Warlpiri Children # 3 Willowra

Lino cut 31 x 47 cm

The third in my series of lino-cuts of the children of Willowra. I printed a proof in 2015, but only recently produced an edition.

We left Willowra late last year, after three years, and we deeply miss the children. They are beautiful.

warlpiri children 3 (2) sm

Peace I leave with you

It doesn’t seem to have been very effective,
that Johanine blessing of peace
upon the lips of Jesus.
Wars, crusades and other violences
have never been in short supply
throughout the years of Christendom.
And so we internalised peace;
pointing to the interior serenity
of those who have come
to worship the Christ.

Self-satisfied peace is not worthy
of disciples.It seems a sad substitute
for an end to brutality, violence and bitterness,
not to mention suffering, abuse, hatred
and fear-engendering politics.
Look around,
see for yourself.

“My peace I give to you,”
the Nazarene is reported as saying.
Are these words for real?
It we take them seriously,
we might need to accept our discipleship calling
to become makers of peace;
we might need to actually do something.
Something to give peace substance,
to clothe it in reconciling flesh and blood,
like the one who came to be its prince.
Something that helps end the fear
and begins to make peace happen.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Now that day was a Sabbath

A haiku sequence

In Jerusalem
by the Sheep Gate; see, a pool
with five porticoes.

Beth-Zatha by name.
There the invalids gather,
waiting for a sign.

When the angel stirs
the water, the race begins;
to claim the healing.

This man cannot walk;
he will never enter first.
He lies there, hoping.

It was a Sabbath
when Jesus came to that place;
breaking all the rules.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Anzac Day

Day of shining medals.
With each marching step
they
clink solemnly the nation’s gratitude
upon proud chests.

There are medals for peace-keepers, too.
Rightly so;
but only a few for peace-makers.

The peace-makers press on determinedly,
undaunted,
undecorated
and
undisturbed.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Tell us plainly (no more riddles)

So, is he the Messiah;
and what does it mean
if he is?
That eternal-life thing;
is it about heaven and the afterlife,
or is it something more significant?
The sheep that hear his voice,
the ones that follow him,
we’re talking discipleship now,
costly and committed,
aren’t we?
It’s not just some pretty, clichéd,
Sunday-school image:
an assiduous shepherd,
with beard and long flowing hair,
carrying a cute but errant lamb
upon his noble shoulders;
is it?

Yeah, I thought so.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016