Jacaranda

Jacaranda

it seems everything this year

challenges the Jacaranda

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IMG_9416In spring its hidden buds 

endure a drought

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then whipping winds and rain

inflict a thrashing 

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today in the foyer of summer

in regal glory it stands

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its clusters of purple

touch the deep blue sky 

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passers-by halt as if they hear it speak                   IMG_9455

a language they seek to decipher 

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and there is a communal nod

for the earth’s generosity

Colleen Keating

 

jacarandas out our window

Visit to Cairns and writing poetry with the Grandchildren

Having a  few days in Cairns with the Keating, 

being there for Josh’s birthday, and having time 

with the family especially Lachie and Cammie was fun  

and one of the highlights of last month.

My Christmas poem for 2018 was seeded there  (on next post)

and I had great fun writing poetry with the boys.

One of our highlights was our walk through the Cairns Botanical Gardens 

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Cairns

by Lachlan and Grandma

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Cairns

By Lachlan Keating

 

The thing I like about the tropics

is the vegetation

The coloured leaves amaze me                                                            IMG_8936

pink, red,  purple and white 

mottled, patterned dotted and striped 

so you think leaves are only green

with chlorophyll to catch the sun

well come here with us all of you 

to the tropics and have some funIMG_8985

and you will be amazed too.IMG_8799

 

 

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Two to three

by Lachlan Keating

From our balcony

in the palm tree

last night we saw a nest

With two eggs

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This morning 

the mother was on the nest

but when she flew off

to sit on a nearby branch 

there were three eggs!

 

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( The story didn’t end there.  Lo and behold the next morning there were four eggs.

When we did our research we discovered she is a Friar Bird. Friar birds lays one egg a day, laying  from two to five eggs. Yet five eggs is very rare.  Did we have a rare bird?  We waited till this morning and when she left her nest to sit on a nearby branch and sing her morning song there were still four. So she is special but not rare . Now she will sit for many hours a day to incubate the eggs and they will hatch in about 28 days.  I wish we could stay in our Air B&B till then but we have to leave this beautiful sight at the end of the week. Maybe the next guests will enjoy the developments )  

 

 

The Blue Balloon

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The Blue Balloon                                    

by Lachlan Keating

In the poo IMG_8720

we had a blue balloon

we blew it up

got the end 

and pulled it down

half way under the water

and we let it go

wham!

it flew up into the sky

we got a shock it went so high!

 

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Tricking Grandma

by Cameron Keating

When Grandma was resting 

on the towel

I snuck over to the pool

and filled my balloon up

with water and air

then I crept back

over to Grandma 

and squeezed 

the balloon really hard 

and sprayed water 

all over Grandma.

 

 

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Waterfalls

by Grandma,  Lachie and Cammie

We swim in the cold wet gorges

and it is fun,

diving and jumping off rocks, 

playing in the sun.

Splashing under waterfalls 

resting on warm ledges

we listen out for bird calls.

The sign says no crocodiles

for miles and miles and miles,

but we still look out 

and keep our eye about.

When you swim in gorges 

in the month of May

the splashing water falling

is lots and lots of fun

jumping in in such a ball

but later, some say

when the dry comes in 

and there is a very hot sun

it would be a miracle

to see a cascading waterfall 

 

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Territory Day

by Lachlan and Cameron  Keating

edited and typed by Grandma

Alice was on fire

on Territory Day.

Boom buzz bang

wham whiz whirl

kabam pop bomb

surprises

twist and twirl

the sky lit up 

red like fire

purple like blueberries

green like grass 

and blue too

it was such fun

all colours of the rainbow

orange and yellow too

like stars and balls of sun.

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Both boys having been learning about Haiku 

( A small poem originating in Japan.)  It consists of three lines

Line 1 has a beat of 5

Line 2 has a beat  of 7 and 

Line 3 has a beat of 5  

This is good for the boys as they learn to count the number of beats 

and to think of a story and have the discipline of the  form. However Modern Haiku like to write less then 5 –  7 – 5. 

The first two Haiku were written by the boys for their home schooling.

 

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Birds

flocks of colour glide

wings flapping swooping diving

flying feathered friends

Lachlan Keating

 

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Water

deep pools of water

floating  flowing  tingling skin

cold splash kicking fun

Cameron Keating

More haiku by Cammie and Grandma having fun 

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blue Cassowary

in the Daintree National Park

walking on our track

 

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Cassowary bird

you surprised us in the bush

with your tiny chick

 

images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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munching little fish

an humongous crocodile

while we were watching 

 

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vicious crocodile

with sharp teeth and scaly skin

we won’t swim with you 

 

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scary crocodile 

we know you are hiding

in that swimming hole

A Book Review of One Woman’s Journey by Ramah Juta

 

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It is a tradition for members of the Society of Women Writers NSW to send their published books to the Editor of Women’s Ink (Judith O’Connor),for review. I was honoured to have my poetry collection Fire on Water reviewed by Judith in the Winter Edition. Now I have been invited to review Ramah Juta’s book One Woman’s Journey Published in the Summer Edition Women’s Ink November 2018

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A REVIEW BY COLLEEN KEATING

Women’s history has been almost invisible. Up till this century, the stories of women were seldom included. Virginia Woolf opened doors for women by telling her stories – she helped women to get in touch with the impact of being marginalised, exploited, and invisible. She said “As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world”

So it was with delight I received Ramah Juta’s book ‘One Woman’s Journey’ for review.

The King Protea filling the cover with its soft pink-grey petals caught my attention. This incredible flower from South Africa is an apt symbol , its name coming from one of the gods of the sea. Ramah’s story captures the reader. Through her personal story of grit and resilience, she weaves the history of a disturbing and inspiring time – the final upheaval of India, and Gandhi, the British indentured Indians to Africa, ‘Passenger-Indians’ to South Africa, Indian brides, apartheid and the hope of Mandela on the horizon, finally migration to Australia.

J. K. Rowling says : “ There is always room for story that can transport people to another place” And Ramah transports the reader of her journey with rich detail.
As a young Indian bride in South Africa she writes of her mid-wife,
‘A deep vertical furrow ran down the centre of her forehead. Wrinkles fanned out from the corners of her eyes and curved on to her cheeks. A good set of teeth was stained from chewing betel leaf. Prominent veins snaked their way down her forearms to her hands. She smiled, held my hand in her rough work-worn palms.’

We are present in India, in her formative years and also in South Africa with her sensual descriptions of colours, sounds, smells and tastes.
“ . . the green of the mango contrasting against the reddish, yellow oil. The smell of the spices lingered in the air for nearly a week.”

“I took a big sharp knife and cut the formidable fruit. i peeled its free knobbly skin , cut it into cubes with gravy, frying the onions in oil, adding tomatoes, spices, ginger and garlic. Then i added the jackfruit and let it simmer. Kripa guzzled it down.”

“Chaya flitted around in the kitchen plying him (Taroon) with fluffy dokra which he gorged with dollops of tongue tingling tamarind chutney”

I always find cultural and religious words add colour to a story and ‘One Woman’s Journey’ is no exception. The glossary at the back is valuable.

Raman quotes Khalil Gibran,
‘The entire earth is my homeland and the human family is my clan’ 

And this is as it is. With the slow transformation of the closed world of the family as the younger generations embrace a wider world – yet a rich chameleon of culture and religious ways are still embedded deeply in the psyche. An important reminder that new arrivals must never be discouraged from being their unique selves as they embrace the land of the bight red King Protea, the Waratah .

Colleen Keating is a published and award-winning poet.

 

United: A poem by Thomas Keating-Jones

 

I like this apple photo that mum took. 

It was fun as I wrote some lines to inspire me 

waiting for apples to fall on my head like Isaac Newton. 

 

 

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United

Atmosphere of earth 

pulling us all together,

all the countries together,

uniting us as one big planet,

making us stronger 

in wealth and hope.

 

 

Uniting us all as one

wealthy in hope 

wealthy in wonder 

wealthy in friendship 

never to be broken. 

 

 

All is one, 

all are special.

Everything we believe 

is alive in our hearts. 

 

 

So fill your hearts with wonder, 

fill your hearts with joy.

 

 

Always believe when others may not.

All your thoughts and wonders 

go to God . . .  he collects them

and marvels at them.

They have power 

They master your destiny

It is all about the right path 

Thomas Keating-Jones

Workshop: Finding the Poetic to make our Writing Shimmer

 

FROM WOMENS INK

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OCTOBER WORKSHOP   

Finding the Poetic to make your writing shimmer

COLLEEN KEATING

Lots of inspired sharing and laughter filled the room as a passionate group of writers 

explored ways of using the poetic to make their writing shimmer.

One of our learnings was that when our writing is lucid and perceptive it shines with meaning, something all of us wish for our work. 

Together we reflected on the power of awareness, bringing us always back to the present moment. We discussed how our mind is being colonised all the time and came up with constructive ways of decolonising our mind to become listeners to the breath of the universe.

We looked at the maxim:  Lessons from a Tree  

1. Stand tall and strong  2. Go out on a limb. 3.  Remember your roots

4.  Drink plenty of water  5. Be content with your natural beauty 6. Enjoy the view.

Together we collaborated to listen and hear the advice from the tree for our writing.

Our exercise on Active Seeing brought our room in the State Library alive with new insights to energise writing.

We listened to the words of poets for their poetic sense that shines the light. Mary Oliver ’s poetry, the exquisite metaphorical writing of Edna St. Vincent Millay and Emily Dickinson , the sustained metaphor in ‘Surender’ by the Blue Mountains poet Vanessa Kirkpatrick, the felt sound in Robert Frost and Adrienne Rich with her powerful poem ‘Diving into the Wreck,’

in which we mused over her words, “I want  the wreck itself not the story of the wreck,  the thing itself and not the myth.’

We  talked about a writer always cultivating a sense of wonder, as Alice says in Alice in Wonderland “curiouser and curiouser!”  We discussed the magic of language and closed with a writing exercise To create fresh metaphors. Our sharing had us marvelling at how metaphors strike unexpectedly and how they work to help our writing shimmer .