9.30 am at Bangalow Weir, NSW
Thursday 4 August 2016
Wild-wild winds and rain hurtled up the coastline of the Far North Coast all the night before, with outside furniture flung across courtyards, trees down, and litter all over the roads. The ginko was in doubt, but twelve Cloudcatchers gathered anyway. The venue was the Bangalow Weir on Byron Creek, an inland waterway coursing via the Wilson and Richmond Rivers to the sea. This was the winter weather of where we live, and we were in it.
After warm greetings, poets sat around a sheltered picnic table, reading in turn any haiku published since the previous gathering, or sharing a haiku of another poet that had particularly appealed. John Bird, our patron, congratulated two Cloudcatchers who had recently received awards in international competition. Before we set out in silence on our fifty-minute ginko, Nathalie Buckland reminded us to consider all those who had trodden this land before us.
The wind eased, but remained chilly, with patches of sun and rain alternating. In spite of the weather there was, as always, plenty to perceive and record: the rush of water over the weir while debris remained slowly swirling above; empty swings in the silent playground rocking in the breeze; a kelpie begging poets, deep in thought, to throw it a pine cone.
The weather worsened, and we hurried to the nearby ‘Heritage House’ where lunch had been booked. It was here, dry and cosy, that we shared readings of first drafts around one large table, set in heritage style with a cloth and good silver. Tea was served in a teapot with a ‘cosy’, and matching cup, saucer and plate.
The subsequent email Round Robin has been completed, and distributed to all Cloudcatchers.