See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant. Jeremiah 1:10
The emergence of a civilization
delivers one certainty, and only one:
that it will one day fall.
This cycle of rising and decline happens slowly;
a stop-motion animation
condensed into narrow chapters
in a one-volume history of the world.
The boy-prophet, Jeremiah,
was appointed, according to the ancient text,
to preside over such comings and goings
among a handful of middle-eastern nations;
including his own.
Nationalism, it seems,
matters little to God.
This unorthodox divinity cares nothing
for notions of national destiny;
still embarrassingly popular
in our own steadily unwinding era.
National pride is yet conscripted
to provide delusional justification
for all manner of greedy, shameful
and violent activities.
The planet and its people continue to weep
beneath the burden
The promise of national restoration
flashed unexpectedly among Jeremiah’s
layered images of dark destruction,
bringing glimmers of hope.
Two and a half millennia later
the darkness is denser,
and hope’s shadow
is all that remains.
© Ken Rookes 2013.
Another poem for this coming Sunday is found here