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.

Nathalie Buckland focused our thoughts before we set off on the half hour ‘silence’, with these words: I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we stand today, and pay respect to all Elders past, present and emerging. This has always been a special place, where the river meets the sea. It is fitting that we gather here today, where our group had its first meeting. Also that the haiku we write are mainly focused on Nature. Walk with heightened awareness today.”

This was our fifteenth ginko at Torakina Park. However there were plenty of new images to be captured. School was back, and the antics of toddlers abounded. We had not previously seen a brush turkey climb a tree, or watched a turkey chick learning to roll in the sand, or spied a very large lady in a minuscule bikini or had a chorus of kookaburras singing so loudly that we had to stop talking as nobody could hear.

Poets had been asked to close their eyes at least once during the silence, and a number of worthy aural and olfactory images were recorded, with even a ‘tactile’ depiction of the sea on ageing legs.

We lunched together at the local hotel known as ‘The Bruns’, and are now conducting an email round-robin in which everyone is participating, even our newest (and very enthusiastic) writer, the seventy-ninth to experience the joy of a Cloudcatcher ginko.

Thursday 30 January 2020                                                        report by Quendryth Young

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Nathalie Buckland, John Bird, Quendryth Young.

 

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Around the table from the left: John Bird, Quendryth Young, Vivien Royston, Gwyneth Trysant, Helen Davison, Heather Matthew, Norma Watts, Laurel Astle, Angela Smith, Nathalie Buckland.

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.
Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 55”

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.

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”

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.

Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko # 51”

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)”

Cloudcatchers: Ginko No.49 (autumn) Meldrum Park, Ballina

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”

Cloudcatcher: Ginko No.48 (summer) Lennox Head

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”