December 2016

Gardeners of hope

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

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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