thank you.

Celia Crook
Oxford, England, UK

flaming hibiscus
trumpets its pistil beyond…
stone sentry lions

Art Griesel
Berkeley, California, US

Gloomy November,
a potted hibiscus opens
in all its redness

Florence Vilen
Stockholm, Sweden

a wall of hibiscus
i pick
fallen petals

Terry Ishii
Washington, US

north facing alcove~
hibiscus flowering
this winter day

Benita Kape
East Coast, New Zealand

bowed fence
the cow stretches her tongue
toward the hibiscus

(It had to be a cow poem – just for you, Ferris!)

Chris Baltzley
Safety Harbor, Florida, US

..summer solstice…we focus
on the neighbors’…pink hibiscus

Johnye Strickland
North Little Rock, Arkansas, US

hibiscus in bloom…
the very center catches
my eye

fondest aloha, Ferris!

Gail Goto
Honolulu, Hawai’i, US

scent of wildflowers
in this town which shares her name

Elbert Pruitt
Texas, US

This entry was posted in Haiku, Lessons, Vol 2-2 July 2002 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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