The Ocean Wonder by Jacinta Van Eyk

 

The Ocean Wonder

 

Waves crashing on Keating Beach.                      

The bright sun cuts through

the dark grey clouds.

The water sparkles on top

of the shimmering rocks.

The dolphins leap peacefully

over the crashing waves.

All morning butterflies flutter                                      

past our window.

All different people walking, riding, running .

The ocean wonder is so

extraordinary.

by Jacinta    8 years old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

written while on holidays at The Dolphin House, Central Coast

Searching for Mushrooms by Colleen Keating

Finding Fungi

by Thomas Keating-Jones

Walking in the rain is terrible fun.
It’s terrible,
And it’s fun!

Searching for fungi makes it worthwhile!
I mean it’s not that you would choose a day like this
(Unless you’re my mum!)
We have to go slow . . . drip, drip
dripping along
drip, drip
dripping rain on my hair!

It’s like a song where we do the walking
and the mushrooms do the talking
listen….

I am listening to the fungi talking through my feet.
guiding me to the next discovery
camouflaged amongst the leaves
some under the trees.
some in the moss.

… magical mushrooms
I walk in the woods
I step carefully
listen . . .

Go quietly. . slow, slow
for underground stories are around each corner.
along with huge puddles
when you walk in the English rain!

We have to go slow . . . drip, drip,
dripping along
drip, drip,
dripping rain on my hair!

It’s like a song where we do the walking
and the mushrooms do the talking
listen . . .

Next time I plan to bring my goggles and snorkel!
Walking in the rain is terrible fun!
It’s terrible
And it’s fun!
Searching for fungi makes it worthwhile!

 

Finding a purple Mushroom for grandma her favourite colour.

How beautiful .  I saw the fairies  and the fairy ring when I sneaked up.

A little kingdom . We feel like Gulliver in Lillyput land

 

We have to go slow . . . drip, drip,
dripping along
drip, drip,
dripping rain on my hair!

Thank you Elizabeth and William, Thomas and Eleanor, your walk in the English countryside  was the incentive to go out into the Australian bush looking for  fungi and  mushrooms, the  little secrets of the earth.

 

a meeting

Colleen Keating

‘How shall I walk in the world
But looking for light and wisdom”  M. Oliver

you rise after rain
in autumnal mist
to walk out
and slow
not expecting to meet a prophet
calling in the wilderness
until you hear
a whisper of colour

Gulliver in Lillyput
you bend closer
your giant hands
part the grass
for secrets of the earth

gazing
stunned with humble beauty
the tiny  mushrooms
slight and lowly
strong and perfect
caps intact
have pushed up
from the dung of darkness
smelling earthy and dank
their miniture purple parasols
with ivory ruffled collars
nod slightly
very quietly

that moment
even eclipses the water lilies
that emerge from deepest mud

on return the next day
there is only soggy earth
brambles and mulch of leaves
as if they had never been

Colleen Keating

.

 

 

News on Splash, Slither, Squawk from St Augustine’s School, Coffs harbour

I am full of pride and thanks to my Grandson Edison

from Saint Augustine’s Primary School Newsletter, Coffs harbour.

Here is an extract from page 7 of the latest newsletter.

Exciting News from the LAR

We have a student who has become a published author, congratulations to Edison from 1S. His artworks have been published along with his Grandmothers short story and poem in Splash, Slither, Squawk -nature writing for children from The Society of Women Writers NSW. Thankyou Edison for kindly donating a copy to our school library for all students to enjoy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Launch of Splash, Slither, Squark  by Colleen Keating

 

A very special Zoom Launch today of  Splash, Slither, Squark 
the Society of Women Writers NSW 95th anniversary anthology of nature writing for children.

‘Curiouser and curiouser  it seems to me is the gift we need to give our children and grandchildren.

Curiosity leads to awe and wonder. 
When one has a sense of awe and wonder about nature, about a tree, a river, about flora and fauna one will care for them. 

Anything that creates this in the heart of a child has a chance of being seen as precious. This new book ‘Splash,Slither, Squark, which will go to school libraries will be a step towards this value.

 Sales of this book will help support RSPCA National Bushfire Appeal and Wombat Care Bundanoon.  Many thanks to co-editors Michele Bomford and Julie Thorndyke .

I am proud to have a poem, Platypus spotting is fun  and a short story about wonder when lost in the bush.

So proud the illustration of the platypus on the opposite page  to my poem is by my grandson Thomas with 2  further illustrations by grandchildren Edison chosen and the youngest illustrator Miss Eleanor .

 

ISBN  978-0-9808407-5-9 RRP  $20 https://womenwritersnsw.org/

Credit Card or PayPal: https://www.trybooking.com/BKXWO

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Muir Trust Writing Competition  – Wild Inside

Thomas Keating-Jones wins the Bronze Medal in the John Muir Writing Competition – Wild Inside for his poem in the under 18 year old section

 

 

It speaks as a 9 year old  boy in lockdown. 

I think this tree is smiling 

I think this tree is smiling 

With the light of the sunshine warming up it’s tiny new green leaves 

I also feel like smiling 

as the sun washes away the darkness in our hearts 

I think that tree is smiling 

With happiness and joy, as I look through a window

where the cherry blossoms danced in the wind

Gone now 

Time is passing

I think my tree is smiling 

As he knows his role in the world 

I can feel it’s strong branches 

It can feel my tiny hands 

I am up in its canopy hidden from the lockdown world 

My view is special and just for me 

I think this tree is smiling 

Smiling straight at me

I feel like smiling

I feel free 

Thomas Keating-Jones  

9 years old

 May 30th 2020

John Muir Trust Writing Competition  – Wild Inside

Under-18s Poetry

Winner: Jane

Linda Cracknell said: “This writer has created a great form for their poem,

 including lovely rhythm which makes it excellent to read aloud, 

and it’s clever, showing the human is clearly part of the natural world.”

Silver: Eliza

Bronze: Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What must our world do to build up its resilience ?

Below is a video of  Thomas reading  his new poem . Press IMG 9763 to hear him with his purple hair being a wild child not only in ISO and in Lockdown loving home-schooled in England but  at this time being on a summer holiday.

IMG_9763

What must our world do to build up its resilience ?

For me the answer is Listen to our children. Have hope in our children. Believe our world will be in good hands.
This then will make us work harder NOW  to leave the world the best we can
so the children of tomorrow  can say
we see the way for on the shoulders of giants we stand.

 

Thomas inspires me with his thoughts and words and expressions .

His poetry speaks to us all.
His voice speaks to us in hope that our young are on the way to make a difference.

I

What might become of earth

The air is Her great breath of life
The waves and ripples are the folds of Her cloak
The trees are Her garden
flowering in Her loving care
demonstrating her ethereal presence.
The Sun is Her eye to Earth.
Her glorious gateway to our world
We are a small part of her creation.
If we stand for nothing what we we fall for?
If we do not say enough when will it be?
If we are never satisfied when will our planet be stripped bare?
Barren
A void.
On the winds of time now come the winds of change
Who knows what might become of Earth. 

 

Thomas doing what he loves to do, using his words and his voice to make a difference.

A Hope-Daisy by Little Miss E.

   

Eleanor at work

A HOPE-DAISY

The daisy with all her hopes inside                    

It has her love inside it

My daisy is smiling right at us

The daisy is full of hope

to try and stop lockdown

It might just look like a daisy

but it is a hope-daisy for love

and for the children

by Eleanor Therese Keating-Jones

   

 

(Above photo:  A plaster cast of a Daisy made in home schooling)

Our little poet Eleanor at work

 

 

 

 

Shared Footprints by Michael and Colleen Keating

 

Shared Footprints  is a Picaro Poets chap book perfect for your pocket when out on a walk or perched on an outcrop of rock overlooking the ocean.   Order it through Ginninderra Press .

Over the past two years Michael and I have done a seasonal beach walk each season from  Tuggerah Lake,  The Entrance Beach around the headland to Blue Bay,  around the rock platform to Toowoon Bay and along the beach  for a Cafe breakfast  at Toowoon Bay Life Savers Club and then  we walk back .

We walk quietly with notepad and pen and jot down what we observe.  Over the years we have put our thoughts down  side by side in response to the beach,  the seasons and each other.  We put this manuscript to Brenda Eldridge from Ginninderra Press as a possible Picaro Poets Chap book. It was accepte,   formatted and published. It is  for people to enjoy nature hoping to stimulate deeper awareness in us all.

Available now from www.ginninderrapress.com.au  /picaro poets and scroll down to our name.

It is divided into four sections

Spring: New Beginnings
Summer: Under a Melting Sun
Autumn : Tumble of Ocean
Winter: Our Shadows Long

Just a few examples

sea pattern
periwinkle meander
in the interidal zone   MK

 

 

 

we quicken pace
as wind leans in
hand warm together  CK

 

DEDICATION

for our grandchildren, our little castle builders, channel diggers, treasure collectors

may they all be star throwers.

The Star Thrower*

  One dawn, a man was walking along the shore.

   he noticed a young person reaching down to the sand, 

   picking up something 

  and very gently throwing it back into the sea. 

As he got closer, he called out, 

“Good morning! What are you doing?”

 The young person paused, looked up and replied, 

“Throwing starfish into the sea.”

“Why are you throwing starfish into the sea?” he asked.

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them in they’ll die.” 

“But, don’t you realise that there are miles of beach here 

 and starfish all along it. How can you possibly make a difference?”

The young person listened politely. 

Then knelt down, picked up another starfish 

and threw it  safely into the sea, past the breaking waves and said…

“Made a difference to this one.”

* Loren Eiseley  (adapted)

Thank you to  Picaro Poets to Brenda Eldridge who gives such inspiration, affirmation and support

Easter Sunday 2020

Easter 2020

 

There is Alleluia in this morning in our heroes.
Easter is in them as they rise to bring, save, comfort, give life in our world.
From cleaners to the top scientists, from shop assistants to nurses and doctors those on the front line and first responders. May we all give them honour and gratitude .For us in our compassionate retreat we can only be grateful.

“Nature does not hurry yet everything is accomplished” . She has suffered painfully this summer . Now she has a little breather to find herself again.

Here is a dawn photo this morning from the terrace  in our time of self isolating which we are terming our compassionate retreat. The second photo a tree atching the Easter sunrise before we received it. Love the gold the first gift of morn.

Easter Morning 2020

Kookaburras wake us singing.
Dawn.
The sun is rising.
An amazing expanse of pink sky.
Magpies are warbling again in the nearby tree ( all summer in smoke-choked air they didn’t sing )
The moon in her silver shoon
journeys west in quiet stillness.
The birds are singing more than ever.

The sweet scent of the lemon balm Eucalypt
and the newly budgeoning buds of the sasanquas fill the air.
All our families are safe at home, some camping in their backyards, some doing Easter bunny hunts in their own gardens.
No hectic trips to church .
No frantic last minute shopping for celebratory functions.
No one has been in traffic jams.
No one is racing heither and thiether to keep important dates or to take the planned Easter holiday.
And not a plane in the sky.
The air is crisp and fresh.

Easter 2020
when we all stayed home
in compassionate retreat

Practiced physical distancing
Not social distancing for Facetime and Zoom are a miracle of social communication . It is physical distancing we face daily which of course for grandparents who love being with their grandchildren is extremely painful.
I am a poet in residence . Normally you would pay a fortune to have that experince .

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