Shared Footprints Autumn

Our special Ginko walk  a seasonal walk along the beaches The Entrance, Blue bay and Toowoon Bay. Michael and I will make this season walk the first week of each season for the following year and note the changes.

AUTUMN March 11th 2018

 

TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS

MK two sets of footprints
crisp on the washed sand
autumn beach walk

CK on the horizon
shelf of thick cloud
dawn lingers

MK edge of the ocean
elements in balance
cone of awareness

CK autumnal sun
catches the wet sand
our mirrored world

MK gulls saunter
pattern the sand
we ease past

CK olive-green seagrass
buzzes with insects
fresh from the ocean

MK warm touch of sun
gossamer seaweed
dart of swallows

CK the blue-grey heron
forages alone
we curve around

MK photographers in position
board riders at play
wait for the moment

CK near the headland
hang gliders colour the sky
autumnal breeze

MK step through this autumn morning
extras on stage
accept our transience

CK with incoming tide
two sets of footprints
are gone

 

My New Cousin by Jacinta Van Eyk

 My New Cousin

by Jacinta Van Eyk

 

Ethan Michael

is my baby cousin.                        IMG_0972

He is brand new 

with the cutest eyes

and a wriggly body, 

wrapped up in a  blanket 

light blue. 

When I arrive, 

he is sound asleep. 

We all have a little peep,

and then I get to hold 

and cuddle him.

The best is when he lies on me,                     IMG_1296

opens his eyes for me to see 

their deep blue colour.

He stretches

and gives little sighs.

When he gets hiccups

it makes me laugh.

I wish I could be there                                                                                        IMG_1297

to see him have a bath

 

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Writing a poem 

for Ethan Michael 

by Colleen KeatingIMG_1242

 

in the wee hours of the morning
you stir. . . you are on your way
like a bird from a long migration
you are arriving

as dawn sprinkles its first lights
across the sky    i am awake   alert
to morning bird song and wait
you are arriving

before noon on a bright summer day
you begin with a first breath
your heart   a fluttering bird
you have arrived

i look into your eyes
that carry other worlds
not forgotten yet    by this world
and grasp the beauty and terror
of the journey

you are the living sign of our joy
a part of us      of this world
nested with calm acceptance
of loving arms and familiar voices

for the artist your hair shines dark
crystallised ebony
your skin    the touch of a bird’s soft down
your eyes the deep of ocean-sapphire

for the poet there are no words
just wonder and awe
but like the soar of a lark ascending
writing a poem is my flight of love

 

(Ethan Michael is our 11th Grandchild born 11/01/19)

Jacaranda

Jacaranda

it seems everything this year

challenges the Jacaranda

**

IMG_9416In spring its hidden buds 

endure a drought

**

then whipping winds and rain

inflict a thrashing 

**

today in the foyer of summer

in regal glory it stands

**

its clusters of purple

touch the deep blue sky 

**

passers-by halt as if they hear it speak                   IMG_9455

a language they seek to decipher 

**

and there is a communal nod

for the earth’s generosity

Colleen Keating

 

jacarandas out our window

Resignation Syndrome – Poetry in Eureka Street

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EUREKA STREET

Excited to have my poetry RESIGNATION SYNDROME published in Eureka Street .
Hildegard of Bingen said her quill was her sabre,
Judith Wright said her pen was her sword.
My laptop is my weapon to inspire, to encourage, to remind people to wake
as the poet Christopher Fry writes in his poem A Sleep of Prisoners
“What are you waiting for?
It takes so many thousand years to wake ,
but will you wake for pity’s sake ?”

ARTS AND CULTURE

Resignation syndrome

  • Colleen Keating
  • 22 October 2018

4 Comments

The concurrent symptoms for this poem: vague staring into mid air; taking to their bed; not eating or drinking regularly; not toileting; not responding. Imagine a child without light in their eyes. It is not a flash back. It is now. It is the Australian people.

Resignation syndrome

4 Comments

 

exaltation against despair

and the world is a wobbly stool
and spindly trees grow to the light
against all the odds
of walls and overcrowding
and where there’s a tree in your heart
a singing bird will come
and we write of hope
with nothing to write
yet urgent to write it

 

resignation syndrome

this poem is a repeat
written over and over
a story told again and again

 

the one thing different it has a revised title
two words
‘resignation’
meaning uncomplaining endurance of sorrow or other evil
‘syndrome’ — a set of concurrent symptoms.

the concurrent symptoms for this poem:

vague staring into mid air
taking to their bed
not eating or drinking regularly
not toileting
not responding
imagine a child without light in their eyes

it is not a flash back

it is now

it is the Australian people
it is us the wealthy nation
wanting our cake and to eat it too
what a cliche

using humans as a deterrent

fearful of fear

how many times do we need to tell it?

how many times do we need to hear it ?

how many times
until our hands and legs unshuffle
until hearts fire
our country blaze again
until we can imagine the human faces
staring through the bars
until we see eyes
children eyes
come alive again
until we know
it is our fears
that stifle the light

 

we want to know
goodness prevailis over evil

 

humanity is a breath of us
we are all in it
one breath
we breathe each others air
we are the people attempting to breathe

 

we are suffocating

 

in depriving breath from one human
we hold it from ourselves

 

silence is the power
secrecy is the power
yet humanity demanding to breathe together
is enough
is the power

 

after the massacre

when we wake to truths
that make our hearts beat fast
and walk the blood-red gravel track
that draws us down
to write the story on our heart
needle on our skin

to pin our bones into its frame
and stand

 

with Milton’s fear
of blindness and denial
then grope and touch
the blood-stained earth
with spines of ironbark
and smell the stench of burnt flesh
where only eucalypt should waft
we weep
grapple in the dark
find that so tender song-line of truth
stirs a nations womb to birth
and know
there is no going back

 

 

Colleen KeatingColleen Keating is a Sydney poet. She has two published award- winning collections of poetry: A Call to Listen and Fire on Water. She is also co-editor of two anthologies on behalf oft the NSW Women Writers network.

Topic tags: Colleen Keating, poetry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 

 

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

 

IMG_5583IMG_6279

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

 

 

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  


IMG_2315

 

 

 

   

Last Swallows: A Poetic Journey

For Hildegard, health and healing sought balance in all aspects of life. She honoured interconnectivity – of spirit, mind, body; of humanity, the earth and the universe. This is the heart of Hildegard’s healing philosophy, though not unique to her. Buddha emphasised the middle way as the path of moderation and the path of wisdom. The Tao always reminds us to move towards finding the balance as with dark and light.

What would eventually set her apart, however, was how she chose to embrace the middle ground set forth in the Rule of St. Benedict. This enabled her to engage in her individual passion while serving the stringent institutionalism of the Church.

It was within this middle ground that she pressed her will and intellect into the interconnectivity of the physical and spiritual worlds, culminating in her foundational work in natural medicine.

From her early years Hildegard worked with  garden plants and herbs for healing. This can be seen in the following poem when Jutta is dying. ( from Book 111 of Hildegard of Bingen: A Poetic Journey)    

 

 

 

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Some of the books of the 21st century I have that are inspired by Hildegard of Bingen

 

 

 Last Swallows  

Hildegard’s world stands bleak, 
bare.    The last swallows long gone.
In cold light 
dew drops hang on a blade of grass.
Lingering dread 
knots her stomach.

She enters the anchorage 
sighs deeply,
lights Advent’s second candle.
Its smoky glow 
reveals the pale beauty of Jutta’s face,
she lies stilled. 
Hildegard puts down some bowls, 
kisses her forehead.

 Jutta, my mother,
your ascetics are too harsh.
Your imprisoned cell here 
is mortification enough.

Let our spirits give praise 
with rhythm of music,
with song of jubilation.
Our God, the Just One, is she who offers life 
with all its bountiful gifts.

She nurtures Jutta, 
urges with sips of fennel tea,  
warmed broth, mulled honeyed wine. 
Oil from the olives, freshly pressed, 
she heats over the smouldering hearth,
gently massages Jutta’s hands and feet.
Her flesh wasted.
Jutta has her mind only  
on heaven, 
to be remembered as a saint. 
Hildegard kneels beside her
holds her cold hands,
listens to her trailing breath.
She loves this broken woman.

 

Colleen Keating

from Hildegard of Bingen : A Poetic Journey

 

Hildegard-Medieval-Diet-Healthiest
Later Hildegard came to understand everything is given us
for our wellbeing. She would write later about the interconnection of all things.
There is no creation that does not have a radiance, 
be it greenness or seed, blossom or beauty, 
it could not be creation without it.  Hildegard of Bingen

In 1150, Hildegard left the Monastery at Disibodenberg and led her sisters to set up the new Abbey at Rupertsberg. There she embarked on deep and valuable work in lifestyle, nutrition, and well being for her sisters. Word spread around the  of her healing ways.

When Hildegard left the Monastery at Disibodenberg and led her sisters to set up the new Abbey at Rupertsberg in 1150 she embarked on deep and valuable work in lifestyle, nutrition, and well being for her sisters. And word spread around the Rhineland of her healing ways.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, declared “let food be thy medicine, and medicine be they food.” The concept of food as medicine is ancient. Hildegard was one of the first in Mediaeval Western civilisation that connected health and nutrition. 

Food as medicine is the core for Hildegard of Bingen. Her notion that a kitchen is also a pharmacy reflects a common theme among ancient traditions of healing: food is the first medicine. Medicines at the time were all plant based or specific combinations of foods prescribed according to their unique healing qualities.

Hildegard’s original work, was eventually split into two treatises, Physica  and   Causae et Curae –

“Physica” represents the history of natural remedies, which Hildegard had intended for public use. and in Causae et Curae Hildegard describes healing and treatment methods using humoral techniques along with traditional creation teachings, combined with ancient mystic Cosmologies.

 

 

 

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The wonderful selections of breads at breakfast, in our Bingen Hotel overlooking the Rhine. It felt very much as if hildegard is present.

 

 

Today especially in Germany, Hildegard’s healing treatments have found a resurgence in holistic health and wellness.

Within this renaissance Hildegard’s philosophies around health and nutrition provide concrete ways to achieve a healthy spirit, mind, and body, which ultimately lead to a healthy lifestyle. From this healthy lifestyle we harvest many benefits, not the least of which is avoiding illness and unnecessary suffering.

Expansion to Eibingen: A Poetic Journey

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From my writing desk, in Bingen, looking down the Rhine

 

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At Bingen, looking down the Rhine.

 

Expansion  to Eibingen  

Hildegard’s fingers tap restlessly 
on the refectory table. 
A new plan consumes her mind.
She moves to the podium
tucks back some loose strands of grey hair,
smoothes her veil
waits for her sisters to end supper.

She looks around.
A hundred sisters sit close in lines
share their own produce, 
freshly baked spelt bread,
honey, warmed grape wine. 
Hildegard breathes the aroma 
of the delicious broth, 
a recipe she has created 
for their health. 

Her mind holds a bold horizon
as the shape of Rupertsberg
grows its silhouette into the sky.
Its soul is their singing, her music.  

Hildegard inspires their hearts 
again with the bravery of St Ursula.
Her voice lowers,

My gaze is drawn across the Rhine
to the hamlets and people of Eibingen.
To a destroyed, abandoned convent.
How the local people beckon 
for our sisters.

Chatter buzzes, hums
like a hive of  Odelia’s bees.
Excitement palpable.

They imagine the old buildings 
brought to life again 
by their efforts.

On the first Sunday of Lent

Hildegard crosses the busy Rhine 
with thirty volunteer sisters 
to found a new convent 
amongst the people of Eibingen.

Sister Inez,  chosen the new Magistra. 
The monk Volmar comes to bless them.
Carpenters and stone masons
follow, enthusiastic about a new project.

On the return journey,
the smell of the river captivates Hildegard.
Undeterred by the rough swell,
she turns to Volmar,
We will visit twice a week
to encourage and support them

The buildings and spires of Ruperstsberg
from the  perspective of the Rhine
catch warm rays of a sun, deep in their hearts.

 

 

 

Schwester Raphaela (l) und Schwester Maria Magdalena von der Abtei St. Hildegard bei Rüdesheim (Rheingau) lesen am Mittwoch (30.09.2009) Spätburgundertrauben im Weinberg. Das Kloster bewirtschaft 6,5 Hektar Rebfläche, die zu 83 Prozent mit Riesling und zu 17 Prozent mit Spätburgunder bepflanzt ist. Die geschichtlichen Wurzeln des Klosterweingutes reichen bis ins Mittelalter zurück, in die Zeit der Gründeräbtissin dieses Klosters, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179). Schon damals betrieben die Schwestern Weinbau. Foto: Arne Dedert dpa/lhe +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Abtei St. Hildegard bei Rüdesheim (Rheingau) 2009  ( in 12th century situated at Eibingen

Touch of Silk: A Poetic Journey

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A happy photo of a Benedictine sister picking the grapes at  the  Eibingen Abbey.

This poem in Hildegard’s poetic journey  Touch of Silk is a transitional moment when she is inspired to showcase her sisters, singing, and her music, with her sisters dressing in beautiful gowns and flowers. It is a fact many of the women were quite wealthy and did bring jewellery maybe as part of a dowry,which they used to adorn themselves on special feast days. One must remember the 12 th century was a moment of Renaissance. Many frowned on her actions but it was still able to be done. In less then 100 years this would not be allowed.

 

Touch of Silk

There must have been a moment
when the idea arose.
Maybe it was the visions
when holy virtues spoke to her.

Maybe when all fifty sisters spent time
laughing together as they picked grapes,
for the winepress,
to make the sacramental altar wine,
and their sweet wine
to give warmth and strengthen blood,
as Hildegard says.

Maybe it was the day
the cousins Bertrude and Agnes
from a noble family joined her sisters,
proudly announcing they were seamstresses,
and donating reams of silk
for priestly albs and vestments.

Just maybe, the touch of the silk
gave Hildegard the idea.

Excitement drives her thoughts and words,
as she muses and then reflects out loud,
My sisters will wear silk gowns
as they sing our opera.
We will have it ready to perform
for the Bishop and his entourage
at the consecration of our new Church.

After Matins,
Hildegard gathers her sisters,
My sisters, God loves beauty.
For our concert we will dress,
as noble regal souls.
We will wear silk gowns that flow.
Gold wreaths and flower-circlets will crown us.
Let our hair loose under light translucent veils.
Our hair is our glory,
not a temptation to cut or hide.

Feverish as excited children
the sisters sing and sew
and with every practice
Hildegard watches their confidence grow.

Below is some special mementos I brought home from Bingen.
The wines I shared with Michael were special and my Hildegard candle energises me and the whole room while I write.

wine from Abbey

Hildegard’s wines from Eibingen