Possessed a poem for uncertain times by Colleen Keating

catastrophic

          despotic

                  covid

                   uncertain times

where is the still point

in this world wildly whirling?

 

 

possessed

the search for a still point
in this wildly unpredictable world
beckons us out along a bush track
listening for guidance
a calming

everything a scene
to be staged
the quiet ones
whispering wisdom
a calming hush

the creek red gums sandstone
moss-coated rocks
ferns unfolding tight-knit fists
the reassuring calls of the whip-birds
a calming hush settles

a lightness breathes
a forest breathing lightness
resurrection spangle of greens
new life blooms in every crevice
and a calming hush settles us

 

Last days of February : One Day at a Time 2 by Colleen Keating

 

” One cannot but be in awe when one contemplates the mysteries
of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality.
It is enough if one tries to merely comprehend a little of this
mystery each day.
Never lose a holy curiosity.
– Albert Einstein

 

afternoon rain
dewdrops dazzle like
dangling fairy lights

rainbows
dew drops corralled
by sun beams

 

Tanka

morning Mozart plays
from a sleepy place I wake
with new energy
to face any curve ball
that is thrown my way

 

killing fields

the only sound aside from first wind rising
was the occasional brush of my footsteps
against soft cushion of earth
i looked out across the lake
the early dawn light
lay like a silver mirror
broken now and then
as several black cormorants
broke the surface and redived

in the far distance
the black swans grazed in sea grasses
and lone pelicans glided by
I watched the silver light of jumping fish
catch insects
then the pelican saw its opportunity
struck with violent grasp

grabbed the fish
its pouch beak
stretched and wriggling
while it shook its neck
and gulped the fish

I turned my attention to the paperbarks
and the symmetry
of the native miner’s wings
as it flies into a paperbark

and stand in shock
as it flew out
with the agonised death screech
of a cicada in its beak

is this place
that appears so tranquil
actually a killing field?

 

 

Merriment of  Frogs after the Rain

As the sun comes up
i walked towards the stand of swamp paperbarks
a sound like a freight train racing
through a country town
filled the air

closer it became more individual
like hearing each individual carriage clanking past
and then individual  rumbling croaks

yes the swamp was alive with frogs
all carousing and courting and
chatting
here was a living field
vibrant and alive

 

 

A Tree Kinship 

over the curve of my thoughts
comes a sound
amidst a stand of Paperbarks
they were not only breathing together
they were conversing

my heart wells up to bursting

every tree has such character
twisted and curved
not a straight line anywhere

all seem to be aware of each other
a tree kinship
each with unique characters

that breathe life  and meaning
and sanctity

the textured bark glistens with the
wash of the recent rain
in all the tones
of cream – coffee caramel tawny and wheat
desert  ochre copper  topaz and brown

 

 

 

A plaque on a seat at a lookout

How very lucky are we
to breathe salty air
and sit here by the sea

Last Days of February: one day at a time by Colleen Keating

Life as we know it
changed this past week
yet the nankeen kestrel
hovered above us
just as before

 

 

Each day is beautiful and precious
even amidst these cloudy times
some days of heavy metallic sky
some days of grey straggling fog
with the horizon lost

nature tells us
it will turn for it has many sides
a stretched-out horizon
wider then our dreams
is still there

Today the clouds give us
feathers and angels and flying kites
all uplifting  light and full of joy

 

so different to the metaphoric clouds
that hang thickly over us
pounding at our hearts
fogging our minds
suffogating our bodies

 

lapping waves
our footprints disappear
we do not look back

 

Our second day 

 


out walking
nothing has changed
trees still stand as mystics
their whisperings
pointing the way

Some signpost along the way

 

And from the Sensory Gardens Just now

Up Crackneck Mountain by Colleen Keating

 Up Crackneck Mountain

sometimes it takes sadness loss an empty room
to painfully be aware of presence

sometimes it takes stillness of breath
to remind us to breathe deeply
consciously with gratitude

sometimes it takes silence
to remind us to sing

 

and find
presence
breath
song

we did today

our first bush walk since our world changed
and we take time to adjust
to a new life without Pat in our world

an amazing eucalypt stopped us in our tracks
a grand old lady holding forth
fully present
from each angle she commandeered our attention

the light played beautifully along her trunk
adding to her starling presence

colours and tones of nature
naturalness
messiness
especially the scruffy banksia men
trunks, bark, brambles decay
ant-eating bores seed pods
humus of leaf litter
were catching my eye
with a chaotic beauty that satisfied me
still feeling close to the out of control
and sense of rawness that is reality
when we experience the threshold of transition
for it takes time to find
ways to close off and re-protect ourselves

yet the music of birds
the baby wren that flew out
on a branch to greet us
the kookaburras,
the goanna that stayed for a photo
the blue and stunning black butterfly that didn’t stay
a few straggler flannel flowers
reminding us of our lockdown spring walks
where we marvelled at their abundance
and their star-light quality

At the top of Crackneck Mountain
we stopped to have a cuppa and muesli bar
marvelled at the grandeur of the ocean spread out
in all its glory
never ceasing to amaze and delight

we walked down the mountain
taking the outer less worn track
where we were reminded of new life
as fresh lime-green candles of banksia
brightly shone


and young callow sprigs of Xanthorrhoea *
their flounce like ballerinas in their grass shirts
the first breath of wind will have them dancing.

 

 

 

 

*’Xanthorrhoea’  is the name for what we mostly call the grass tree. It means ‘yellow flow’ in ancient Greek and refers to its resin. This resin was much prized by Aboriginal people, being used as a glue or as a coating/waterproofing material. The early settlers also found it extremely useful, as a glue, a varnish, polish and a coating of tin materials. It was used in the sizing of paper, in soap and perfumery and even in the manufacture of early gramophone records.