A battle in WW1 19th July 1916.
In 2009 – mass graves began to be exhumed, remains being identified and laid to rest with honour: it brings to the fore once again a story of the worst 24 hours in Australian history, july 19th 1916.
5,533 Australian casualties in one night and with no ground taken.
in no mans land !
from mass graves
mud barbed wire
piteous writhing mates
blinkers of youth
lure of adventure
an emotional cry
will you not fight for land your fathers died for !
and wars roll on
deafened with enterprise
now i ask how can cycles have an end
Colleen Keating from A Call to Listen
Twice a year for just over a decade I had the privilege and exciting opportunity of working for a week at a time in Japan. I was invited by the School of Aromatherapy in Tokyo to give the Reflexology section of the Aromotherapy Diploma.
On one of my trips after the 30 hour course given over 5 days, I caught the Shinkansen, the High Speed Bullet train, to Hiroshima. I enjoyed three wonderful days and relived the sad story I read many times called Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr.
It was the time of the 65th anniversary. I headed to the Peace Park where I went each day and was there early morning on the 6th August 2010.
The photo shows Hiroshima Peace Park completed in 1954. The park contains 66 statues, monuments and buildings that stand as a symbol of the nuclear abolition and the vow of humanity to pursue peace.
hiroshima sixty-five years on
sings a song of hope
cicadas have the upper note
the coo of doves
like tenors ground the sound
cooling water trickles
and children play
incense wafts from beds of sand
people bow as they pass
coloured cranes like prayer flags
hang on trees
today is warm balmy
i sit by the river near the epicentre
it is 8.15 am
ring out across the peace park
and around the city
Colleen Keating A Call to Listen 2014 Ginninderra Press.
Ringtail possums are part of our night life. They depend on the trees to get to their food source. After some beautiful old Bluegums were destroyed, cut down by a horrible noisy roar of chainsaws, and an even noisier greedy mulcher, that made the gracious bluegums into woodchip, the possum in my poem had to use the electric lines to travel and the risk is so much higher. You can see I am very angry about the cutting down of the suburban trees and i love our Australian Ringtails and am afraid we are loosing our animals from the cities. On my walk one morning I found the Ringtail Possum lying electrocuted at the foot of the telegraphic pole lying “like a sacrificial lamb to progress.”
the chainsaws stop
possums scurry across the fence
over the ivy into the last blue gum
in the dark glow
white furry tails
curl flashes of light
onto swaying melaleuca to feed
before they are off
for their night journey
on my morning walk
at the foot of a telegraph pole
a young ringtail possum lies
in sacrificial pose
in stiff smelling air
standing alone on the street
i look at the bare spaces in the sky
against the taking of our treescape
Colleen Keating A Call to Listen 2014 Ginninderra Press
In 1998 when I began the double Diploma course on Healing at Nature Care the Health College at St Leonards in Sydney, Reflexology was one of the courses.It is a system of massage and reflex used to relieve tension and treat illness, based on the theory that there are reflex points on the feet, hands and head (ear) which links to every part of the body
It is based on the theory that energy is moving through our body and it can become blocked and this is where health problems can begin. By working the spot that is pinpointed can assistin moving the energy or chi again. We all know what happens to a pond that becomes stagnant . . .imagine digging a channel to allow a flow again. Well Reflexology works mainly on the feet to do this.
One of the experiences was to visit a Nursing Home near by where Reflexology was very popular.
at the nursing home
i fill the foot bath
my elbow checks the tepid water
she sits like a goddess at an altar
regal and stoic
her face shows many lifetimes
lipstick defines the line she desires
white wavy hair swept with combs
into a tight bun
gives the air of holding it all together
gently i hold and massage her feet
in the lavender scented water
feel a trembling and look up
tears rundown her cheeks
she weeps the words
I haven’t felt touch like this
for as long as I can remember