A Report by Nathalie Buckland
River and sea meet at Brunswick Heads, on the far North coast of NSW. On a fine autumn Friday, just a hint of autumn in the air, ten haiku poets gathered close to a sandy beach for a ‘ginko’. This was the second time that we had been privileged to get together with the two JBs, Janice Bostock and John Bird.
The pattern of a ginko morning had been set by John, the initial organiser, at our first meeting last December. This time we spent just a few minutes in greeting the others. Quendryth Young reminded us of the focus of the ginko, and we walked away in silence.
For half an hour we wandered slowly, on the beach, by the river, through the park. We used all our senses, jotting down words and phrases. There were birds and clouds, yellow butterflies and the sound of the waves. There was also a wooden bridge and the rattle of passing cars, the voices of children, a plane overhead.
Still in silence, we sat at the picnic table and wrote, trying to put all our collected images into haiku.
After another half hour of deep concentration we shared morning tea, and then took it in turns around the table to read out our haiku. There was a rich assortment of people, young and not so young, experienced writers of haiku and those keen to learn. What was universal was the freshness of the writing, surrounded as we were by the environment which had inspired us all minutes before.
The reading was not intended to be a workshop situation, more a sharing. Of course we all learned a lot from each other, especially from John, Janice and Max Ryan.
This golden morning will stay with us all.