Ross Keating

Slow Shutter Speed


By the time you get this card I will have moved on

again to someplace else, I’m not sure where. I’m

including a photo to show you where I last stayed alone.


The shot is taken from my hotel window looking

down on a park. All those people you see were listening

to a saxophonist busking in a rose garden alone.


The birds flew into the frame just as I closed the

shutter, it was totally unintentional. And so too is how

the edge of the cloud is starting to fragment alone.


In the distance is a long stretch of beach where I

walked every day. I’m never considered strange

when people find me staring out at the ocean alone.


I have this reoccurring dream: we’re together,

somewhere unknown and I strike a match against

a wall and then I see you’re not with me but I’m alone.


Only when I’m away from you do I realize how much

my heart calls for you. Why do things have to be this way?

Why can’t hearts grow fonder being together and not alone?



Ross Keating is a writer who lives in Sydney. He has written, Francis Brabazon Poet of the Silent Word, a biography of the Australian poet who wrote two book of English ghazals, In Dust I Sing and The Beloved is All in All. Keating has published a collection of poems A First Act from where  "Slow Shutter Speed" is taken. He has also published a collection of related stories, Reading Stay With God.