Democratic Poetics

A Gathering together of the finest.

Poems published in Poetry Matters from 2006 to 2019



A  final exciting achievement FOR 2020  is to have  five (5 ) poems chosen for the last Poetry Matters Journal . . .

The journal is called DEMOCRATIC POETIC  . POETRY MATTERS ISSUE 40 2020


escape with cezanne

seeing eyes

not narcissus




I like my reflection which introduces my poetry in the journal

Colleen Keating October 2020

Poetry in my life/ my life in poetry

On reflection, the love of expressing my self in words (in the early days with rhyme)  guided my way towards now, where I enjoy the pursuit of words to express my amazement with life.

My work explores the paradox and wonder of nature, the harsh realities of life, of inequality, injustice and increasing threats to our natural environment .

For me, poetry is vocational. I not so much choose it as my medium of expression as much as it chooses me. To guide my thoughts and the things I write, I prize awareness, mindfulness and an unperishing sense of wonder about the world. I read poetry and write every day.

And I am inspired by Lee Ann Womack’s words:
when you get the chance to sit it out or dance – dance.

Special thanks to Cheryl Howard for her dedication to our poetry and for her compliling this very valuable document of some great poetry. 


2020  has been the best of times and the worst of times for a writer here in Australia.

I add the proviso of  ‘in Australia ‘ for with this pandemic I would not like to be in any other country. Anxiety levels here in Australia are high enough without the death rate of the rest ot the world.

I say the worst of times because

many writers need motivation  and play off one another:

many writers work to the dead line of the critique group

many writers need imput from others

For some reason I found I could work on each day at my desk with out those stimului.

I say best of times because

my calendar and by 2020 year planner fell away by mid March.

That meant all my bookings to promote and sell Hildegard, my newly published  book cancelled so time was free and on my hands . With nowhere to go I headed to my desk.

I was fortunate to get the final research stay at Alice Springs and walk in Olive Pink’s footsteps and fly back to Sydney on one of the final normal planes to fly for months, which meant I could work on the finals parts of Olive Pink and send for consideration by the publisher.

No sooner were we home from the research in Alice Springs –  it was lockdown.

With free time and no writers’ meetings,

no groups, no committments, no visitors allowed

no launches

no U3A,

no SWW, no WWN

no time taken up driving to venues

I was free to continue my writing projects and begin on a new idea.


Firstly I was able to sort and collect an interesting anthology of my poetry which began as  a

book of sea  poems to be called Coastal Patterns but it got bigger and soon became titled

Beachcomber  not sure where it is going now!

I was able to co-edit a Picaro Poets with Pip Griffin which we called Mood Indigo  (actually it was completed before the pandemic but just wanted to add it here

Next  a Ginninderra Press Chap book with Decima  Wraxall  called Mists of Time and now a Picaro on my own – Brush of Birds

I had the motivation to send a few poems off to journals . Got lazy with Eureka when I didnt hear anything back after I sent poems which I thought were good.

And I have continued to be in each Eucalypt  with a tanka and this year  a haiku in Windfall.

I had two pieces of work in the Splish, Splash childrens work publ. SWW

I had the wonderful experience of having my poem translated into German and being part of the Hildegard pilgrimage. 

and this week had my Christmas poem chosen for a Podcast of Pastor Tara Eastman in Central New York on HOPE


Poem on Grandchildren and Environment wins


IMG_5584 3 IMG_6459


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. 


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



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