Most of us have accepted ‘beach’ as a summer kigo. However, participants in the winter ginko of the Cloudcatchers (Far North Coast of NSW) were obliged to re-think that concept, as it was held on Thursday 22 July at Shelly Beach, East Ballina. In spite of the FNC reputation for warm sunny winters, the day was appropriately ‘wintery’, with an overcast sky, a chilly breeze off a grey ocean and even some spots of rain. This did not daunt the twelve poets, who produced as much insightful writing as ever. The tide was low, so the rock pools featured in a number of haiku, along with sleeping gulls, hardy swimmers and the perpetually fascinating ocean.
It was Max Ryan, who put into words the thoughts of many: ‘You can go to the beach and wander along it yourself, and write haiku. But you never get as much out of it as you do when you come to a ginko.’
The next step was lunching together at the Shaw’s Bay Hotel, and now the post-ginko round-robin (three each, by email) is in full swing. Our spring ginko will be held on 14 October, and any poet who wishes to join us is welcome. Contact:email@example.com
Cloudcatchers has become a thriving group of haiku enthusiasts on the Far North Coast of New South Wales. The aim of each participant is to explore haiku in an individual way. For some this is reading; for most it involves writing haiku. A number of us send our writings to haiku publications and to competitions.
The results of the New Zealand Poetry Society International Poetry Competition (Haiku section) 2010 have just been announced. I am delighted to tell you that first and third prizes were won by Quendryth Young, with John Bird and Helen Davison receiving Commended awards; Helen for two of her haiku. Quendryth also won the ‘Jeanette Stace Memorial Prize’ for Senior Haiku 2010.
I thank Quendy, who has for several years organized our meetings, checked out suitable venues, coordinated post-ginko round robins and kept us all informed of competitions we might enter. I am so happy to see her achievements.
The forecast of ‘Fine – high cloud” was quite correct for the fourteenth ginko of the Cloudcatchers on the Far North Coast of NSW on Thursday 25 June. The venue of Shaw’s Bay at Ballina presented a grey day, with a dirty sea full of yellow foam and post-storm debris which contrasted with all previous seaside ginko. But the trawlers were still going out, and along came a pod of dolphins to break our concentration, lighten our hearts and enter our writing. Many fine first drafts were produced, and the best of these are currently being discussed in an email Round Robin among the participants. We welcomed one new enthusiast, and invite any haiku poet who is in the area to join us for our Spring ginko in October. Contact Quendryth Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocky Creek Dam, 50 kilometres inland from Byron Bay. is the main water supply of Lismore and the surrounding areas, and is set in part of the original Big Scrub Rainforest in the Nightcap National Park. It was here that the Cloudcatchers conducted their Autumn ginko on 30 April. This thirteenth gathering of local haiku poets comprised ten enthusiasts, who, following a cancellation of a very rainy day three weeks previously, were blessed with glorious sunshine. Abundant resonating haiku poured forth, and the round-table readings were appreciated with empathy, delight and humour. Over a picnic lunch, John Bird and Jacqui Murray casually stimulated our perception of haiku today with pertinent contributions. How fortunate we all are! Any haiku poet, living in the area or passing through, is welcome to join us at our Winter ginko in July. Contact:email@example.com
Cloudcatchers (the haiku group on the Far North Coast of NSW) is three years old. On 5 December 2005, thirteen poets assembled at Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads, where the river meets the sea. Last Friday, 12 December 2008, fifteen enthusiasts gathered at the same place for the summer ginko. Nathalie Buckland presented our usual introduction, “I wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, and ask you to think of all of our ancestors, remembering other feet that have trodden this ground before us.”
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