Dawn Colsey

Dawn Colsey
Dawn Colsey

I began writing poetry in about 1989 and have enjoyed writing and reading it ever since. I read regularly at Friendly Street Poets and belong to several poetry workshopping groups.

Since my Ordination (Deacon in 2009 and Priest in 2010) – a big change at an older age of career and vocation from language teaching – my poetry tends sometimes to be on spiritual subjects, but it’s important to me to be involved with a diversity of groups.

I find writing a meditative process and helpful for the distillation of thoughts.
I have qualified as a Spiritual Director, and my ministry is now giving Spiritual Direction and Companioning. I am a member of the Ecumenical Spiritual Directors Association, the Conference of Spiritual Directors, and Spiritual Directors International.

As a mother of two and grandmother of six I am now (2023) semi-retired. I am about to retire after six years as chaplain to Mothers Union in the Diocese of Adelaide and enjoy assisting in the Parish of St Aidan’s Payneham and St Paul’s Montacute and to people in Aged Care.


Jesus, my friend and teacher,
you reach out your hands to wash my feet.
I offer them, soiled from sandals
in the dusty street.
I hang my head,
ashamed to see you
my servant.
You raise my face,
gaze with clear eyes.
‘You do this too, for me,
when I am no longer here with you,
yet still close, no distance between us,
for I am with you always.
You are my servant too.’


Each month they totter in
on walker, stick or brave old legs,
eyes expectant, often with some simple latest news
to tell: a friend who’s sick, a daughter’s visit.
Trembling voices join in singing, memory awakened,
repeat the so familiar words with great devotion.
Reverently, hands receive the sacrament.
Then, one month, John no longer ventures in.
Dot, in usual bright blue blouse, is missing.
‘Where’s John today?’ ‘He died last week.’
‘And dear old Dot, where’s she?’
‘She’s been gone three weeks.’
No. Gone from this fragile life,
and no one thought to let me know?
These present voices flat, betraying nothing
of the fondness they must surely feel,
the shock that they evoke in me.
Does faith, the intimacy we share
as priest and loved one, remain unknown
to family, my role to them mean nothing?