Kathryn Keane

Kathryn Keane writes non-fiction, poetry and short fiction. Her work has appeared in HeadStuff, Popshot Magazine, Poethead and many other publications. To read more of her writing, check out her Twitter, @keane_on_words.


I earned that name.
Through eons of the giant stirring
beneath the broiling earth,
Through his waking, and the first breaking
of the land into its parts,
Through the sea’s first fury
when it was split in two,
I still wandered.

I stood alone on the first beach,
on the first rock
battered into dust,
and watched the formless churning
at the end of every world,
and I still wandered.

I saw the first hanged man
jerk and splutter upon his rope,
and saw that the one who watched
like a hungry dog
would die on the gallows too,
and I still wandered.

Even when I warm my feet
in front of my own fire
and the quickest of the dances
pushes the gales away,
the road-song beats within my mind
like the cawing of a crow.

For when I first began to seek
the familiar and the strange,
all those things I thought I sought
but ended just the same
as each useless, petty, little thing
I thought I’d left behind,

I found the tree – that gnarled old beast –
from which I had yet to swing
and as I stared at the looming branch
where I’d soon taste nine days’ death,
I pushed a gnarled old hand against the bark
and spat upon its roots.
For I was not dead yet.

© 2020 Kathryn Keane