The Yellow Rose

 

 

The Yellow Rose 

And the weather turns around

from pyrocumulous horror

our  infernoed land is drowned

in flooding rain

and now a misty morning

for walking once again

after a scorching summer

of ash and smoke hazed air

 

I see the  rosebush has survived                                            

for  the yellow rose nods

smiles as if it recognises me

and murmurs

 

just for a moment

it stops me in my tracks    draws me in

then its smile is in the curled petals

its nods in the zephyr of breeze

and I move into my day singing

my rose has the look of  a flower

that is  looked at*

acknowledged and loved

like the rose in the little Prince

  • TS Eliot

Bearing witness to the fires Summer 2020

 

 

bearing witness

reverence is called for  . . .

a mournful dignity  on this beach today

it is far from the war zone

 but each wave carries the remains

flanked with blackened ash

it lays to rest in curves on the sand

not stark stiff birds as sometimes washed up 

blown in by severity of storms 

here is death consumed 

held up evidence 

as flotsam                                                           

and left like wreaths 

curved around a cenotaph

wave after wave 

sometimes  when washed out 

there is respite

for one does not know what to do 

but it comes back on the tide with vengence 

there is no escape  to being the witness                                

till one falls down on the sand to weep

and finds they’re not alone 

as the lament of the waves

comfort with whispered threnodies 

and hazed in smoke 

the weeping eye of the sun waits

 

 

 

Small pockets of new life come up to meet us everywhere.

 It does not help the many who have suffered the loss of loved ones, 

those who have lost their homes and/or businesses. 

It does not help the awful trauma that is with us 

and it doesn’t alleviate the  grief we bear as a nation 

at the loss of our precious flora and fauna. 

It is a sad, sombre and very sobering summer. 

 

 

The new Anthology, Love’s Footprint edited Maree Silver & Leigh Hay

 

LOVE’S  FOOTPRINT  published by Poetica Christi Press

  Edited by Maree Silver & Leigh Hay

It is exciting to have two poems chosen to be included in the very thoughtful Anthology Love’s Footprint published by Poetica Christi Press. My two poems ‘bells’ and ‘morning glory’  were chosen among 132 poems that make this Anthology an enjoyable read.

It has been a joy to read this anthology by poets whose experiences speak from and into vulnerability, risk, ageing and loss, in ways that are believable and moving. There were many notable poems which surprised and warmed me. You will be consoled and absorbed by the truth-telling  of the poets who have in common the human and divine capacity to love in both action and word. (Marlene Marburg, poet and author Grace a upon Grace)

 

The Blue Nib reviews Hildegard of Bingen by Colleen Keating

Seeing the world through childrens’ eyes

 

 

 

Seeing the world through children’s eyes. 

When the tide recedes beyond the horizon
and the underbelly of the sea is exposed
for little adventurers, Edison and Darcy
the rock platform is a necklace of pools
shimmering like emeralds and full of treasure.

Worry of slipping and falling is not their concern
they hop from rock to rock                                                    
clamber about down on their tummies
their shining eyes
reflected in the mirrored sea.

Everything is magical and extraordinary
Come here, quick Grandma 
the crabs are humongous. 
a scuttle of creatures disappear in our shadow
making us wait quietly
pretending we’re not here
as the rocks curl with camouflaged
crustaceans creeping out
and pincers like boxing gloves
point up at us.                                                    

In their eyes there is wonder
as red anemones sway the waves
as the molluscs trail into patterns
as starfish wash up like gift
as a sting ray glides past their toes
as these curious boys
learn to be respectful of the living world

Seeing the world through children’s eyes
makes me happy to be alive
as we steal out to the edge of the sea
and look for whales
as we dig in the sand on the edge of the beach
as we allow gentle laps of waves
to fill our canals and tunnels
and moats to protect our castles
until Darcy sees more fun in jumping
on them as quick as we can  mould the sand
seeing the world through children’s eyes

Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer walk: The Poetry of Tuggerah Lake

The Poetry of Tuggerah Lake

 

 

Our walk begins on the beach,
low tide and the sea gulls
strutting on the edge,
a flotilla of pelicans glide
with the incoming tide.
A cormorant dives over and over
no chance of predicting where he’d surface.

Coffee from the barrister
at The Lake House is worth the anticipation
(no milk at the apartment so we were hanging out.) 

Two fisherman gut their catch at the sink- bench
and pelicans line up for their share of the feed.

Corellas paired up and sing  preening each other
some on the grass, some in the trees
near an awkward looking ibis pretending
to look elegant on a branch
where cormorants play notes
on musical staves

and on the lake
black swans silky as ballerinas
flaunt with their reflections
on the shiny mirrored lake.

Lap wings were out
squawking to claim their territory.
The council has fenced off
the sand dune to protect
nests of the Little Terns
who migrate from China for the summer
and we watch their acrobatics
around the dunes and seaweed.

 

The sandstone rocks glint
with their striations and swivels and colour
showing us more than any history
or geology text book could

Our signature spoonbill
we expect to see, is again there
as we cross the bridge near the lake,
with his caravan of ducks and hangers-on
waiting for him to disturb the mudflat.

The morning lake catches
the clouds, the sky and ever changing light
and on our way back as the tide turns
the sea spray against the rocks
sings alleluia to another day. 

Elephants by Tyler Jack Little

Elephants

for Ellie

 

Elephants     by Tyler

 

Elephants are humongous.

They are light, silvery-grey.

They use their trunks

to eat and drink .

In water they like to play.

Their tusks are very strong

And they use them to crunch boulders

 

My elephant is very gentle

when he snuggles on my shoulders

My elephant is soft and small

 I always sleep with him at night

He keeps me warm  and protected

And always makes me feel right

Tyler Jack Little  (8 year old)

Eureka Street Publication

It is very exciting to have my poem Code Red published in Eureka Street. Our words are our sabre . We need to listen to our earth.

Fire poems

Selected poems

Apocalypse

It’s as though it’s suddenly turned winter,

the way the earth is covered over and the grey stretch of ash

is drawn up to its chin like a blanket.

And though it’s day, the bird-less quiet is a kind of night,

and everything we ever thought we knew has been turned upside down,

the first now last, and the last first.

— Bill Rush

 

landscape

This blackness

of landscape

as if a fire had

passed through

with no echo of water

in the dumb silence

there is though the fear

a sun, a ball of glow

just above a horizon

waiting for a breath

waiting for a change of wind

waiting for a cool voice

just to say something

— Rory Harris

 

Code red

when the sun like a cyclops rages fiery red

divots the sky in a coven of camouflage

It has no voice to plead ‘enough’

it warns us to listen …

 

in the myth Odysseus gathers forces

to ram the glaring monster

but be warned

this sun is not the enemy

it is air thick with ash that chokes ‘help’

amidst ember attacks and dust storms

 

when fish like shimmering naiads surface slimy green

float dead in display of disaster

they have no voice to gulp ‘stop’

they rely on us to think …

 

in the myth Naiads shine silver

in springs and streams and brooks

be warned

dead fish are not the enemy

it is our river’s way of weeping ‘save me’

over-used and desecrated

 

when the earth our mother is parched

her body dried and cracked

she has no voice to lament ‘code red ‘

it depends on us to act …

 

in the myth our mother-earth

cries for care for respect

but be warned

cracked earth is not the enemy

it is a strangled cry ‘no more to give’

exhausted and depleted

 

when the sea like clotted blood chokes with plastics

angry Thor thunders floods the land

it has no voice to say ‘greed does not pay’

it counts on us for action …

 

yet still in our great city people walk about

heads down in an eerie silence

eyes weep from the smoke

behind fake masks that filter reality

 

they walk unbeknown like frogs

and like frogs in the myththey are being slowly boiled alive.

— Colleen Keating

 

 

 

Topic tags: poetry, Bill Rush, Rory Harris, Colleen Keating

 

Hildegard of Bingen in the Christmas edition of Good Oil Journal

‘Search out the house of your heart. Hope lies within,’ writes Colleen Keating. 

It is 1178, the year before Hildegard of Bingen dies. The Bishop has silenced the music in their Abbey as punishment and some of the Sisters are feeling discouraged; however, Hildegard still crossed the Rhine to visit her second convent every week and encouraged her Sisters in their work and prayer.By Colleen Keating

Struggle in Exile

Advent
casts deep sorrow.
It is cold, dark, silent.
Hildegard hears mumblings.
She reassures her Sisters
with her presence at Rupertsberg,
her visits to Eibingen.The darkest nights of the year
anticipate the fledgling Christ Light.
In the Chapel candlelight
resolve flickers in her eyes.
Listen, listen, listen.

My Sisters this is our time to listen.
As we pray the words,
listen to their song in your hearts,
she continues,
The Bishop cannot forbid us to listen.                
Silencing the outer sound
does not silence us.
Search out the house of your heart.
Hope lies within.

She points to the fallowed gardens
blanketed by white-sleeted hay.
Contemplate its promise.
As silence in absence of bird-song
reminds us, music will return.

While the interdict diminishes them,
meal time together brings nourishment:
hot spelt bread, garden broths, teas
and from their harvest of stored foods,
bottled quince, the warmth of
herbs and hot berry wines.
They listen to the Nativity story.
Conversation swirls over the tables.

When the postulants, last season,
singing joyfully, picked purple sloes
and red hawthorn berries in the woods,
to brew and bottle,
little did they know the comfort,
their warm wines would be,
how perfect for this dark time.

Colleen Keating

Colleen Keating is a Sydney-based poet and writer. Through her work she “explores the paradox and wonder of nature, the harsh realities of life, of inequality, injustice and increasing threat to our natural environment”. In November 2017 Colleen published her second book of poetry, “Fire on Water” (Ginninderra Press), which recently won a silver Nautilus Book Award. Colleen’s website is colleenkeatingpoet.com.au

If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.

White Pebbles Haiku Group – Summer

 

 

Our seasonal walk for Summer was held on the 14th December.  It is our fourth seasonal walk for the year. We call these walks a ginko from the Japanese idea of a reflective seasonal walk and writing of haiku.

On Saturday the 14th of December the White Pebbles Haiku Group met at the Gosford/Edogawa Commemorative Gardens for a summer ginko and lunch.

Seven White Pebbles’ members attended. Beverley George convened the meeting and welcomed Maire Glacken, Colleen Keating, Verna Rieschild, Gwen Bitti, Samantha Sirimanne Hyde and Kent Robinson.

 

We met in the café at the Gosford Regional Gallery for refreshment, then proceeded into the garden for our ginko. As per usual, the garden was manicured immaculately. We wandered, quietly jotting images and composing haiku. Through gardenia scent, we became aware of the sound of a cascading waterfall, the melody of which was accompanied by cicada song. Ducks and koi carp that animated the garden’s pond, birthed inspiration for several haiku. The laughter of children pervaded the scene.

After our ginko, we retired to the small lunchroom, which had been reserved for us, thanks to the kindness of The Gosford Regional Gallery, for a post ginko meeting at our customary round table.

A week before, Beverley had supplied us with a work sheet. Each of us shared haiku inspired by this work sheet and found that it was a fine catalyst with which to start our meeting. We then moved on to focus on the results of our ginko. There was a wealth of imagery and inspiring haiku offered. As we sat together in our snug, we worked on images and haiku that needed a little polish. All in all, our rewarding time together was one of camaraderie and learning.

We returned to the café for lunch. A fine time was had by all and with the festive season upon us, we ate, drank and were merry! The consensus was that everyone had immensely enjoyed our summer ginko and all looked forward to meeting again in autumn.

Report by Kent Robinson