Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mindfulness, poetry, haiku, photography for when life is challenging

Water reflection at Kuirau Park, Rotorua

Most people have


in  life.

Ups and downs.

when things don't flow

                                       Water reflection 2 at  Kuirau Park Rotorua

Your favourite pet or person

may disappear any time

Nobody is immune

To the tide of the moon

                   Exotic Imports, Hinemoa Street Rotorua

Some people are

broken needles

on scratched records.


moans  to empaths

who absorb them

like pieces of 


in the rain.

               Exotic Imports Hinemoa Street Rotorua

 Women are encouraged

in self help- books

to make friends with

others so they can

confide in them when things

go south.

Which is OK to a point.

But not helpful if it goes

on too long

Exotic Imports Rotorua
Why not encourage

women to set up talking groups

where it's compulsory

to celebrate snippets of joy-

with or about each other,

devoid of envy, gossip

or competition?

Exotic Imports, Hinemoa Street,  Rotorua


a professional counsellor,

(if the spiral is still going down), 

is not shameful.

It's being strong-

Would you blush

to visit a surgeon
 if you had a brain tumour?

Or a vet if your cat was too

far gone ?

Gary Keen RIP, Rotorua

Ways to cope include

meditating with a 

recording of a hypnotists 

melodious voice-

Cuddling on the couch 

with your cat, kids

or significant other

Walking in nature and 

talking to birds

They understand more 

than you realise
 Fantail Lake Okareka, Rotorua

TED Talks and pod casts 

can lead to a-ha moments of hope.

Switching off  TV, social media

and silencing your phone can

lead to moments of peace.

Listening to classical

music all evening long can lead to

moments of wonder

Japanese Garden Tree Trust Rotorua

Candle lit, home made

dinners around

your table 

even if you are alone

is fine.

There is dancing in candle light

  Japanese garden Tree Trust, Rotorua crossed with Exotic Imports Light

Lavender incense

for relaxation.

A singing bowl with

a high pitched ring.

Banging it like a gong

throughout rooms;

moves energy along,

making space

for joy and song

Japanese garden Tree Trust Rotorua

Writing every day

two pages of anything

even if it's tripe

is a good place to release

worries and can sometimes

move you to tears that heal

Words and thoughts are better

out on the page,

than swirling around

in your brain like pots of

alphabet soup.

Going alone to favourite cafes

 with a good cup

of coffee and occasionally

a savoury muffin,

to write and read

are sanity saviours

If you are an over-thinker,
 over-drinker or over-spender-
writing and doodling can be
a way of  holding hands
 with your
guardian angels and dreams

 Children's picture books
 and magazines in public libraries
 are favoured places to linger.
The air feels lighter

The Library in Rotorua
 is so improved,
it could be on another planet.

Security guards
 and helpful
staff on every floor
make you feel
safe and mellow.
No more swearing
lurkers, stealing bags 
and setting
fires to toilets.

 I wonder where
those souls have been 
moved along to-
I hope it's kind and warm

If you are in a mood for travel,
Libraries at Papamoa, Whakatane
 Wellington and Warkworth
are worth visits too.
 Places of peace and power

 Probably  most libraries
on the planet are
worth dropping
 being mini-worlds of
community and calm

Sitting in specialists' 
waiting rooms can be
spaces for viewing  magazines, 
original art,
 creating drawings in your visual diary
and writing

There are silver linings and bullets if
  you can glean them.
Although it is easier to
think this way when
you are not the actual
one afflicted

 Moments of joy
 don't just
float towards you effortlessly
 on a perfumed cushion 
 unless you
are in the initial
throes of dopamine love

 Commitment to  present
  contentment takes practise 
and courage
If you try just
a fraction of these methods
for a

full month of moons,
 things may improve
 because I know from personal
proof that

Everyone has challenges in life.
Ups and downs.
Times when things don't flow


See how you go
if you decide to use any of these methods
-drop me a line 

              Mirror Exotic Imports Hinemoa Street Rotorua

Parting famous poem of the day for your enjoyment


             Kindness glides about my house.
Dame Kindness, she is so nice!
The blue and red jewels of her rings smoke
In the windows, the mirrors
Are filling with smiles.

What is so real as the cry of a child?
A rabbit's cry may be wilder
But it has no soul.
Sugar can cure everything, so Kindness says.
Sugar is a necessary fluid,

Its crystals a little poultice.
O kindness, kindness
Sweetly picking up pieces!
My Japanese silks, desperate butterflies,
May be pinned any minute, anesthetized.

And here you come, with a cup of tea
Wreathed in steam.
The blood jet is poetry,
There is no stopping it.
You hand me two children, two roses.  

Sylvia Plath

Parting famous  haiku for you to reflect on and write your own in response to if you feel like it

don't hit the fly-
he prays with his hands
and with his feet

Issa Kobayashi

My response to this is

don't spray the bee-
she makes honey with her hands
and with her feet
 Janet Keen

Monday, June 25, 2018

haiku exercises for you to try

White Island Bay of Plenty NZ

The journey of arriving at the haiku you think is the one, at least for now.

 leaving white island 
 steam clouds gather
wind whistles goodbye

white Island
 steam clouds wave
 a lonely goodbye

fair well White Island
 steam clouds follow
waving goodbye

waving to White Island
steam clouds 

 wave to the island 
all alone now
steam clouds leave too

leaving white lsland
sulphur smell on his jacket
yellow rock in my pocket

leaving white island 
the smell of sulphur 
in his white hair

If you keep on looking at the same photo and quick fire haiku to go with it; you climb into the haiku that you really admire.
 At least for that sesson and at least until you go back to edit it. 
It's like with a painting. 
I always paint a series of four.
The first one can look stilted until you relax into the process 
 This is because you need to  allow yourself  to transport yourself into a meditative state.   
It takes a while to relax and let the magic materialise. 

Now you have a go.....

Exercise one.
Take a photo that you like, preferably of  your own.
Set your timer for  five minutes.
Put on some classical or uplifting, relaxing  music
See how many quick-fire haiku you can create.
Don't think too hard.
Just let the words flow.
Don't worry about the five seven five rule.
 Just write three lines. 
Each haiku building off the other.
Don't worry how good, bad, literary or otherwise they are; just do it.
 Do six photos, (one photo and 6 haiku per day if you are running short of time). 
But if you do have time and you can spare it do 6 in a row. 
Have a go
They will begin to flow

You will slip into the  magical, universal slipstream that many  professional writers talk about when at literary (Readers and Writers) festivals.  Other writers who interview them nod their heads in agreement. 

"The poem lept off the page and wrote itself". 
"The book flowed and wrote itself, I was just the conduit or channel." 
I've heard this said by so many writers that I believe it.  
But you need to keep on writing. 
It also happens with painting and mosaic making. 
The haiku will begin to write themselves. 
If you have a blog; post it 
Again  I repeat, don't worry that its not good enough.
Just do it.

At the end of this exercise you will have a small collection of haiku.
At the very least 36 more than when you started.

  Janet sitting on a giant mosaic sculpture in South Australia

giant mosaic sitting
 footprints lead to feet
 all those busy hands

    all those busy hands
    to make a mosaic
    sitting in the landscape

  part of the landscape
   a giant mosaic footprint
   all those aching hands

   part of the landscape
   footprints in the sand
  giant mosaic sitting

sitting on the landscape
aching  mosaic hands
footprints on the sand

 mosaic bits and pieces
busy aching hands
footprints on the land

Once you have written them pick out the one you like best and save it for entering into a competition or as part of your book.

 Remember to read lots of other people's haiku
Walk in nature and take lots of photos. 
Play classical music while you write or music that uplifts you. 

Good luck. If you've used this method which I have invented, and which I run classes about in my studio; drop me a line with your haiku. 

 email : and I'll include it in  future blogposts about haiku :) 

Parting Poem
William Carlos Williams 1883-1963

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums 
that were in 
the icebox

and which
you were probably 
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet and so cold

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pleasure, what is it and how important is it? Photo essay with quotes, from famous people and photos taken by Janet Keen

 Ohiwa,  Flying Man with Seagulls NZ

Become slower in your journey through life. 
Practise meditation
Visit the sea, mountains, lakes and forests
Give yourself permission to read at least one novel a month for pleasure.
 Wayne Dyer.

  Wisteria Curtains, Kuirau Park Rotorua, NZ

Gratitude is an overflow of  pleasure filling your soul
Rahel Farooq

 Rust on the Bedford,  Bennydale, King Country NZ

Draw your pleasure, paint your pleasure and express your pleasure strongly
Pierre Bonnard

   Cloud Wisps, Rotorua, NZ

Poetry is the art of uniting pleasure with the truth
Samuel Johnson

   Boat Reflections, Tauranga Marina NZ

That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense is derived from the contemplation of the beautiful.
Edgar Allen Poe

Mast Reflections at dusk Tauranga Harbour, NZ

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing. 
Dale Carnegie

MacLaren Falls, Tauranga NZ

People who are not satisfied with  a little are satisfied with nothing. Epicurus

 White Island, NZ

 In the end it doesn't matter how many breaths you take, but how many moments took your breath away.
 Shing Xiong

 Flight  Over Tauranga  Marina  NZ

 How easy is it to find pleasure in a harried world? The answer is every day if you have a mind for it.

 Reflections of Flight over Tauranga Harbour, NZ

They that seldom take pleasure, give pleasure 

 More Reflections Tauranga Boat Harbour, NZ

Pleasure is the physical manifestation of Joy 
Cherie Carter Scott.

Modified reflections Boat Harbour Tauranga NZ

The greatest pleasure of life is love. 

 Frost Ngongotaha Mountain, Rotorua

Of all the seasons winter is the most conducive to the great art of dormancy. A special pleasure in itself that is too often neglected under-valued or looked down upon.
Michael Leunig 

There is an arid pleasure.

 There is an arid pleasure
As different from joy
As frost is different from dew
 Like element they are 

Yet one rejoices flowers
And one the flowers abhor
The finest honey curdled
Is worthless to the bee. 

Emily Dickensen

Saturday, May 26, 2018

What sorts of things can you do with a Peacock?




Peacock Cat 1


Peacock Cat 2 


Peacock  and people shadows 

Peacock Palm Tree

Peacock Fairy Lights

Peacock Sky Tower 1
\Peacock Sky Tower 2

Peacock water reflections

Peacock Sky Tower 3

Peacock Stained Glass Window  
What's riches to him
That has made a great peacock
With the pride of his eye?
The wind-beaten, stone-grey,
And desolate Three Rock
Would nourish his whim.
Live he or die
Amid wet rocks and heather,
His ghost will be gay
Adding feather to feather
For the pride of his eye.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Peacock Beauty at Auckland Zoo

Peacocks started appearing since my birthday in April.
I bought a peacock cushion for the sofa when I began re-decorating.
A friend bought me a card with a peacock feather on it.
Another friend gave me a scarf with a peacock on it for my birthday

I  touched a peacock kimono in an Art Deco shop  in Napier I didn't have time to try it on.
I couldn't remove the image of it or the its velvety touch out of my mind.

 I rang the shop up when I arrived home and ordered it.
When it came by courier it was the most sumptuous thing I have ever bought and it looks very lovely on.
  It will be perfect when I go to the Art Deco week in February next year.

In Napier peacocks were prevalent.
The  Art Deco era featured them frequently in jewellery, artwork  and clothing.

Too many serendipitous moments around peacocks were befalling me for it to be co-incidence.

So I googled it.

A male peafowl, which has very long tail feathers with eye-like markings that can be erected and fanned out in display.

An ostentatious or vain person.

 I always think the word peacock is a disservice to the bird.
It sounds so plain; bordering on insulting.
If someone says of someone, "He's a peacock, it's generally not taken to be a compliment.

boaster · brag · bragger · show-off · blusterer · trumpeter · swaggerer · poser · poseur · egotist · self-publicist · blowhard · big mouth · big-head

Why denigrate something so intensely beautiful?
What about renaming it the Bird of  Supreme Iridescence?
Or Bird of  Majestic Paradise  

Maybe Bird of Beguiling Intoxication.
Or the bird of Alluring Radiance
Which one do you like?
Do you have a name for it of your own?


In history, myth, legend and lore, the peacock symbolism carries portents of: Nobility, Holiness, Guidance, Protection and Watchfulness.

Contemplate the powers of the peacock when you need more vibrancy and vitality in your experience.

The peacock can also help you on your spiritual Path and breathe new life into your walk of faith.

The peacock can rejuvenate self-esteem levels too.
 If you’re feeling “blah” and blue, imagine the glorious, techno-color display the peacock provides.

 This puts us in a proper mood to embrace your own nobility.
 In no time, you’ll be walking tall and proud as a peacock too.

A peacock, I'll name him Prince Pierre came up to me at the Auckland zoo and stayed for a couple of minutes looking into my eyes.

Probably checking me out for food.
 He strutted away and I followed him around, clicking frantically,  trying to achieve  the perfect peacock shot and asking him to spread his tail.

 He obviously didn't find me attractive enough  that day because his tail dragged behind him like a gaudy feather duster.  
My shots were  not spectacular.
But his presence has stayed with me.
 In light of the current situation with regard to my husbands health, I choose to see it as a hopeful portent.

Picasso said that Painting is like writing a diary.


Maybe this should be re-named "Being Hopeful"  or "What have you got to lose?


It dances today, my heart,
like a peacock it dances,
it dances.
It sports a mosaic of passions like a peacock’s tail,
It soars to the sky with delight, it quests,
Oh wildly, it dances today, my heart,
like a peacock it dances.

Dream tonight of peacock tails, Diamond fields and spouter whales. Ills are many, blessing few, But dreams tonight will shelter you.

Herman Melville


Creative Quote to leave you with.
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre and Sanctuary, Rotorua, New Zealand


Members of the Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre are a small dedicated group who are Trustees of the Donkey and  Mule Protection Trust and also members of the Donkey and  Mule Society, working with SPCA and  the Ministry of Primary Industries.
 Pauline  with Chester
The Centre was started by Pauline Sainsbury in 2008.

 It is located on her property and is used for donkeys in need, donkeys in re-hab and also serves as a sanctuary for donkeys who are not re-homeable due age, health or behaviour issues.

In the beginning Pauline  was rescuing and re-homing donkeys on her own.

   She then joined the Donkey and Mule Society and became friends with the late Jenny Parker who was Rotorua's area representative.

In 2009 Pauline was invited to be a Trustee for the Donkey and Mule Protection Trust and joined up with the late Elton Moore from Putaruru and Alan Baguley from Whakatane.

Mamaku Donkey RRC works closely with the Trust and the number of rescued and re-homed donkeys have increased markedly.

So far over two hundred and fifty donkeys have gone through the centre with five donkeys remaining permanently


Four  donkeys together are left to right

Pauline has four donkeys of her own and Alan has two.

People give up their donkeys for various reasons including selling their lifestyle blocks and moving to retirement villages, ill health, lost interest, inability to manage them or a desire to find them a new loving home.

The Centre does not re-home entire jacks (stallions) as they can turn nasty, especially when a jenny (female) is in season.

When the centre is asked to pick up entire jacks they are  gelded (castrated) on the owners property or at the centre.

With lots of TLC and training they make lovely pets.


 Janet with Ester and Suzi

Pauline's hand on Chester with Milo looking on
All donkeys are registered with the Donkey and Mule Society and are now being micro-chipped.

Donkeys normally come in twos and re-homed as a pair because they should not be split up after they have bonded. 

Older donkey Rosie

Some donkeys are in such a poor way, they remain in rehab for up to a year before being re-homed.
During this time there are numerous costs including hay, vet bills, worming pastes, halters, leads, ropes, hard feed and covers etc



Janet  with two white donkeys, Ester and Suzi

Donkeys make marvellous pets

Like all animals donkeys need a good diet of hay, prefer rough pasture and need  to be provided with waterproof shelters. 

Unlike horses their coats are not waterproof. 


Texture of  Milo's  tail

They need a farrier to trim their hooves every six to eight weeks, they need to be wormed and have an equine dentist to check their teeth every two years.  

When re-homing donkeys Mamaku RRC visit the potential new owners, inspect their property to ensure it is "donkey safe" and try to match donkeys to compatible people.

  Endearing  Monty looking over  the gatePauline and Alan trial the donkeys at their new homes for three months, visit and offer support and advice.
If  they, the donkeys and the potential owners are happy change of ownership and registration is transferred.

Some people like to foster donkeys which is fine.

If the foster parents' circumstances change the donkeys can always come back to Mamaku RCC

Ester and daughter Missy really look like twins

Pauline and Alan also go into the community with their donkeys to educate and promote donkey rescue.
They take their donkeys to schools, kindergartens, church events, rest homes and even children's wards in hospitals.

Chester behind back of Nibby

Milo the grey donkey

All donkeys are registered with the Donkey and Mule Society and are now being micro-chipped.

Donkeys normally come in twos and re-homed as a pair because they should not be split up after they have bonded. 
Donkeys are very affectionate they are often touching each other and people who visit them.
 They are adorable.
The gentle, kind, caring soulful eyes of Bella 
Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre and Sanctuary is based at

896 B, State Highway 5, Tarukenga, RD2, Rotorua.
                 Enquiries and donations please  
               Phone:    027 698 5262



Textures on old farm building
Textures of old farm bricks

Magnificent rhyolite domes.
 Want to know more about  the donkeys at Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre and Sanctuary ?

 Then contact Pauline and her team.

027 698 5262


  If you have a lifestyle block and would like to own or foster donkeys.
  If you would like to help save donkeys lives in New Zealand by donating money for their keep.
If you would like to follow the lives of the donkeys in rehab at the centre. 
 Every donkey arriving  at Mamaku Donkey RRC comes with their own fascinating story.
  Contact us and come for a visit

Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre and Sanctuary

896 B, State Highway 5, Tarukenga, RD2, Rotorua.
                 Enquiries and donations please  
               Phone:    027 698 5262


Rosie, Milo, Nibby and Chester will be waiting to see you.

Creative Quotes of the day

"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language." ― Martin Buber 

How it is that animals understand things I do not know, but it is certain that they do understand. Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it. Perhaps there is a soul hidden in everything and it can always speak, without even making a sound, to another soul." ― Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mamaku Donkey Rescue, Rehoming Centre and Sanctuary

896 B, State Highway 5, Tarukenga, RD2, Rotorua.
                 Enquiries and donations please  
               Phone:    027 698 5262