Fire on Water: Highly Commended in SWW Awards 2018

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The SWW  Book Awards were announced in the Historic State Library at a packed Literary Luncheon on Wednesday.

I am thrilled to announce Fire on Water has won the Highly Commended Award in the Society of Women Writers Biennial Poetry Award  2018.   Thank you to the SWW of NSW Inc. for running this Competition . It is very affirming to be acknowledged and i felt very proud to be standing on the podium with a group of talented poets and writers. Congratulations especially to Susan Fealty for her book Flute of Milk that was the 2018 Winner and to the other runners up, my friend Beverley George for her Tanka collection Only in Silence  and Kathryn Fry for Green Point Bearings. 

Thanks to the  acclaimed  poetry and children’s author Judge Libby Hathorn, and especially thank-you to Stephen Matthews and Ginninderra Press,  who must be very affirmed by Ginninderra’s achievements in this Competition.  Thanks to Family and friends who have wished me the best for Fire on Water and all who are buying this well Awarded book through Ginninderra  Press.

 

 

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FIRE ON WATER -Short -listed for prestigious SWW Award

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Fire on Water has been short-listed for the prestigious

Society Of Women Writers Poetry Book Award 2018

So exciting to receive the letter below,

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The Society of Women Writers NSW Inc.Established 1925     Incorporated  1987

 Affiliated with the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, London

 GPO Box 1388   SYDNEY  NSW 2001

www.womenwritersnsw.org

Colleen Keating

Dear Colleen,

It is with great pleasure that I inform you that you have been shortlisted for an Award at the 2018 Society of Women Writers Book Awards (Poetry category) for your book:

Fire on Water

The Society invites you to the presentation ceremony to be held at the Gallery Room in the Mitchell Wing of the State Library of NSW on Wednesday 10 October from 12 noon to 2pm.

Please book in, with Lynda Calder swwlunchbooking@gmail.com no later than Friday 5 October. You are welcome to invite friends and/or family to attend.

If you are unable to attend the Awards, it would be appreciated if you would send/nominate a representative. 

Best wishes,

Gwen Bitti

President

The Society of Women Writers NSW Inc.

Est.1925 Incorporated 1987

http://www.womenwritersnsw.org/

https://www.facebook.com/The-Society-of-Women-Writers-NSW-Inc

Shared Footprints: Ginko A Walk for Spring

Two Sets of Footprints

by Michael and Colleen our Spring Beach Walk

footsteps-in-the-sand-peter-mooyman

 

 

MK spring sunrise

soft curl of cloud

cushions a mild sun       IMG_8087

 

CK morning song

tracks and swash

pattern the sand

 

MK velvet canvas of ocean

sparkle of IMG_8162sunlight

kindles welcome  

 

CK spring

our shared walk

follows familiar ways  

 

MK crisp horizon

we watch and wait

new day  

 

CK dolphin dreaming                      IMG_8160

presence of whales and dolphins

just beyond our gaze  

 

MK season of enthusiasm

coastal world bustles

kites fly 

 

CK a beachcomber

delights in treasure 

gifted by high tide                  IMG_8118

 

MK at the edge

on wet sand  

seaweed glints   

 

CK spring swimming

two women rugged up 

take the plunge            IMG_8139

 

MK paddle boarders

muscles in balance

expands our vision  

 

CK surf club air vent

two baby swallows

chirping  

 

MK swallows skate the air

good-time harbingers

tease us                              IMG_8174

 

CK a ‘heart’ on my coffee        

soaring swallows 

flirt over seaweed                       

 

MK spring air 

the hairs on our arms

tingle  

                                             

CK sipping coffee                    IMG_8130

our illusive  heron 

glides onto the lamp post  

 

MK winter is over

sun races south

my energy surges   

 

CK morning sun                     IMG_8134

silhouettes 

beach yoga 

 

 

MK new buds  

a sheen of colour

defies the breeze 

 

CK red geranium 

trails down sandstone

beach restoration                    IMG_8151

 

MK rock fishing

enough for all 

pelican waits  

 

CK stabilised sand dunes

butterflies and bees

delight         

 

MK mid morning

clouds corral

warmth seeps in                              IMG_8147

 

CK spring

our hearts 

blossom with colour 

 

Proud to be accepted as Submission 87 to the Joint Select Committee Recognition relating to the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

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Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Submission 87

Senator Patrick Dodson and Mr. Julian Lesser MP
Chairs
Joint Committee on Constitutional Recognition Relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
Parliament House
Canberra, ACT 2600 4th June 2018

Dear people,

SUBMISSION ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL RECOGNITION OF ABORIGINAL AND TORRE STRAIT PEOPLE

I wish you to hear my voice as a white Australian who supports the Uluru Statement from the Heart. It is time that we listen to our First Nation Peoples. I am studying the white voices in the wilderness of the 1920’s, I have read the poetry of Oodgeroo Noonuccal, I lived in a country town as a child in the 50’s and I know how the Aboriginal people were treated . I am attending the Myall Creek Memorial Celebration this long June Weekend. I am aware of our policies of the past. I am aware of the blood shed although I was not taught any of this at school. ( Fortunately this is changing).

 

This last ten years there has been movement. Yet to hide behind and slow down everything we have had so many expert panels and committees including the recommendations in 2012 but now we must listen to the people themselves.

The mistakes of the past are with us – so violently in our subconscious that we spend a lot of effort suppressing and controlling our history, ignoring facts ,the truth.
Many, especially the older generations still live in fairy land of a peaceful past, still white washing our Nations story.

Trying to move forward as a nation without resolving and recognising the past will not work. We can no longer afford to ignore or deny our history.

We need leadership that explains this to the older people who were not told the truth at school.
We need leadership to encourage the people that it is to the advantage of us as a Nation to recognise and reconcile. And we need both side. Today we have an outreached hand to move forward. And we do not reach out . Our leader ignored the hand.!

The Uluru Statement from the Heart gives us a clear vision of a way forward for

  1. constitutional reform
  2. agreement making
  3. truth telling of our history from a different point of view.

The wonderful thing about this new move is it comes from the heart, symbolically from the heart of our nation.
It comes from a voice that is new, mature and it has the backing of the people from all around the nation. This consensus is unprecedented.

Its recommendation of a ‘voice to Parliament is our only viable way forward at this time.

Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Submission 87

Further it does not ask for a level of parliament but just as a voice. It does not water down the parliament . . it simply seeks to ensure that decision-makers of the parliament hear the voice of those that they affect so that decisions are better informed.

I know as usual we wanted to do some symbolic change of the constitution and not rock the boat. Well that will no longer work . The First Nation people will not accept symbolic moves anymore.
We have been given their well thought through statement and we have to move NOW.

This is the right side of history. If we don’t do it someone has to.

Please I ask that you take this seriously. Make this the last committee or expert panel that has to be formed to try and hide behind. There is already enough evidence from New Zealand and Canada to show this move makes it better for the First Nations but makes it better for all the people.

I believe one day the Uluru Statement from the Heart will be framed, enshrined in our parliament.

I just hope with all my heart that this step in the long journey of Reconciliation with our First Nations people happens in my life time. It is up to you the Committee now to say yes we are listening, let us move forward from here and it is up to our leader to bring the people with them and it is up to us to be awake and alert to helping carry those who are still fearful or ignorant or uneasy or unsure.

We can do it but we need your action this year to speak up and say Yes to our future as a mature nation.

Yours sincerely, Colleen Keating

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A Landscape called Humanity By Colleen Keating

Excited to be included in the prestigious online journal Eureka Street with my new poem written last month, in response to the  Thai cave rescue of the 12 Thai boys and their football coach. The  early onset of the rainy season  flooded the exit to the cave trapping the boys. All were brought to safety over three heart rendering days while the whole world looked on. My poem was about grappling with the whole world focused on this scene even as many other tragedies were occurring around the world.

called A Landscape of Humanity

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A landscape called humanity

a landscape called humanity

guided by divers and ropes

via a birth canal

from the womb of the cave in a dark mountain

through the tightness of crevasses

hold your breath   to clamber the choke point

surrender fear    inner light

heave in the labour from death to life

why is it disasters create heroes

under monsoon darkening skies

one cannot rely on the mercy of rain gods

it is tanks of air

and an international team

navy seal divers  engineers  scientists

technical expertise

medicos and teams of supporters

that garner our attention

surrounded by a world of tragedies and suffering

it is the challenge    the pull-together

that we marvel at

holds our focus   holds our breath

its peaks and troughs

with all hope mustered

its sheer beauty

this landscape of humanity

— Colleen Keating

 

EUREKA STREET

ARTS AND CULTURE

A landscape called humanity

2 Comments

 

Selected poems

Topic tags: Poetry, Colleen Keating,

 

 CCOMMENTS

Those opening lines, Colleen, reminded me of the life delivering umbilical cord.

john frawley | 07 August 2018

What a breathtaking poem – a beautiful commentary Colleen on a beautiful disaster where human spirit showed it’s splendid strength. 

Elizabeth | 07 August 2018

A Poetry Reading Morning

 

In Conversation with a Local Poet. . .

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A Poetry Reading Morning. . . . I was delighted to sit down in conversation with  Fiona Borland, the Librarian of the Mt. St. Benedict Centre,  Pennant Hills in Northern Sydney.

In Conversation with a local poet. It was very affirming to be identified as a local poet and know that my poetry books had been acquired by their librarian Fiona for their library. I was proud of my books A Call to Listen and Fire on Water both published over the past 6 years by Stephen Matthews at Ginninderra Press. S.A.

An invitation was put out to invite people to the Poetry Reading Morning. I had a selection of my poetry to read throughout the conversation some on nature , social justice, and indigenous story.   And then more conversation over morning tea as the Benedict Centre provide having Hospitality as one of their charisms.

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Poem on Grandchildren and Environment wins

 

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Good to receive word my poem  ‘a beautiful world’ received second place in the Annual Poetry Competition for Poetry Matters. Always affirming to have your work accepted and a cheque award is an extra bonus.  My award winning poem began with my Granddaughter  little Miss J putting my big shell to her ear and my saying ‘can you hear the sea?’ She listened seriously and said in her sweet three-year-old voice ‘I can hear the dolphins.’  That line stayed with me for the past three years. And then Thomas face-timed me from England with his  school project about  the problem of plastic  on the sea and the poem had its seed. 

AWARD WINNING POEM

a beautiful world

at the party I sit back
watch the action from the side
frivolity centres the room
spills out onto the deck

my daughters laugh 
in the kitchen
sampling each others specialities

the men outside
beer in hand
enjoy the sizzle of the barbecue

I watch their little ones 
busy at make-believe 
they are growing fast
each in their own way 
the eldest   now eight years old
is worried about the dolphins
what if they choke on the plastic and all die
the four year old responds 
i can hear the dolphins in grandma’s big shell

I remember my whispered words
as I held each for the first time
welcome little one
it is a beautiful world

now the world waits for them
silent  boisterous  open
their shining eyes also wait
and nested in hope  
my heart aches

 

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Thomas  Keating-Jones and Plastic Project

with his helper and little sister Miss E and  his school project  about Plastic and its  impact on our ocean.

Thanks to The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai for the back ground.

Thanks to Ginninderra Press for their publishing my poetry and to Cheryl Howard who supports poets and poetry writing with her journal Poetry Matters

 

 

The launch of  ‘Going Home’ by Decima Wraxall

 

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It was an honour to launch Decima’s latest book ‘Going Home’ a second in a duo of family history.   Speeches, readings from the new book, music, delicious food and plenty of bubbly flowed to make a great night great, and to say well done Decima.

Thursday last ( 19th July 2018) was a great evening of celebration for Decima as it has been ‘the long haul’ to get her latest book out there.

I have watched, admiring her tenacity and determination and like a cheer-leader encouraging from the side line, aware of the work, time and effort it takes.  And the time finally arrived.

 It is a bit like childbirth.  There is the struggle and pain and then the joy. And on Thursday evening there was joy with a wonderful sense of camaraderie as we gathered, Decima’s daughter and  family from UK, cousins from Melbourne and north coast a few nurse friends from the old day and of course, us the writers from the various groups Decima belongs to  – the WWN at Rozelle, the SWW from Mitchell Library, U3A poetry Appreciations group .

 

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The launch  speech  for   ‘Going Home’ 

by 

Colleen Keating                                IMG_6229

Welcome to you all.

My name is Colleen Keating  and I feel honoured to be asked to launch  ‘Going Home.’

But first, please let us pause a moment to acknowledge the Gadigal people. We are gathered on land of the Eora nation, and pay our respects to traditional custodians, past and present. 

I also feel happy to mention we are gathered in the Judith Wright Room, one of our greatest Australian women poets

 

Decima is a  friend and fellow writer. She inspires me and  inspires all of us in her loyalty and commitment to her writing.  Decima’s writing occupies a sacred space in her life.

Her latest book  ‘Going Home’ is the second and final in a duo.

Decima has had many short stories and poems published in Journals and Anthologies. She has co-edited two Anthologies of prose and poetry for the Womens Writers Network, here at the Writers Centre.

Her first book, Black Stockings, White Veil celebrated the 50th Anniversary of her Graduation from RPA. It was a finalist in the Indie Book Awards for Historical Fiction, and is now in its second edition. 

Letters from a Digger appeared as the first part of the duo.

She has had her first book of poetry accepted for publication by Ginninderra Press to be out mid 2019. 

Going Home is Gordon’s story, a remarkable, loveable man, bigger then life. 

It is a story wonderfully told, set in the Australian context at a time many of us here remember. 

In the hero’s journey there is the wound. Decima’s writing carries that intriguingly,  a life shadowed with a secret and sense of loss, with a pinch of serendipity, including the arrival of an inspirational teacher just at the right time.  

At a recent poetry symposium in Adelaide that Michael and I attended it was discussed how Fiction and Non Fiction, are both the same and different, in telling the Truth. It made me think of ‘Going Home.’  It’s evident that Decima, has assiduously researched the facts to ensure both accuracy and a good story. 

Historic fiction puts flesh on the bone,  transforms anecdote into drama, uses suspense, stimulates our imagination. Going Home, tells Gordon’s story honestly. There are no punches pulled. It explores the powerlessness engendered by serious illness and the courage to accept an unwelcome diagnosis.

You hear and smell see and taste the scenes, as this moving tale unfolds. 

The following passage set after the death of Rabbi Shomer, (Gordon’s mentor) embodies a moment of pain in his journey: 

 

Gordon felt the Rabbi everywhere and nowhere. In the following days, the house echoed with his voice. At the same time, the silence was palpable. Sometimes Gordon rushed back from school, bringing news of the day for the Rabbi. And recalled his friend had passed. He ran faster so he wouldn’t cry. And arrived breathless, dry-eyed. 

It broke Allie’s heart to see his sad face. Her own sorrow could be borne, if only she could do more to help Gordon. She brought him milk and biscuits, saying, ‘I wonder if you’d like to hear some music?’ He nodded, fearing tears should he speak. 

 

Even the ‘taste of milk and biscuits’, the comfort food of after-school caught me.

Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter says:    “Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic” And ‘Going Home’ has the magic of an historic 20th century read.  For many of us it takes us down memory lane of late last century.  It is a book that will be cherished by Melissa and Jason . You must be very proud of your Mum for bringing this story to fruition. And to Dessie and Gordon’s smart and gorgeous Grandchildren Miranda, Toby, Ella and Harry this is a gift for you.

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I  congratulate Decma on this fine achievement and proudly declare  Going Home launched.  May it have many enjoyable reads.

Now i would like to call on the writer of the day, the author Decima Wraxall. IMG_6231

SHARED FOOTPRINTS GINKO WALK: WINTER

TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS

by Michael and Colleen  on beach walk winter

 

 

footsteps-in-the-sand-peter-mooyman

 

CK  beanies coats and gloves –

our shadows long

on washed sand    

 

MK at the edge –            

foam trimmed

fingers of ocean               IMG_2336

 

CK  surprise

orange sand crabs 

bask in winter dawn

 

MK  slant of sunrise

yin-yang shadow

stone and shell

 

CK  spaciousness

on a winter beach

solitary seagull

 

MK    low low tide

untouched canvas

be awake                                                        IMG_2326

 

CK   over seaweed 

flirt of swallows

warms us

 

MK  fisherman and heron 

wade knee deep –

winter warriors

 

CK   rock pools mirror

clouds

our lives stilled                                  IMG_8152

 

MK  dawn

cuts sea and sky 

pelicans wait

 

CK burdens fall away

in morning light

willy wag tails

 

MK winter sun

softens our world

two sets of footprints  


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