In memory of Uvalde’s children by Colleen Keating


As I think of those families mourning the children who died in the Uvalde Elementary School mass shooting in Texas I find myself reflecting on the shining eyes of my Grandchildren: whispering to me about the gift they have made for their Mum for Mothers Day, describing to me how they think they saw the Easter bunny,  the light in their eyes as they open the birthday gifts we bring.  I think of the love I have for them and how I would do anything to protect them from evil that lurches about and my heart weeps for the Grandparents and their lost grandchildren  in the Uvalde Massacre and who have to standby powerless watching their sons and daughters grapple with the loss of a child.  

Poetry can not stop the pain, but poetry can give words to addressing  the agony.  it can stand quietly by for those who are experiencing wrenching heartbreak at this time.

In memory of Uvalde’s children

 our once big world   now a global village
with space and time a lillyput in a satellite realm
is real its song of humanity
its agonising cry

today’s message carries
visions of a school shooting
school photos only left–
tiny faces peering out
their shining eyes
show all the little dreams
children dream
and strip to nakedness
a whole nation

staring once again at emptiness
we are the witness
with adults bent over in pain
– many in foetal position
holding their bodies
from its bloodbath

it is said giving attention
is the rarest and purest sense of generosity

focus on
a small town  a primary school
a classroom
focus on
the good
alive in the agony of dissent
weaving in

A new Hike in the Wyrrabalong National Park by Colleen Keating



It was going to be a short walk in the Wyrrabablong National Park this afternoon, the air so clear and fresh after the many squalls of rain we have experienced in the past week the leaves of the trees and palms and ferns sparkling in the mild autumn sunlight . The sight reminds me of TS Eliot description of thee leaves like children  clapping hands with joy.  The perfect day for a walk. The plan was to walk along the Red Gum Trail to the Swamp Track which I usually walk on a dry path frolicing along to the song of the frogs  on both side in amidst the ferns and palms and towering wonderful Red Gums. However the swamp track had become real  and explained why it is called the Swamp Trackand we learnt that about half way along as it became impassable. And we had to turn back!


acoss our track

water flows

into  our world

upside down

So we turned back and decided to do the full track Red Gum Trail joined into the Lilly Pilly Track and then wound back by the bushy Burrawang Track.  Michael did well even though we had not planned to walk that far. We had two pleasant sit downs  on lookout platforms over the Lake.



Sydney red gums have beautiful bark, which changes colour and texture as it is shed. They have twisted and winding branches, strange looking growths and protuberances and wonderful creamy yellow blossoms when in flower. The unusal shapes especially where the trunks and branches ‘flow’ over obstacles and around obstacles.  They have excellent old growth cavities and hollows for birds and squirrel gliders to shelter.

Besides the Red Gums the Burrawangs and Banksias were spectacular fresh and green after the rain.




After our hike we settled at Canton beach for a cup of tea from our thermos and we watched a spectacular sunset.













Witches, Women & Words by Beatriz Copello



I am proud to have a part in the affirmation of this wonderful newly realeased book by  Dr. Beatriz  Copello and published by Ginninderra Press. It was successfully launched last Friday evening and let’s hope the word spreads this is a collection of poetry not to be missed. 

“Beatriz Copello’s words take us on a profound journey through the perilous life we all find ourselves leading, where hope is hidden and ancestral anguish drives us to seek meaning and hope”

Anne Summers, journalist

These extraordinary poems in Witches Women and Words have our hearts beating with rage. This powerfully evocative collection speaks frankly of the twists and turns, pains, despair and hopes of the woman, the human, the poet, the abused earth, her trees and seas and biodiversity. 

In a world where “soldiers march blindfolded and mute” and of “wounds that never heal” It takes us on a journey: a witch’s broom, protection of a coven, and a cauldron of life’s struggles, to become free to allow the poem of woman to be created: “the poem born the poet a god”

She will have a voice, choose her destiny. You will be spellbound as you navigate these sensuous and imaginative poems where, “the persistent Southerly is a foreigner on this piece of soil” and “senses are like a tree in winter.”

This is not meant to be a peaceful read. This powerful collection of poetry by Beatriz Copello disturbs like her muse Neruda, with “words of fire, steel and hope. ” even as she writes “hope is hidden like a miser hides his riches.”

Colleen Keating, poet

Can we conjure a better world with the magic of words?  Can women, in particular, escape the cruel prison of history?  Beatriz Copello believes so.  Though she is “scared she learns to walk again” and “lets her blood run wild” in her new book, Witches Women and Words.  Even as the horrors of history reassert themselves, even when she is blindsided by the familiarity of death and haunted by lingering wounds in an atmosphere heavy with unspoken guilt, she “chooses life”.  With wit, passion and grace, and above all infinite empathy for the pains we all share, she chooses it for all of us.

Richard James Allen, poet.

the vissitudes of a blue butterfly by Colleen Keating


the vicissitudes of a blue butterfly  

she lavishly opens her wings
teal-blue fans quiver  
playing warm still airmotley light from the trees

she darts and dives
ah with what precision
dodges the many hazards
with angular flight

creole-eyed she alights to sip
from sweet honey-dewed
red-dressed grevilleas
moves with notes of music<
up and down around and in me

with lightness and freedom
I know dull blue of wings
silver-pinned under glass

and think of shy miss butterfly
sprawled in Eliot’s poem
pinned and wriggling on the wall

today her iridescent triangles of blue
flash with the sun like flying jewels
intoxicated with life

Colleen Keating

An exciting launch for Decima Wraxall by Colleen Keating.

An exciting launch, not of one book, not of two books, but a launch of three books by Decima Wraxall. And I was honoured to be oart of this afternoon.

Poetry books: Flame, and Glimmers of Light and  a memoir Stolen Fruit.

Thank you to Ginninderra Press for the beautiful books .

This can be called a back log due to a pandemic or it can be called passion, dedication and determination to writing. We called it the latter . Congratulations on a wonderful, warm and writer-enthused afternoon. As I said at the launch.

“This for sure is a monentous occasion. Finally, we are here to celebrate. We are gathered and rightly so Decima , for you have not allowed anything like pandemic or lockdowns  to stop your writing. You have transcendented inertia to be here today with three books to launch. We have looked forwardd for so long to this bubbly celebration.