Cloudcatchers Winter Ginko # 62

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.

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Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 61

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.

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Cloudcatchers Summer Ginko #60

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.

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Cloudcatchers Spring Ginko #59

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.

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Cloudcatchers Ginko #58 (winter)

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.
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Cloudcatchers Autumn Ginko # 57

Thursday April 30, 2020

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.

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