Virtual Ginko (in our own homes/environs) Thursday 28 October 2021
Once again illness and the family situations of some members prevented the group from conducting the preferred outdoor seasonal gathering. And once again Robbie Braithwaite stepped forward to organise and conduct the proceedings of a virtual spring ginko, held on the Far North Coast of NSW, on Thursday 28 October 2021.
Eight of us, from seven different locations, thought of everybody else taking part at 9.30 am, and proceeded to maintain silence, to observe and write for at least an hour. A Round Robin followed, with writers submitting haiku for comment. Responses were redistributed by Robbie, with feedback being both positive and constructive.
The photograph below was taken by Robbie, who lives in the Tregeagle area of the Northern Rivers of NSW. Perhaps it is the same all over Australia, but this year, in this area, the display of jacarandas in bloom has been stunning.
This wondrous haiku struck me right away as a moment of deep seeing. The poet has taken us on a journey into the flower’s body and the feeling of exposing our petals, or skin, to the elements. After the chill of winter passes, we all can unfurl into the warmth of spring and the blossoming of life. So much is portrayed in a few carefully crafted words, which are the mark of a very fine haiku. I am very pleased to award this haiku by Nathan a very worthy first place in the Spring Seasonal kukai.
Virtual Ginko (in our own homes/environs) Thursday 12th August 2021
As we were in lockdown on the Northern Rivers of NSW, the majority of members, loathe to cancel the ginko altogether, chose to participate in another virtual gathering. As Quendryth had some personal family issues at this time, Robbie Braithwaite stepped forward to organise and conduct the proceedings.
Nine of us, from seven different locations, thought of everybody else taking part at 9.30 am, and proceeded to maintain silence, to observe and write for at least an hour. Once again we experienced the camaraderie of another virtual ginko.
Thursday 29 April 2021 Virtual ginko 10 am onwards
As a number of our members were experiencing tricky personal situations, our autumn ginko became a ‘virtual’ one. There were ten of us, each maintaining silence in her own home and/or environment on the Far North Coast of NSW, ranging from Murwillumbah in the north to Coffs Harbour in the south, with one member joining us from Avalon in Sydney. Commencing at 10 am, each poet thought of every other participant, and then proceeded to observe and write for at least an hour.
What an incredible bonding the stimulation of haiku images has delivered to us once again, as we savoured the camaraderie of another ginko.
Pop Denison Park, Ballina, NSW Thursday 28 January 2021
Cloudcatchers gathered for Ginko No. 60 at a lovely little seaside inlet, Shaw’s Bay, in Ballina, just north of the mouth of the Richmond River. Previously the group has celebrated each ‘noughty’ ginko at the site of our first gathering in 2005, at Brunswick Heads, but we have all aged since then. As most of our more senior and stalwart members are now reluctant to make the half hour drive in highway traffic, we ‘stayed home’, and the younger ones came to us.
Still in the search for ‘What makes a good haiku?’ we enjoyed reading snippets to each other from the recent ‘Windfall’, Issue No.9 2021 (edited by Beverley George, published by Peter Macrow of Blue Giraffe Press). We appraised a number of haiku by members, and also those of some highly respected haijin, savouring the process.
Victoria Park Reserve, Dalwood via Alstonville, NSW Thursday 22 October 2020
Victoria Park Reserve is at Dalwood, eight kilometers out of Alstonville on the Far North Coast of NSW. This was the group’s eighth visit to the rainforest remnant, a favourite venue.
There were seven of us. Although we kept our prescribed distance from each other, with no shared nibbles and no hugs, it was a relief to experience the familiar fellowship within the group as a ‘back to normal’ ginko.
The threatened rain held off, and a gentle drizzle on one occasion enhanced that fresh scent that arose from the forest floor.