December 2018

Fractured moonlight

BY Colleen Keating

from my balcony I watch a friar bird
nestled high in the palm fronds
lay one egg a day for four days
two to four eggs is normal
each one is miracle enough

in the dark of night
mother bird rests on her eggs
rises to sing the dawn
as she awaits her chicks

the gardener comes
to clear spindly fronds
I shout down
over the chainsaw
“stop there is a nest here”
last evening I shooed a brush turkey
didn’t know they could fly this high

how long to wait?
it says twenty-eight days gestation
then the chicks to rear!
how fragile is life in a nest
in a manger
how fragile  how precious
life in a refugee boat

fractured moonlight glints
from the dark of a broken world
our whisper of prayer
rises to sing the dawn

Christmas is in the air
light pierces the dark

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

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