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.
Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 55”
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.
The Sports and Recreation Centre, at the opposite end from the picnic area, sourced the lake with a scattering of colourful sails. The laughter of school children came from boats, paddle boards, canoes and swimmers. Voices approached us through the even greater clamour of abundant lorikeets overhead. Seagulls came from the ocean to cavort in dark waters. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 53”
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”
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.
Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 51”
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)”
10 May, 2018
It is not easy to organise a ‘tidal flat’ ginko, as we have to find a low tide at mid-morning, on a Thursday (our chosen day) in the middle month of the season, not in school holidays. We have been waiting eighteen months for these conditions to coincide, but after two wet ginko, this date, for a number of months, had also been predicted as ‘raining’.
Continue reading “Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.49 (autumn) Meldrum Park, Ballina”
Thursday, 1 February 2018
The Cloudcatcher summer ginko is generally held the first week after school goes back. This year it also happened to be the first day of the ‘cool change’ and it rained. A hurried ring-around altered the meeting place from Lake Ainsworth to a picnic shelter in the town, with a short walk to the beach. The surf had been predicted as ‘hazardous’, and indeed looked really wild, with an offshore wind holding up the curves of the numerous white-topped milky-grey waves. However, through the drizzle we discerned half a dozen boardriders taking up the challenge, and rewarded with some glorious rides. A row of seagulls lined the fence, facing into the strong breeze to hold their feathers back, swallows flew up and down the steps to the beach, and a pelican chose the highest pole to keep an eye on it all.
Seven of us around the table read from the recent issue of Windfall, specifically the five haiku by Cloudcatchers included in it. We tried the new method of reading haiku as reported in HaikuOz by Jan Dodd (suggested by her American visitor Sheila Sondik): L1, then L1 & L2, then L1 & L2 & L3. However there was a consensus of opinion that this interfered with the placement of the keriji, and the two-part nature of a traditional haiku presentation, so we decided not to implement this procedure in the future. Continue reading “Cloudcatcher: Ginko No.48 (summer) Lennox Head”
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)”