Unuttered expletives

When I was younger
and more polite,
my life was filled with unuttered expletives.
Prime Ministers and other hypocrite politicians,
fat-cat capitalists
and other corrupt leaders,
press barons and fascist commentators;
they all provided grounds
for my unspoken ire.

Sadly,
the occasions for outrage have multiplied
and the world of my grandchildren
appears destined for destruction.
Now, old, grumpy,
and unconcerned about causing offence,
I no longer have time
or space in my life
for the unuttered.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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You have heard that it was said (1)

You have heard that it was said (1)
A haiku sequence,

Going beyond law.
You have heard that it was said;
but I say to you.

You shall not murder;
but anger with a brother
also is a sin.

Insult a sister
or call a brother “you fool,”
this will bring judgement.

Don’t attend worship
if you have caused an offence;
first be reconciled.

If you are accused
don’t wait ’til it gets to court,
sort it out before.

No adultery,
but even looking with lust
damages the heart.

If your hand or eye
leads you astray, discard it.
Live with truth and grace.

Do not swear falsely;
better still, don’t swear at all.
Stick with ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

He rewrote the law,
calling forth our better selves;
for the sake of love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

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

Everywhere I look

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.  Hebrews 13:16

Everywhere I look
I see words,
hear a voice that calls me
to love my enemies,
to bear fruits of justice,
to live the grace,
to welcome the strangers,
to visit the prisoner,
to forgive without counting,
to have compassion on the wounded,
to care for my neighbour,
to extend generous hospitality,
to not be afraid,
to treat my fellow mortals
with dignity and respect,
to gather treasure in heaven
and not upon earth,
to guard the interests of the weak,
the vulnerable, the widow and the orphan,
to give the cup of cold water to the one who thirsts,
to offer food to the one who hungers,
to be a servant,
to make peace,
to be the least,
to follow Jesus.
 
Everywhere I look.
 
And these blaspheming party leaders
who tell me they are Christian,
want me to vote for them
so that they may deal cruelly
with the weeping and broken ones,
in order that boats might be stopped.
 
© Ken Rookes 2013