Cloudcatchers’ Ginko No.65, 2022

Alstonville (northern NSW) on Thursday 2 June 2022

Because of constant rain, with no hope of a fine day on the horizon of the weather forecast, the autumn ginko was pushed into the first week of winter. As all of our favourite local sites for a gathering were water-logged, knee-high in grass and debris, or otherwise not suitable (pot holes, or water over the access road) we met at the home of Quendy Young in Cedar Court, Alstonville.

Our first discussion involved disclosure by some members of haiku recently accepted for publication, and several of these were shared.

The topic of the day was ‘juxtaposition’, and we were able to focus on some of the haiku written by John Bird which displayed various aspect of this valuable, and at times elusive, concept. Then there was a sharing of haiku displaying this important aspect of the genre, contributed by members from their own work, and some from other writers thought to be particularly worthy.

Our ‘quiet time’ was preceded by a minute’s silence as we remembered our Patron, John Bird. Nathalie Buckland then acknowledged those of the Bundjalung Nation who have trodden this ground many years ago, before we all set out in silence to gather images, and write.

It was still rather chilly outside, so we shared our first drafts around the lunch table, with the heater on. But there was no chill in the intense camaraderie that such a gathering always engenders.

A Round Robin is currently under way.

Some of us will be attending a Celebration of Life in honour of John Bird to be held in his beloved Brunswick Valley in a week’s time.

L to. R: Robbie Braithwaite, Quendy Young, Nathalie Buckland, Laurel Astle, Helen Davison

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