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.
Bangalow Weir, Far North Coast NSW
Thursday 30 July 2020
There was some hesitation regarding whether we could assemble during these times of social restrictions, but we found a way. Our winter ginko was held at an inland waterway (to avoid the chilly winter winds by the beach) and we were blessed with gentle sunshine.
There were seven of us who practiced social distancing. Each brought a folding chair, and we sat in the sun around a picnic table. No hugs, no touching, no books exchanged, no nibbles passed around, plenty of hand-sanitizer, and each brought her own food and drink so we could lunch together. (Strict social distancing was only relaxed for the taking of the photo.) Apart from sliding onto her back-side in wet mud by one of our members and another who went to her aid (there was no harm done) it was a perfect day. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Ginko #58 (winter)”
In view of the social distancing imposed upon us, it had to be different this time. Fourteen Cloudcatchers participated in a virtual ginko, each in our own home and/or immediate environment. The period indicated was between 10 am and noon, with 10 am being the time at which each poet thought of all the other poets taking part, doing the same thing at the same time.
The nature of this ginko meant that we could invite past members, now living at a distance, to take part. We were delighted that our beloved patron, John Bird, joined us in thought, and that three past members participated from Burleigh Heads in Queensland, the Mornington Peninsular in Victoria, and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
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. Continue reading “Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko #56”
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”