Cloudcatchers Ginko #58 (winter)

Bangalow Weir, Far North Coast NSW
Thursday 30 July 2020

There was some hesitation regarding whether we could assemble during these times of social restrictions, but we found a way. Our winter ginko was held at an inland waterway (to avoid the chilly winter winds by the beach) and we were blessed with gentle sunshine.

There were seven of us who practiced social distancing. Each brought a folding chair, and we sat in the sun around a picnic table. No hugs, no touching, no books exchanged, no nibbles passed around, plenty of hand-sanitizer, and each brought her own food and drink so we could lunch together. (Strict social distancing was only relaxed for the taking of the photo.) Apart from sliding onto her back-side in wet mud by one of our members and another who went to her aid (there was no harm done) it was a perfect day.
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Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 57

Thursday April 30, 2020

In view of the social distancing imposed upon us, it had to be different this time. Fourteen Cloudcatchers participated in a virtual ginko, each in our own home and/or immediate environment. The period indicated was between 10 am and noon, with 10 am being the time at which each poet thought of all the other poets taking part, doing the same thing at the same time.

The nature of this ginko meant that we could invite past members, now living at a distance, to take part. We were delighted that our beloved patron, John Bird, joined us in thought, and that three past members participated from Burleigh Heads in Queensland, the Mornington Peninsular in Victoria, and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

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Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko #56

There were ten of us visited Torakina Park, at the mouth of the Brunswick River, to participate in the Cloudcatcher’s fifty-sixth ginko. It was very warm, but the sea breeze contributed to our comfort.

The site had been chosen in the hope that our beloved founder and patron, John Bird, who lives in this area, might have recovered sufficiently from his heart surgery last June to be able to join us. And he did! It was the first time for eighteen months, and our delight at having him with us once more was immense. Yes, he does carry some physical evidence of his long illness, but maintains that lovely smile, that wondrous voice, and a hug for each one as warm as ever! He involved himself in the readings, and from his lips we received some guiding words and concepts once again.

A request had been made that participants bring up to five haiku written since our last meeting, on the themes of bushfires, heat and the festive season. These were read in turn around the table, and readers and listeners noted any that warranted workshopping after the readings. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko #56”

Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 55

Alstonville
Thursday 14th November 2019

As with so many fellow poets around Australia, Cloudcatchers, on the Far North Coast of NSW, have been experiencing the trauma and uncertainty of the drastic bushfire situation. Although we are thankful that none has been personally damaged, some have relatives fighting fires, or are housing valuables of friends in danger. Smoke haze has been intense, and the sun, in a uniformly grey sky, was witnessed as a vague fiery red ball (even safe for the eye to focus), as it slipped down at dusk.
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Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 53

On the shores of Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head, Northern NSW
Thursday, 2 May 2019

Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head is a freshwater lake just across the road from the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by tea trees that stain its depths with tannin. The Jali people of the Bundjalung Nation, the original owners if this land, recognised the healing benefits of the lake’s natural oils. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 53”

Cloudcatcher Summer Ginko # 52

Pop Denison Park, Ballina
Thursday, 31 January 2019

When reading any haiku journal, either on-line or hard cover, you will probably find that over 50% use sight as the featured sense. And yet we have five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. This phenomenon was explored at the summer ginko of the Cloudcatcher group on the Far North Coast of NSW, at Pop Denison Park on the banks of Shaw’s Bay at the estuary of the Richmond River, in Ballina. Continue reading “Cloudcatcher Summer Ginko # 52”

Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 51

Bangalow Weir
Thursday, 27 September 2018

Why is it that a gathering of haiku poets evokes such a deep sense of fellowship? Nine of us gathered at a favourite site – Bangalow weir – once an inland creek dammed to form the local swimming pool, and now a freed waterway in a parkland setting. Another Cloudcatcher joined us later, after attending a funeral, so there were ten for lunch at the adjacent Heritage House: a historical museum and café run by local volunteers.

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Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.50 (winter)

Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads
Thursday, 5 July 2018

This was the fiftieth seasonal ginko of Cloudcatchers, and thus a celebration. We chose to meet at Torakina Park by the mouth of the Brunswick River where our first gathering had taken place on 5 December 2005 . Unfortunately some of our members were ill or had work commitments, and one was actually in Florence competing in Dragonboat Racing! However eight enthusiasts comprised a lively group around a large picnic table, and in spite of a bit of drizzle we managed to have a jolly and productive morning. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.50 (winter)”