Writing From the Heart

We were inspired by the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre online course, Writing from the Heart, led by Kerry O’Regan, in which we had been gently invited to let our writing become courageous. While living a couple of hundred kilometres apart, a friendship has been forged between us as we support each other in “writing from the heart”. We wrote the following poems out of justice-felt experiences which shocked us.


This poem was written by Dorothy Scott on the day of the Palm Sunday March (28.3.21) in support of refugees and asylum seekers.






Palm Sunday at the Park Hotel, Melbourne 

Faint lights moving back and forth,
Held by men invisible behind a tinted window,
An arc of light silently communicating with protestors below
On this day, the start of Holy Week.

Seven years imprisoned on a distant land,
Despairing and struggling to comprehend.
And now confined in hotels for over a year.
Some released, but these men left to suffer.

Whose idea was it to tint the windows?
Who ordered it to be?
Who did this task
So those in the street should not see?

One among countless acts of cruelty,
Oh, the banality of evil.
Faint lights moving back and forth,
Oh, the fragility of hope.




This poem was written by Carol McDonough, a day after the death of her 94-year-old neighbour in her home of a quarter century, knowing she would want the next person to dwell in safety and quiet happiness.


Deep church hall porch, hidden.
I have not walked past here at this time of day without it being empty.

one of the many women sleeping rough in our town. 50s?
She is smoothing cream on her leg, unaware of me behind her,

 I walk quietly. Will I walk into her sight, speak?
Or, swing out, look down, but…
she’ll see me after I pass.
I pause, reflect, shy, I decide.

‘Hullo, I hope I do not intrude?’
Lightning fast, dropping her cream she swivels face to door,
hunched back to me, so still.
(I am reminded of an animal caught in car’s lights’ glare)
‘I’m so sorry, I want to share I know of a public housing vacant unit. ————
It’s a block away. Would you like to know of it?

She tenses, hunches lower.

Breathe, silent, hesitate…
I bow, reverencing her silence, her privacy – invaded.
‘I wish you well.’
Walking on, stricken, I wonder her story,

her fear of an offer of possible home, my voice unwelcome.

 I circle to home another way.

Tonight, it is cold, winter is here.

Weeks after, a hesitant woman, riddled with fears…
Should I live there? Would I be healthy?
Do I allay her fears, recounting practical kindnesses for my well-health?

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What a lovely planet!
Let’s try to hurt it a bit
Less than we do now.
Stephen Hodgkin


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