Lament for the children

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

We can feel the shame,
the helplessness and pain,
of children in detention,
their lives held in suspension.
We mourn with them and grieve,
and we won’t be relieved
Until the suff’ring kids are freed
Until the kids are freed.

These families are sentenced
to futility and despair
while those who sit in judgement
condemn without a care.
But no crime has been committed,
they came looking for a welcome;
they asked us for protection,
and we stole their hope and freedom

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

The criminals in Canberra
pretend to serve our interest.
They claim it’s for our benefit,
that it’s for the best.
Our moral compass has been lost
on that we can be clear:
It’s been swallowed by the politics,
of racism and fear;

On the tiny island of Nauru,
amidst the desolation,
no one’s going anywhere;
there is no destination.
There’s nothing to look forward to
just more desperation,
for children and their parents, too,
a helpless situation.

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

Childhood should be wond’rous,
with laughter. and with learning;
without the fear and sadness,
the aching and the yearning.
If we only could we’d make it right,
create a justice outcome,
take their hands, hold them tight
and make these children welcome.

How long must the children wait
for justice and compassion?
Kindness, hospitality;
why must these things be rationed?
We will raise our voices high,
together we shall loudly cry:
Until the suff’ring kids are freed,
Until the kids are freed.

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

Ken Rookes 2018

I wrote this for the Bendigo Rural Ausralians for Refugees rally held last Wednesday, calling for the release of children and their families from detention on the Island of Nauru. The people were invited to participate in the response (Bold). It works as a sort of rap.

I was invited to offer it as a prayer at Eaglehawk Uniting Church this morning. People responded positively, and it opened up some good conversations

 

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On Nauru

On Nauru

Linocut 12 x 21 cm

I produced this to use on a poster for a rally calling for all the children and their families to be freed from detention on Nauru

We stopped listening

Haiku for the respectable

We stopped listening
to Jesus some years ago.
His words were too hard.

We much prefer wealth
and power and influence.
We vote for Mammon.

We like the idea
of being known as Christians,
just not the method.

He said Love Neighbour
but failed to clearly define
the limits to love.

We believe in love.
We do our bit. The failure
must lie somewhere else.

We like the concept
of justice. We just don’t think
we should bear the cost.

One thing that he said:
The poor are always with you.
We agree with that.

Some people languish
behind gates and barbed wire.
Nought to do with us.

We do not much like
the idea of grace, unless
applied to ourselves.

We are deserving,
unlike the many who aren’t.
Jesus rewards us.

We are disciples,
following our Lord Jesus,
anchored to the ground.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Let’s find a new date!

I posted this haiku a few years ago when we were living in the remote community of Willowra in Central Australia. To celebrate Australia Day on 26th January is deeply offensive to our indigenous sisters and brothers, for whom the date marks the invasion of their country. It’s a shame that the Prime Minister chooses not to understand this. Well, done, the City of Yarra!

Australia Day Haiku

Australia Day
here among the Warlpiri;
no-one notices.

© Ken Rookes 2015

None of these will lose their reward

Haiku for disciples

Welcoming others,
showing hospitality,
it’s what Jesus wants.

When you are welcomed,
Jesus is made welcome too,
and God who sent him.

As you show welcome
to the small and lowly ones
you are rewarded.

As you invite them
to come under your welcome,
so you will be blessed.

Cups of cold water
given to these little ones
won’t go unoticed.

Hospitality:
a forgotten eastern art,
much undervalued.

Generosity –
a function of the kingdom.
That, along with love.

© Ken Rookes 2017