This trip is going to be a Winter journey. Well Elizabeth mentioned on Facetime a vernal spring!! but for us Aussies Spring peeping through does not make us feel warm as we have been experiencing most days in the 30 degree mark and a few over 47 degree. Jessica said a little further up north near Taree it hit 50 degree. So we are getting out the Kathmandu  coats and rugs and beanies and scarves and woollen gloves. Haha but they take up so much room to pack. Everything is spread out in the second bedroom to see how we can prioritise and pack.

We are very excited to see the Keating-Jones family with  6 and half year old Thomas  nearly 7 (we will be there to celebrate his birthday) and  1 year old Eleanor.

It is going to be a lot of fun.


A Call to Listen is an oasis for those of us who take too little time to stop and refresh our senses. It is a journey through landscapes both familiar and new, the beauty and the terror of the places we call home, the histories we are living now and remember still. It bridges distance and carries us beyond our shores to examine what unites and separates us. It is a microscope to magnify the magnificence of nature and a mirror to reflect our impact on this planet and each other.
Colleen Keating’s poetry speaks to us all in its intimacy and its beauty. Spend a while in this oasis. You will see the world more vividly. You will hear it calling.
Siobhan Colman

Colleen Keating’s poetry represents the application of a lively imagination to broad life experience. There is the sense of place in coolamon dreaming, and the sharp eye for detail in zen moment. There is intimacy in dawn, a sense of alienation in soka-eki, and an illustration of our capacity to ignore the suffering of others in lights a candle. This is a richly varied collection, expressing views worthy of consideration.

Norm Neill
This delightful collection invites us to listen with all our senses.
I recommend you take time to enter the world of this poetic landscape.

Margaret Hede

A CALL  TO LISTEN  is my first collection of poetry. It was launched in early 2015 by Siobhan Colman the Convenor of the Women Writers Network at the NSW Writers Centre.

A wonderful group of people,  family, friends and many writer gathered at Sapphos in Glebe where  the celebration took place. We celebrated with poetry readings wine and scrumptious tapas . A highlight of the afternoon was the  live cello music provided by Nigel  Parry.


A Call to Listen

by Colleen Keating

Published by Ginninderra Press

Reviewed by Judith O’Connor
This stylishly produced collection of some eighty poems,
with a particularly tasteful and pleasing cover, is just what it says – a plea to stop
our activities and busyness and start looking, listening and observing the world around us. The poet supplies us with any number of simple examples:

it’s a hard thing to love a rock
you need to receive it as a gift
spend time
gaze . . . (‘How to Love a Rock’)


. . . a fallen water tank; rusted blood red . . .


But we quickly see that the range of topics and inspiration,
is far wider and deeper than what at first may appear incidental.
The collection is cleverly arranged into eight separate categories,
taking in a wide sweep of the poet’s life and experiences.
I particularly enjoyed the verses inspired by outback Australia
for which the poet has borrowed (and referenced) the words of Mary McKillop
‘We are but Travellers Here’. Having trekked to the summit of Mt. Sondar and hiked in many of the poet’s footsteps (‘Ormiston Pound’), I was surprised and delighted to read her award winning ‘Daybreak over Mt. Sondar’ and its moving description of the dawn:

…in the beginning
air static as a nylon petticoat pulled over my hair
fingerprints of red ruby . . . (‘Daybreak over MT. Sondar’)

Every page brings fresh and, at times, challenging verses on a range of human emotions from ‘Almost Dawn’ with its sensuality:

… he turns
arms cocoon me
in an aura of warmth
his breath tingles
in the dip of my neck . . .  (‘Almost Dawn’)

to ‘At the Nursing Home’:

… I fill the foot bath
my elbow checks the tepid water … (‘At the Nursing Home’)

Another of my favourites, ‘Sisters’:

… we lunch together
we celebrate
the milestone of another decade
and that word ‘remission’ a green shoot springing
from the scarred black earth…

But from being a poem full of depression and sorrow, it ends magnificently:

….we splurge
with our lust for life
toast with a glass of bubbly
Joie de vivre (‘Sisters’)

The poets voice changes to anger and outrage in other poems such as ‘Guantanamo Bay’ ( . . . this is a poem not to be read aloud; for it speaks of solitaire confinement …) and ‘War on Terror’ ( … it’s coming; through a hole in the air) along with poems reflecting visits to Japan and Fromelles.

Whatever the reader’s mood, quest or interest, these poems are sure to satisfy, surprise and inspire.

My blog has moved and you can now find me at

it looks as if you will have to copy and paste to get to me.

but if you google colleenkeatingpoet you should find me

or colleen keating poet.



Farewell beautiful garden

The last day at Harley, my home for nearly forty years. What a wrench to have this beautiful home sold so suddenly and so quickly and now settlement pending. Tomorrow at 2 pm the place is no longer ours.

With camera in hand I walk for the last time on this piece of earth I have cherished. So many memories came crowding in The courtyard where we partied and celebrated so many milestones, and where we played. I can still hear the  cricket game cheers ring in the air of and the laughing as they jumped up the terraced rocks . . . the kids and Millie the dog to catch or retrieve the ball. 

Then around behind the miniature conifers I walk along what we called the Millie Path for it was her journey early each morning and during the day. She was so gorgeous and so private.
Ah the Banana Plant self seeded from over the fence now fully grown and laden with green bananas that the neighbours love to eat. They bring back memories of the time cooking the green ones in their skin in my New Guinea days.

Next the vegetable and herb garden now laying dormant which gave earthy pleasure, much material to write about and nutritious greens and herbs over the years and reason to compost for all the years .. wow what rich soil we leave.

Weeping over the sandstone wall the Millie’s Moon orchards given to me by a friend and wow have  they Imagethrived.

I walk back to the courtyard and the garden made to replace the old Blue Gum that had had its day. A wonderful tree that was there for climbing and swinging and hiding and chasings around for eons. Even Santa had climbed it once or twice for surprises . Here we had set a bubbling fountain and an altar (a remnant from the tree) and plants including a flame tree and a plumbago across which the spiders love to dangle their webs.

Next I walk to the Bird garden out the front shaded by two wonderful Blue Gums . Here Grevillea, Banksia ,Kangaroo Paw, swaying grasses, Proteas, and a red flowering gum with the bird bath that was given to me as a gift from my school on retirement with a stepping stone winding track that takes you around the trees to the bird bath where i had intended to put a seat for sitting and reflecting and contemplation in the garden.

Bernard’s garden near the front steps a circle of thriving Myrias circled mandala-like around another bird watering hole and finally the sandstone path winding down to the road a secret path with aromas that delighted visitors. Included here two wonderful yellow flowering shrubs given to me as cuttings from a dear friend Sharon from Scone and the amazing purple shrub from my late friend Fr. Shelly
And my farewell and thanks to my garden for its salve and balm its treasured beauty . I am truly grateful


Sunrise over the Pacific

We have come to The Entrance for a few days . Decima has come with us and we are celebrating her birthday . The view and light and colours of this time of the Winter Solstice have been very special

Taking time for reflection at Disibodeberg where Hildegard spent  42 years of her formative life