July 31, 2010: Cloudcatchers Winter Ginko 18

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:quendrythyoung@bigpond.com

Quendryth Young
Cloudcatchers Coordinator

NZPS International Poetry Competition Results

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.

Nathalie Buckland

Cloudcatcher’ Ginko no. 17

Cloudcatchers’ Ginko No.17 Autumn

22 April 2010
Victoria Park, Alstonville

A ginko in a rainforest is always a little bit different, with added emphasis on the aural stimuli. So many bird calls we can’t identify and fascinating tiny creatures that even some of the more experienced naturalists have never seen before. Shy pademelons cross our path from time to time. Add to that the clean fresh intake of breath, and the stillness of mind amidst all the forest noises. We ponder on the knowledge that this is truly pristine habitat.

The venue is a well-preserved remnant of rainforest in the Victoria Park Nature Reserve, a few kilometres out of Alstonville in Northern New South Wales. Occasional showers came and went, but did not interfere with our enthusiasm. Discussion persisted as we lunched together afterwards at the House With No Steps, and continues still as haiku re-worked from the day are workshopped in a Round Robin.

If you are in the area, we would be glad to welcome you to participate in our winter ginko. Contact Quendryth Young:quendrythyoung@bigpond.com

Quendryth Young
Cloudcatchers Coordinator

Cloudcatchers’ Summer Ginko No.16

Cloudcatchers’ Summer Ginko No.16

held at Torakina Park, Brunswick Heads
on Thursday 4 February 2010

How fortunate we were to number among our participants at the summer ginko two of Australia’s leading haiku poets. Janice Bostok and John Bird took their places along with eleven others at the venue where it all started, as we headed into our fifth year. We have a special affection for this glorious spot at the mouth of the Brunswick River, and, in spite of having visited the site together eight times previously, the haiku were fresh and innovative. On one occasion John picked up on a haiku written by Leonie Bingham, saw its potential to be converted to a tanka, and threw it to Janice, who did this immediately and with aplomb. We lunched together afterwards at our favourite beachside cafe, and the good times went on and on. And they continue still, as we exchange our re-worked haiku in the current Round Robin. The autumn ginko is to be held in a rainforest in April. All haiku poets are welcome. Contact Quendryth Young at quendrythyoung@bigpond.com

Quendryth Young

Cloudcatchers Ginko #15 Thursday 22 October 2009


(Haiku group – Far North Coast of NSW)

Thursday 22 October presented very summery weather for our Spring Ginko. And the greetings were also warm, as fourteen of us assembled at Bangalow Weir, where the Wilson River was dammed many years ago to become the neighbourhood swimming hole. Birds, butterflies and water dragons still abound, with a background of roosters and cows adding to the aural content of our haiku. The ginko is a sharing, with no workshopping and no tuition. However we were blessed by the presence of Janice Bostok and John Bird, who by their participation and comments (at times illuminating, at times hilarious) contributed to the significant ambience of the day. Lunch together at the Bangalow Hotel rounded it all off sumptuously. The ‘after-ginko’ Round Robin is currently being undertaken, with enthusiastic involvement.
Quendryth Young

Cloudcatchers’ Winter Ginko No.14 June 2009

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 quendrythyoung@bigpond.com.

Quendryth Young
Cloudcatchers Coordinator

Cloudcatchers Ginko No.13

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:quendrythyoung@bigpond.com

by Quendryth Young

Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko No.12

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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