Our Local Bush Walk

 

 

Our Local Bush 

We are very blessed by walking 10 minutes  from our home we enter this wonderful pocket of bush a remnant of Eucalypts, especially the wonder of  Red Gum and cedars ,  The second layer makes  a pocket  of rainforest environment  with its Tree Ferns, Palms and Bird Nests . There is the relaxing sound of the tinkling of water, examples of sandstone and a bridge to walk across the creek.

Here is an opportunity for  Forest Bathing . The quiet restfulness and many shades of green is special. I once called it my air pocket for survival . Today 5 years since we moved here and first discovered this bush it is just as wonderful

 

 

new bush track

moving house means searching
for new wilderness
like a miner after an elusive air pocket
 

following a green area on a map
hidden by development
encroached to the edge
behind an old scout hall
a brambly track
winds me down
through a sandstone escarpment
 
the dawn-sun plays into the hands
of eucalypts stretched
to seek the light
yet their search for meaning
being found more in their roots
symbiotically curled around sturdy rock
 
here dew tipped casuarinas sparkle
here grass trees verdantly splurge
as if their whole purpose is to shine
 
self important the palms push upwards
like screaming rock stars
 
honey birds swing on rusty gold banksia
magpies warble
in the whip cracked air
 
this is the australian bush
how it pulls me in
 
through the trees i glimpse a waterfall
and marvel to think it has always been here
carving musically into the heart of the earth
it has sung its song for eons
 
it is the human in me that delights
nature just is in its own world
whole unto itself
 
it doesn’t even know I’m here
and there is a loneliness in this
yet lost from the world
i am found
and to the cadence of nature
i dance

Colleen

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wings of dawn

On Wing of Dawn

Thirst drove me down to the water
where I drank the moon’s reflection
Rumi

Tuggerah lake spreads open
the flounce of a bridesmaid skirt
amongst the pink tulle of cloud
a singular pelican
disturbs the moon bobbing along
its reflection in perfect balance
a narcissus moment
especially when it goes down for a fish

a silken sheen
wide expanses of blue
with dark patches –
sway of grasses
from which a snake long neck
of black cormorant
rhythmically dives

what we find: time plays waggery
in the still quite
of a dawn-lake our mind
is seduced to giddiness
like the caprice of a merry -go-round
with its jangle of lights and robotic tune

what we find: frivolity at the edge
as the day works itself
into a frenzy time is not kind
the lake becomes all fire
the plovers on the jetty protest
whip-smart at our approach

what is at stake: when the world
shatters into a million shards of glass
the shimmer on the lake
for our grandchildren
the beauty of the flocks of gulls
going south to feed
how they share the wind
in their formation

the death knell rings out
past the horizon
where the hills are softened
in the curl and swirl of mist
time thrusts its body
a superficial rush
but it cannot catch the present
that hums like a Tibetan bell
long after it stops ringing

we are always putting ourselves
together again
in a broken world
like humpty dumpty
who sat on the wall
after the fall
we have to pick up the pieces and go on
this is the journey
knowing only death is paralysis
and as Frost tells us
we have miles to go
before we sleep

Earth Day. A Celebration – Saving the Jacaranda- copy

To celebrate Earth Day I choose to reprint a poem  I love from my  first poetry collection,  A Call to Listen.   It is  a true story of a group of workers in our local council.  A model to save trees wherever you can for the life they support, for the beauty they give, for the fresh air they make, and for their healing presence in our lives.

Thank you Mary Reynolds Thompson for your inspiring email  . . . a reminder for me to act today.

It was on an autumn walk I learnt the old Jacaranda tree that I loved was under threat. It was in the way of new pipes. The pipes about 2 metres in diameter were being dug in and the gorgeous old Jacaranda was in the pathway. The next day there was an arborist directing the men down amongst the roots gently digging out the soil. The pipe was placed in underneath the roots. Then in November, 6 months on there it was, in full glory . . thanks to those who had worked to save it.

jacaranda_tree

saving the jacaranda

the line for the new concrete
drainage pipe
runs under the massive old jacaranda

meticulous to protect its roots
day after day the council men
ratty and mole in fluorescent yellow
dig a man-made warren
wide and deep

exposed roots
stretch and coil like dark bearded monsters
from a tenebrous underworld
smelling earthy airless damp

then overseen by an arborist
a crane lowers the pipe into place
and this private world is reclaimed

a year on
standing before its gnarled trunk
on a lilac path
i am corralled in its aura
of blossom-laden branches
and i rejoice with the breeze
in whispered mantras

And thank you to my daughter Elizabeth  Keating-Jones sending me Neil Gaiman’s poem in honour of  the Scientist and researcher, Rachel Carson (1907- 1964 )  who is the inspiration for Earth Day after  the new enlightment the world was given with her book Silent Spring  (1962)

Society of Women Writers April Meeting

A fresh Autumn morning . I set out by train for the city to attend the monthly gathering of the Society of Women Writers. ( SWW)

Each month it is held at the State Library of NSW over in  the  Dixson Room in the original Mitchell Library. And being a Friend of the Library I enjoy a coffee and some quiet space in  the Friends room before hand

This month  Pattie Miller lead the workshop .

and luncheon with the key note spesker as Pattie again on the topic of

and a very interest talk with Libby Hathorn and the first release of her new children’s book Miss Franklin .

It was a very pleasant gathering  and Pattie as always very informative

One of the exciting unfolding pieces of information Pattie Miller  held up the  new Stella Award book  An Erratic life by Vickie Laveau-Harvie            . Pattie was excited as Vicki had been on e of her students . I was excited firstly for Vicky winning such a prestigious prize but that I had spent the week at Varuna 

Society of Women Writers – Workshop with Patti Miller

It was  a very helpful and informative workshop at the State Library of NSW  with Patti Miller. She titled it,

The Difficulty of Truth Telling in Writing a Memoir

No woman is an Island.

We are all part of a family, a circle of friends, work groups, socail groups,  – sport, religion, interest, hobbies.

We have a  truth – a different truth for each different group.

We become socialised to know what truth to tell to each group.

When we sit down to write a memoir things come to the fore . . .1.  We don’ want to hurt the other, family,  friends.   2. It might change the way people think of us. 3. There is pressure to be nice, 4. Pressure to keep the peace. . . be the angel in the house.

Yet without feeling free to tell your truth the memoir will luck genuine authenticity.

Some hints to Tell the Truth and Survive

  1. The tone of your voice. Not what you say . . . it is how you say it. Not bitter, not accusing , not a rort for revenge, not a statement  for a statement’s sake . It must be like a velvet glove slipped into context.
  2. Put it all down in Draft one not to show but it gets a lot of angst out of you and it doesn’t have to be published.
  3. Remember it is your truth, your opinion,  your perspective.

We then workshopped our own writing  beginning

My  . . . . . . . would not want me to write about . . . .

We did not have to share it, but the brave souls who shared  . . .showed us the power of truth – telling.

Earth Day. A Celebration – Saving the Jacaranda

To celebrate Earth Day I choose to reprint a poem  I love from my  first poetry collection,  A Call to Listen.   It is  a true story of a group of workers in our local council.  A model to save trees wherever you can for the life they support, for the beauty they give, for the fresh air they make, and for their healing presence in our lives.

Thank you Mary Reynolds Thompson for your inspiring email  . . . a reminder for me to act today.

It was on an autumn walk I learnt the old Jacaranda tree that I loved was under threat. It was in the way of new pipes. The pipes about 2 metres in diameter were being dug in and the gorgeous old Jacaranda was in the pathway. The next day there was an arborist directing the men down amongst the roots gently digging out the soil. The pipe was placed in underneath the roots. Then in November, 6 months on there it was, in full glory . . thanks to those who had worked to save it.

jacaranda_tree

saving the jacaranda

the line for the new concrete
drainage pipe
runs under the massive old jacaranda

meticulous to protect its roots
day after day the council men
ratty and mole in fluorescent yellow
dig a man-made warren
wide and deep

exposed roots
stretch and coil like dark bearded monsters
from a tenebrous underworld
smelling earthy airless damp

then overseen by an arborist
a crane lowers the pipe into place
and this private world is reclaimed

a year on
standing before its gnarled trunk
on a lilac path
i am corralled in its aura
of blossom-laden branches
and i rejoice with the breeze
in whispered mantras

And thank you to my daughter Elizabeth  Keating-Jones sending me Neil Gaiman’s poem in honour of  the Scientist and researcher, Rachel Carson (1907- 1964 )  who is the inspiration for Earth Day after  the new enlightment the world was given with her book Silent Spring  (1962)

White Pebbles, Autumn Meeting 2019

 White Pebbles, Autumn Meeting 2019

The poet of ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, John Keats, would be proud of our group of Haikuists taking an autumnal walk around the Gosford /Edogawa Gardens on the Central Coast this past Saturday 9th March 2019.  We were aware of the concept of ichi-go ichi-e, the Japanese idiom ‘treasuring the unrepeatable nature of the moment.’

Our happy band meets four times a year for our ginko; with Beverley George our leader and present were Kent Robinson, Verna Rieschild, Marilyn  Humbert, Maire Glacken. Samantha Hyde, Colleen Keating with an apology from Gail Hennessy

Beverley commented how lovely to see our group growing and developing over the past year.

white pebbles march 2019
L to R: Marilyn Humbert, Kent Robinson, Maire Glacken, Beverley George, Verna Rieschild, Colleen Keating, Samantha Hyde

We began our morning with a welcome coffee and catch-up on the café patio sharing some newly published work and thoughts from our ‘homework,’  – a handout that Beverley emailed earlier to help us prepare.

We spent about forty minutes contemplatively moving around the garden, walking, sitting, pondering, jotting down thoughts and ideas for haiku writing; some of us lucky enough to have a haiku readily unfold to us.

beverley in park

A quiet moment, Beverley George

Lovely to sit in the open tea room overlooking the white pebble beach, the koi and ducks performing in the pond as usual. Cheeky peewees and plovers and a solitary whip bird added to the delight of our morning.

We are privileged each visit to enjoy a quiet working space in the Art Gallery precinct and we gathered at a great round table to share our writing. We marvelled at the rich and varied takings from our observations.  I feel sure we all feel encouraged and affirmed from our sharings.

We left inspired in our haiku writing and look forward to our next winter meeting.

Some stayed to enjoy the choices from the delicious lunch menu in the café.

Report by Colleen Keating

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

 

Stop Press; Hildegard is journeying well.

 

tulip bud in Liz garden

The birth of my new book Hildegard of Bingen: A Poetic Journey  like this  fresh bud moist with morning dew is being birthed.

 

It was exciting to receive the manuscript from Ginninderra Press for my first read and edit.

Stephen and Brenda Matthews, from Ginninderra Press have worked very sensitively with my  manuscript, that was accepted by them last year for publication.

Every step has its mix of excitement and challenge.

Now for the decisions about cover and blurb.

hildegard

Hildegard receiving  one of her visions .

 

IMG_2801

This photo is taken in the ruins of Disibodenberg where Hildegard lived for nearly 40 years, firstly in an anchorage which opened up to become a convent  as more girls and women even widows asked to come and live.  Michael took this photo of me sitting in the area which is thought to have been Hildegard’s Kapelle.

IMG_4230

Some of the items from Bingen that helped to inspire me on my writing journey.

Love is Powerful by Thomas Keating-Jones

There is hope.  Just read Thomas’ s latest poem .As a poet myself, I am so proud of my Grandson  7 1/2 year old Thomas.      His poem is a healing for our planet. I think you will agree with words like this, there is Hope . 

Love is Powerful

When rage is too powerful to overcome

Love is the one who steps forward to take its chance to change.

The universe greets life with the most powerful force –

Friendship and unity 

As together they create something that’s alive.

It cannot be replaced

It cannot be destroyed.

It can be forgotten and that is the danger!

So power up what you love most

to bring the Earth to health.

Power up your green heart.

Power up your blue heart.

Power up together to face the rage and destruction.

Our planet is worth it to protect our nature and its wonder .

Thomas Keating-Jones

Image 18-2-19 at 3.20 pm (2)