Report by Quendryth Young
At last the drought has broken and we are overjoyed, but quietly disappointed that it rained on our ginko. Ten of us gathered at the site of the old Bangalow Weir, which was constructed across Byron Creek in 1924 to create a swimming pool for local residents. Carnivals were held over many years, and even attracted Olympic champions (such as Andrew [Boy] Charlton and Arne Borg, the Swedish swimmer).
Cloudcatchers first held a ginko here in summer 2007, again in spring 2008, spring in 2009, autumn in 2011 and winter in 2016. We watched the weir deteriorate, but restoration work in 2016 and local involvement in replanting has saved this iconic feature. A fishway was constructed to facilitate the movement of Australian bass swimming upstream, and includes habitat for platypus. A sign by the creek reads:
‘Jahna ngali garimaleh jogun’ or ‘Let’s stand together look after country’. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.47 (Spring)”
Thursday 13 July 2017
The Cloudcatchers’ winter ginko was held on Thursday 13 July 2017 in the rainforest remnant at Victoria Park, just outside Alstonville, on the Far North Coast of NSW. It turned out to be a day of sunshine, though a bit chilly, and there were nine of us to delight in it. Our topic of the day was: ‘Let’s consider assonance’ – which we did with various examples and some discussion. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 46 (Winter)”
During the April ginko held by the Cloudcatcher group, it was suggested by our patron, John Bird, that we each submit haiku images regarding the local flood situation experienced in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, as our response to the disaster. Some of these have been crafted into a sequence, edited by Nathalie Buckland.
You can read the sequence by clicking on the link below.
Brunswick River NSW Thursday 6 April 2017
Amid the anguish of the flooding caused by Cyclone Debbie, the Cloudcatchers group on the Far North Coast of New South Wales held its autumn ginko on Thursday 6 April. Some of the members had suffered damage to home and property, some were cut off for days by flood waters, experienced power blackouts, and some were still involved with the arduous and heartbreaking job of cleaning up.
The visit to this venue had been planned for over eighteen months. We were anxious to repeat an experience shared in 2011 of exploring the mangrove tidal flats of the Brunswick River, 40 km north of Ballina. For this we needed a low tide at the right time of day, on the right day of the week, in the right month of the season. Eventually the date was established, but after weeks of heavy winds, rain and flooding, the gathering was in doubt. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.45 (autumn)”
Skate Park, Ballina NSW Thursday 2 February 2016
After recent ginko at a coastal lake, an inland creek, and a pocket of rainforest, a return to the ocean seemed appropriate for the Cloudcatchers’ summer ginko. A summer gathering it was indeed, with a temperature of 37ºC in the shade.
The heat featured in many first drafts, but a gentle sea breeze did soften the intensity of our discomfort. The venue was the Skate Park in Ballina, where North Creek empties into the Richmond River, in sight of the river mouth. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 44 (summer)”
Thursday Plantation, Ballina NSW
Thursday 13 October 2016
In spite of the ginko being held in the middle month of spring, there was a cool wind at the tea tree plantation. Nine poets, two of them experiencing a ginko for the first time, gathered at this venue on the outskirts of Ballina. Here an ancient rainforest remnant has become a site for sculptural installations, creating an intriguing composite of natural and man-made objects: the strangler figs so old, so huge; the vines so long, so high; and the art works at times incongruous among them. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No.43 (spring)”
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. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 42 (winter)”
Presentation to John Bird
Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head NSW
Thursday 5 May 2016
This was no ordinary ginko. Earlier in the year the committee of the Australian Haiku Society, with Vanessa Proctor as president, resolved to honour John Bird with recognition of the invaluable role he has played, not only in the formation of the society, but for his initiative and application in developing and promoting Australian haiku. The AHS requested the presentation be made at the autumn ginko of the Cloudcatchers, on the Far North Coast of NSW.
This is where John lives, where he was first drawn to the genre and to an early association with Janice Bostok, (the acknowleged pioneering haiku poet in Australia), where they together edited the first and subsequent editions of the Australian Haiku Anthology. This is where, over ten years ago, John drew together haiku poets in the area to form the Cloudcatchers group, of which he remains the patron. All members owe a great deal to John for his input into their sensitivity, their craftsmanship and into their lives. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko No. 41 (autumn) 2016”