Hunger

There’s no escaping a hungry crowd.
Even in deserted places there will be no hiding;
they find him.
To be fair, in our story, it was the disciples
who articulated the need for food.
Maybe the crowd has already
had its metaphorical hunger
satisfied.

Jesus fed me once.
I was hungry; for something
I couldn’t even name.
A spiritual something, an answer,
perhaps, to my bewilderment,
my anger,
my uncertainty.
At least, I think it was Jesus.

Dining on his story
I caught glimpses of hope,
along with tracings of grace.
These intimations
proved food enough to satisfy,
and in time, to value
both the uncertainty
and the anger.

© Ken Rookes 2014.

I keep writing the same poem

I know it’s the same poem.
I’ve written it dozens of times.
I recognise it,
even when it tries to disguise itself.
Sometimes the words move around,
change their meaning
or morph into new ones;
but I know it’s the same poem.
Here in Brooklyn,
where the houses are tall,
the footpaths uneven,
and some of the verandas wave flags;
it’s still the same poem.

It’s about anger,
and hope.
It’s always about anger and hope.
Sometimes, when I shout at it,
the poem roars back at me;
challenging. It wants something.

I keep writing the same poem;
I don’t dare stop.

© Ken Rookes.
30th June 2014

The opposite

The opposite
of the kingdom of heaven
is that loss of spirit,
that diminution of hope,
that dark emptiness
where the possibilities
of surprise and generosity
have been forgotten.
No seeds grow,
the birds make no nests,
and no one searches for pearls.

© Ken Rookes 2014

Weeds

Weeds

It is too neat; this allegory-parable
of judgement, burning weeds and
the furnaces of hell.
It purports to be the words
of the itinerant teacher called Jesus.
Perhaps it is;
doesn’t make it right, though.
Does that shock you?
Feel free to pray for my soul
if it makes you feel better.

Too neat;
feeding the smug self-righteousness
of those who know themselves to be on the inside.
We are all weeds; we are all wheat.
There is no inside,
there is no outside.
We are the causes of sin,
we are the evildoers,
and yet it is not always so,
need not always be so.

May the righteous indeed shine like the sun;
let us all be reborn into truth.
And let the children of the kingdom
shine with love, with humility,
with justice and with grace.

© Ken Rookes 2014

Birthright

Birthright

I typed “birthright”
into my search engine.
It took me straight to ebay.
There were hundreds of listings.
I restricted myself to auctions
that were ending over the next 24 hours.
Of all the varieties for sale only a couple
involved property, wealth and power;
these are much in demand,
people hang on to them.
I clicked on a big purple one with gold trim.
The bids were coming in at a fast rate;
my refresh button was unable to keep pace.
For a moment I was tempted.

There were birthrights of many sizes and shapes;
green and blue, mostly.
Quite a few were to do with
truth, courage, generosity and love.
I clicked on one; it was small,
but strangely beautiful. The Starting bid was $13.65,
and there were no current bidders.
“Why not?” I asked myself, and typed in $15.00.
My cursor hovered over the Place bid button,
and then I remembered that I already have one;
back home, in a cardboard box
on a high shelf in the guest room wardrobe.
I’m pretty sure it’s still there.

© Ken Rookes 2014