Soft Gaze by Colleen & Michael Keating

 

Soft Gaze our new Picaro Press book has just been released. Thank you to  Brenda Eldridge and Stephen Matthews at Ginninderra Press.. This is our second collaborative effort and we found our poetry blended very well to create this beautiful collection.

We are proud of the cover we have titled  ‘still and still moving‘ a photograph taken by our daughter, Jessica.   As she walked on the beach , she  observed the sand designs on the ebbing tide. One needs attention and the art of  soft gazing to  see this phenomena and  once seen of course  it is never unseen. One can never walk again on the beach and not watch for  the intricate designs the sand and water makes at their edge.   Thanks Jessica.

The dedication reads:
For our children and their partners –
the role models for our grandchildren.

Michael’s poem  gives the title to the collection

Soft Gaze
by Michael Keating

On this rim of the Pacific
an alfresco café fills and empties
swirls with chatter and laughter.
I allow my thoughts to drift.

On the rumpled velvet water
a canoeist eases into view
captures centre stage
then fades out of sight.

Folded against a cloud-gripped sky
the ocean is polished, gunmetal grey.
Pale pockets quilt the surface
where the sun probes to burn through.

The horizon arcs –
a tightrope where a coal bulker crosses.
A sharp scurry of seagulls
reframes my attention.

I Protest! Poems of Dissent selected by Stephen Matthews

 

So exciting to receive in the mail our complimentary copies of Ginninderra Press’ new Anthology.

I Protest! Poems of Dissent. 

Congratulations to Stephen Matthews on a superb publication  and so timely.

Both Michael and I are  very proud to each have a poem   chosen for the Anthology.

Michael’s poem is called Disconnect  and is a poem about the precious commodity we have
in water which has its own fragility and he writes how we can be lulled into forgetfulness
‘The fragility of our country  and the worry about the aquifers’

My poem rock-a bye-baby  speaks of the earth is in pain and yet how easy we can be lulled into sleep, into silence.

I  like to think I end hopefully
‘like green shoots from black stumps
will rise   poems of possibility’

There is 20% off all books at Ginninderra Press till the end May.

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

   

A Healing Colour: Poetic Journey

 

hildegard

1.Hildegard of Bingen with her  tablet to write while listening to the Divine Light  

 

IMG_2801

Colleen Keating at Disibodenberg where Hildegard lived for 38 years. (1112 -1150)

 

A Healing Colour

The none bell fills the air
for afternoon prayer. 
Richardis runs ahead with the sisters.
Hildegard in the new garden
adjacent to the monks gardens,
lingers a moment, cherishing the freedom.
Her basket filled.

She gazes around her 
sighs with joy.
Her smile can hardly be contained.
How she relishes these moments
to be lost in the loving, living Light.

Dappled, the sun textures 
trees and grasses,
with crunch of heaping leaves underfoot, 
a riot of russet and gold.

Affirmation comes on the breeze,
God hugs you.
You are encircled by the arms 
of the mystery of God.
Feast your eyes on the green
a thousands shades of green
a healing colour, let it heal you 
with its greening power rooted in the sun. 

This moment is my miracle
she murmurs,
as she hastens back to the convent.
Colleen Keating

 

 

VERIDITAS

27400022_10159988751120486_1246975367_n

Photo of Veriditas  taken by Elizabeth Keating-Jones

I watched an aerial view of the destruction of forests and bush in Queensland recently, yes in 2018, we are still destroying forests here in Australia. I thought of the natural habitats, animals loosing their homes and the birds’ nests falling and the wildflowers and moss and tiny orchids now gone and the bare vulnerable earth left to be washed into erosion gullies and then the droughts, because the forest canopy has been destroyed and the earth no longer sustaining the people. And I thought how relevant are Hildegard of Bingen’s words from the 12th century across the ages to us today in this age of climate change and greed and with the loss of so much wilderness and natural habitats.

Hildegard has a word veriditas that was a touchstone of her spirituality. It is said to be coined from two words green and truth.
For Hildegard this was the greening power, the animating life force manifest in the natural world that infuses all creation with moisture and vitality.
She talks of the “exquisite greening of grass and trees,   of earth’s lush greening.
She says all of creation and humanity is “showered with greening refreshment, the vitality to bear fruit”

Clearly for Hildegard creativity and greening power are intimately connected.
To her, the divine was manifest in every leaf and blade of grass. Hildegard saw the manifestation of the Creator in every flower, every stone. For her creation revealed the face of the creator.

Hildegard celebrates the sacred in nature.

I am the breeze that nurtures all things green,
I encourage blossoms to flourish with ripening fruits.
I am the rain coming from the dew
that causes the grasses to laugh
with joy of life

For all of us who know and love Hildegard of Bingen,
let us be aware, awake and alert to bring lush greenness to the shrivelled and dried and wilted, to our earth and all its people. It only needs one more to sway the scales to change the critical mass of people who say,  leave our trees, our rivers, our forests, our air alone. This tiny blue sphere we live on is our home . . protect and love it.

Hildegard says,  we are here to cultivate the earthly and thereby create the heavenly. We do this in all of our creating . . . music, art, poetry, sculpture, bush walking, hobbies and culture.
The tragedy of drying up and ignoring the greening power is that nothing is created.

Colleen and Michael at Disibodenberg at Hildegard’s Kapelle

IMG_2788

SHARED FOOTPRINTS GINKO WALK: AUTUMN

TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS

by Michael and Colleen on autumn beach walk

footsteps-in-the-sand-peter-mooyman

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

sunriseIMG_3357

 

no footprint