White privilege

Perhaps I might dedicate this post to the PM and all his coalition mates.


All will be thrown down

Christendom’s temple began
its inevitable disintegration
some decades ago.
We didn’t see it coming.
It had become weakened, its foundations
eroded by respectability and status.
The collapse continues, and gains intensity
as priests are disgraced,
bishops run for cover,
and Rome’s response is to secure itself
behind barricades of denial.
Ah, but we are Protestant;
we are not to blame.
No, but the scandal of our brethren
is a reminder of our own shortcomings and lies;
along with our deluded half-baked attempts
to create protestant versions
of the Christendom dream.

Let it go.
Refuse to weep or mourn.
It does not matter.
We built a grand edifice and pretended
that some divine uncritical blessing
rested upon it. It colluded  with us,
spending so many of its years
draping itself in self-importance;
and never really understanding
that discipleship is a humble thing,
with much giving and serving
and dying.
Eschew the role of custodian;
do not become a curator
of ancient and best-forgotten relics.
Let the stones be thrown down
and the walls crumble!
They will not be missed.
Spray what remains with rude slogans..

Claim your true identity as a disciple,
a follower of one who died
in order that the whole of creation
might become reborn.
Embrace the birth-pangs;
anticipate with hope the new thing
that is surely coming
to sweep away the remnants of the old.
Let the sacred memories of Christendom
be relegated to the history books
and let them serve as a warning.

© Ken Rookes 2012

Speech impediment

We have a collective problem

with our hearing, our seeing, too.

There are sounds that we struggle to hear,

sights that our eyes refuse to see.

There are certain frequencies,

cries, groans and wailings,

that auditory senses fail to discern

above our chosen and familiar din.

There are vistas pleasant and reassuring,

scenes of blue skies and gum trees;

with these we make pretty our walls,

convincing ourselves

that cruel and confronting landscapes

in territories beyond our own,

either do not exist

or are none of our concern.

Hear no evil, see no evil;

not my problem.

The denials of sensory perception

are employed to foster

an untroubled existence.

Thus we avert the need

to speak, to act, to confront,

and our voices become forfeit.


In the blurry stories of human origins,

a mythical man

demonstrates the timelessness

of speech impediments.

In feigned innocence, he enquires:

Am I my brother’s keeper?


Jesus, we are told, came

to open the eyes of the blind,

to unstop the ears of the deaf,

and to release the tongues

of those who will not speak.


Pick me, Jesus;

pick me!


© Ken Rookes 2012