Gardeners of hope Jo McMahan Jo McMahan

Christmas beckons us to be the gardeners of hope, says Sydney poet Colleen Keating.

BY Colleen Keating*

perhaps when we are caught
in the world’s tumult

when we see the edge
falling away from under us

perhaps in time of overwhelm
in this wrecked and shimmering world

when we seem to be   in between  times
with hope   a misty horizon

we can wall our hearts
put on armour of fear
turn away complacently

yet it is “the tiny not the immense”**
Francis Webb reminds us
will teach our seeking eyes

Christmas beckons us
to be the gardeners of hope
tending the earth  nurturing the soil
with love  art  beauty  poetry

it calls us
to be the ones waiting
for the miracle to come

** From “Five Days Old” in Collected Poems Francis Webb edited and introduced by Toby Davidson, UWAP, 2011.

* Colleen Keating is a Sydney-based poet and writer. Through her work she “explores the paradox and wonder of nature, the harsh realities of life, of inequality, injustice and increasing threat to our natural environment”. Her website is

Download a printer-friendly version (PDF 125KB)

The Good Oil, December 13, 2016. If you would like to republish this article, please contact the editor.

One Response to “Gardeners of hope”

  1. Michael Walker says:

    A well honed mix of overwhelm, Francis Webb and nourished soil. Christmas is a wonderful time that presents its own challenges.

Leave a Comment

The aim of The Good Oil's comment section is to encourage respectful conversation and dialogue. When posting your comment please:

  • be brief (no more than 120 words) and keep on topic;
  • be respectful of others whether you agree with their opinion or not;
  • be careful about posting your personal information online.

Our comment section is moderated. Your name and email are required for identification purposes. Your email will not be published. We reserve the right to not publish comments.