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Hansha Teki
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hanshatBorn in the last quarter of 1949, I was a teen through the worldwide ferment of the sixties. We were the children born of parents who had endured and often barely survived the austerities and privations of the great depression followed by the second world war and seemed to only seek now a sense of peace, security and assurance turning away from the madness of the larger world to something near, safe and stable.

We, the children born of the post war baby boom, were filled with a passion to expand our universe challenging everything that struck us as inauthentic. Reminders of the nazi 'final solution', Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Cuban missile crisis, the Viet Nam war, racial and sexual injustices were very present realities for us. We rebelled against the ideologies that created the climate for such horrors through music, social and political activism, anti-materialism and anything that would expand the universe we were moving into.

My friends were poets, painters, sculptors, musicians and composers. I came to know poet James K. Baxter at this time and he became for me something of a second father. With him I shared a passion for an authentic New Zealand spirituality, voluntary poverty, a tribal sense of the love of the many, and most of all the love of words to communicate at the deepest levels human beings are capable of.

Three months before Baxter died my first daughter was born. From the beginning she was as if a fairy child, a changeling, with an other-worldly beauty in the world but not of it. When she did not come to develop the power of speech for communication, the diagnosis of severe and profound autism was inevitable. It was about this time too that I lost interest in writing poetry and effectively embraced a voluntary writer's block for the next four decades.

A mere three years ago another girl, a budding haiku poet daughter of a friend, encouraged me to break my 'vow' of literary silence and start writing haiku. 

While I have not achieved anything of literary significance, this girl reawakened in me a passion for reading and writing in this wonderful form. Haiku, alone of all poetic forms, have the power to bridge the space between language and silence. It is my privilege to bring my I.T. skills to foster and support the stage for great haiku writers to come.