The Dark Emu Story: Another chapter in my story with Bruce Pascoe & Dark Emu



Allan Clarke’s The Dark Emu Story, produced by Blackfella Films
(First Australians, Redfern Now), delves deep into the controversy,
enlightens our understanding of Australian history and provides a platform
for First Nations peoples to share their story.


 The DARK EMU Story is a phenomenon.
The book,  Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe has sold more than a quarter of a million copies,
received multiple awards and is one of the best-selling books of its kind.

A thought provoking, revelatory and inspiring documentary

challenges Australia to rethink its history and ignites a raging debate.
The 2014 best-selling book makes explosive claims that First Nations people
were not only hunters and gatherers but also farmers who were part of a complex
economic system.

Inspired by the journals of British explorers, Pascoe prosecutes
the contentious argument that First Nations people settled in villages,

devised extraordinary methods of aquaculture and astronomy

and were the world’s first bakers. The author’s compelling narrative

smashes the orthodoxy and turns the view of ‘traditional’ Aboriginal life

on its head.
But Dark Emu ignited a fierce debate, sparking searing criticism.

Academics and conservative commentators lined up to scorn Pascoe’s work

and question the knowledge of the First Australians. Amidst the storm,

a public war of words then swirled over the Aboriginality

and identity of Pascoe himself. One review wrote:

As questions arose over the merits of the contents of the book,
old questions re-surfaced about the authenticity of the author Bruce Pascoe.
In this feature documentary, we will delve into this search for identity,
and in so doing spark yet more conversations about where we might be heading
as a nation. The documentary will also be a platform for First Nations people
to tell their own stories about their deep past. How new discoveries
are shedding light on who their ancestors were and how they survived
and prospered for at least 65,000 years on the most arid continent
on earth.


Besides being at the movie and participating in the Annual Film Festival,

I  enjoyed being in the Stste Theatre taken in by the wonderful restoration.

I think it holds about 2.000 people and it was great to see the many hundreds of people,

many young, enjoying the last weekend of the Sydney Film Festival.

Allan Clarke’s The Dark Emu Story, produced by Blackfella Films
(First Australians, Redfern Now), delves deep into the controversy,
enlightens our understanding of Australian history and provides a platform
for First Nations peoples to share their story.

Thanks to my friend Pip Griffin for encouraging me to get into the city and met her for the movie.

A very proactive  afternoon with Pip on poetry beforehand.



Some of the wonderful designs in the State Theatre. It was an experience to just enter the theatre.


And a standing ovation for Bruce Pascoe


Some of my special poems Series No. 1 and No 2 by Colleen Keating

I am sharing some of the poems I like to read over and over.

When I am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

by Mary Oliver


Some of my favourite poetry No 2.

Water Flows

Water does not resist. Water flows.
When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress.
Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you.
But water always goes where it wants to go,
and nothing in the end can stand against it.
Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.
Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water.
If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.

by Margaret Atwood

Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology edited by Lyn Reeves


Exciting to have some of my haiku accepted for the Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology. Thank you to Andrew Hede who encouraged me to submit. It was worthwhile.

Fourth Australian Haiku Anthology

edited Lyn Reeves

Colleen Keating


on my doorstop
a single rose softens


birds and frogs
harmonise at dawn
Kakadu billabong


spring backburn
smells of last summer
waft on the wind                                                       




Colleen Keating

‘on my doorstop’ Windfall: Australian Haiku 10, 2022

‘birds and frogs’ Echidna Tracks: Australian Haiku 2, 2018/19                                   

Eucalypt: A Tanka Journal Issue 34, 2023 edited by Julie Thorndyke



It is always a joy to receive the new edition of Eucalypt and especially joyful when one of my tanka is included amongst the many startling and succinct tanka . This month is no exception  receiving Issue 34 2023.  Lovingly presented
and including tanka that takes days to ponder and absorb .


pink glow

behind silver grey clouds


medical reports

still to be explained

Colleen Keating








Blue Heron Review, Very proud to have a haibun published in the latest journal

Blue Heron Review

BHR16 Cover Image Edit2

(Cover artist credit: Thomas A Thomas)

Welcome to our BHR 16 Spring 2023 issue of Blue Heron Review! We hope you enjoy this themed selection of poems — Sanctuaries & Places of Peace. To read the full selection of poems and view the beautiful, fine art photography included, please go to the BHR 16 page of our website. Take your time, allow yourself to leisurely sip and savor this issue. These poems will surround you with the energy of peaceful afternoons in the forest, time spent with loved ones, and the deep well of calm that exists within. Breathe, read, reflect, repeat. Thank you for joining us for this very special issue!


M J Iuppa * John Davis * James Crews * Mary Alice Williams * Michael S Glaser * Kai Coggin * Javi Maria Cain * John M Bellinger * Tad Phippen Wente * Gloria Heffernan * B L Bruce * Beate Sigriddaughter * Jo Taylor * Patricia Nelson * Lisa Romano Licht * Andrea Potos * Kristen Baum DeBeasi * Abha Das Sarma * j lewis * Elizabeth McCarthy * Angela Hoffman * Jeannie E Roberts * Jenna Wysong Filbrun * Kathie Giorgio * Jennifer Dodge * Susan Glassmeyer * Mary Anna Scenga Kruch * Steve Bucher * Ginny Lowe Connors * Kathleen Deyer Bolduc * Helen Bournas-Ney * Penny Harter * Chrissy Stegman * Colleen Keating * Daniel Lanzdorf * Gwyneth Wynn-Davies * Ronnie Hess * Lynne Burnett * Carol Alena Aronoff * Diana Raab * Cheryl Byler Keeler * Patricia Carney * Jan Chronister * Joyce Ritchie * Joan Leotta * Michael Minassian

Thomas A Thomas (cover artist) * j lewis (featured artist) * Fiona Capuano * Michael Jeske *

Editor’s Note:

It is with great sadness that I must share the news that we have lost a dear member of our Blue Heron Review family. Professor and poet M J Iuppa passed away last month. M J was a regular contributor to Blue Heron, and she was our featured poet for the month of March 2015. She will be greatly missed by the writing community. In honor of M J’s memory, her poem, “Drink This In,” appears as the first poem in our issue.

Send goodness and light out into our world. This will be our saving grace for tomorrow.

Cristina M. R. Norcross, Founding Editor
Blue Heron Review


winter days

On the mud-flats near an afternoons silver lake, i stop to watch a red dragon kite
soar with dips and dives on whistling air.

a child again
neck crinked back

A fisherman and solitary figure on the dunes watch this bird-like thing swirl and whirl.
Purple ribbon tails flutter, tangerine feathers swell, puffed up with air, tugging the string
the woman holds. I hum the Lark Ascending. I ask the woman why she comes each afternoon.
She replies, because looking up makes me feel so much better.

one feather
holds the worrying day

A Sydney-based, Australian, award-winning poet, Colleen Keating has four poetry collections and two verse novels published. Colleen belongs to several poetry critique groups – U3A poetry, Pennant Hills, Poetry at Writing NSW, and a Haiku group (White Pebbles). Her verse novel, Hildegard of Bingen: A Poetic Journey was double winner for a poetry book and for a non-fiction book in the Society of Women Book Awards in NSW State Library. Her new verse novel, Olive Muriel Pink: her radical and idealistic life, was launched in October 2022 in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Mparntwe (Alice Springs) and is being highly acclaimed.