June 2015


“Dare I imagine the muscle of empathy flexing to build a new way forward,” ponders Sydney poet and writer Colleen Keating.

BY Colleen Keating

blood spills  from the pen
briny seas bleach words

at dinner   TV images
toughen hearts  exhaust spirits  desensitise
ads brighten us up
relief comes with the all ords and the dow    up or down
who cares
as long as there are no names or clear faces
just humanity   ragged   emaciated

the screen divides      us and them
our fears our terror cannot be sated
can our fragile
fragile globe
really be saved without empathy

imagine how they feel

how would I feel     fleeing my homeland
at sea in the blackness of night
the milky way a glorious bridge
would the sign of the southern cross give hope
that someone cares and hearts may open

the fluff of a pillow    pull up of a doona
haunted by others   cold and wet
dare i imagine
the muscle of empathy   flexing
to build  a new way forward

Colleen Keating

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”. In November 2017 Colleen published her second book of poetry, "Fire on Water" (Ginninderra Press), which recently won a silver Nautilus Book Award. Colleen’s website is colleenkeatingpoet.com.au

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