Citizenship Ceremony

The privileged many
formally welcoming the fortunate few,
while thousands of the wretched unblessed
languish behind locked gates and wire.


© Ken Rookes 2015

And here’s another for Australia Day

Stones for Stumbling

There is no shortage,
especially if you are young.
But then, nor are the mature exempt.
We trip, we fall,
we get up again.
We warn our comrades,
keep an eye on the vulnerable,
and remove those obstacles
that haven’t been bolted down;
or try to.

distracted, preoccupied,
failing to listen, or to see,
not vigilant enough ask the questions;
we stand quietly by
as new stones are lowered into place.

© Ken Rookes 2015

Ready to go

Jesus often walked
the western shore of Lake Galilee
in the vicinity of Capernaum;
reflecting, praying, listening.
Perhaps he enjoyed the lapping of the waves,
the cool of the water on dusty feet,
the sounds, the beauty,
and the relative stillness
of the natural world.

He would have observed industry, too;
men with boats and nets,
and women, unnamed and forgotten,
helping to sort the fish
and effect repairs.

When Jesus made his lakeside invitation
to the brothers, Andrew and Simon,
James and John, suggesting
that soon they would be fishing for people;
was he meeting them for the first time?
Mark’s story does not say so;
but it is sometimes read that way.
More likely it was the culmination
of multiple encounters, conversations,
questions, debates, laughter and speculations;
so that when Jesus was ready to go,
so were these friends.

© Ken Rookes 2015

What are you looking for?

The same;
what everybody wants.

A sense that there might be purpose,
perhaps even a God;
who can say?

A belonging to somewhere,
or something.
some many.

An answer to the wonder;
and the beauty.

A settling with mystery;
sitting alongside,
accepting its peace.

Hope, in the face of uncertainty;
courage, in the face of fear.

A way to make the possible real;
to bring the justice home.

Someone to walk beside
on the track;
a partner in the seeking.

The same;
what everybody wants.

© Ken Rookes 2014

The first chapter of John’s gospel tells of Jesus’ call to follow him. First he calls two unnamed disciples of John the Baptist, (one of whom we later learn is Andrew, who tells his brother, Simon.) Jesus engages them with the question: “What are you looking for?”

In the reading for next Sunday, Jesus calls Phillip, who, in turn, tells his brother, Nathanael.

The question, “What are you looking for?” is a question asked of all who come to Jesus.

Let it be so for now

None of us knows
how the future will unfold.
Nor should we seek to.
The future is what happens;
it can be shaped and influenced
for good or for ill. We make our choices.

To be wise is to accept one’s place of beginning
but not be bound by it.

To be faithful
is to see the possibilities for living,
and, from that eclectic array,
select and implement those that create hope
and lead to life. Regardless
of the consequences.

To fulfil all righteousness
is to do the work of love.
Nothing more;
nothing less.

These are the things that produce divine pleasure
and joy among the angels.

Here, among these waters,
is a beginning,
and the first of many.

© Ken Rookes 2015

My apologies; this poem was written in response to Matthew’s account of the Baptism of Jesus, not that of Mark, as it should have been for Year B. I got lost in the lectionary.