Give us this bread

Haiku for those who hunger.

The crowd found some boats
and crossed the lake to find him,
at Capernaum.

Is it for the signs
or because you ate your fill
that you’re seeking me?

Food that perishes
is worthless; the Son of Man
gives the food that lasts.

His food leads to life.
His word brings life eternal;
God’s seal rests on him

They asked for a sign,
that they might have faith in him.
Like the desert bread.

In the wilderness
your forebears ate God’s manna;
this too, did not last.

The true bread from God
comes from heaven to the earth,
gives life to the world.

Give this bread to us,
they said, not really knowing
what it is they ask.

I am living bread.
Come, you need never hunger,
nor do you need thirst.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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Abide in me

 

Do I want to live forever?
It’s not a priority.
My mind struggles with notions of heaven;
of existing somehow, conscious and individual,
beyond one’s allotted days
in this corporeal world.
Across earth’s stones and tracks I journey,
love, rejoice,
wonder and rage.
I breathe its red dust and taste its sorrow;
here I belong
and yet am never quite at home.

Perhaps I never shall be.
Striving, longing and hoping
I seek the company
of those who also yearn
and weep and groan.
My comrades are my abode,
my sisters and brothers are my home,
Perhaps this is what the gospel writer meant
when he spoke of abiding in Jesus,
earth-dweller, brother of us all,
and true child of heaven.
(Whatever that means).

 

© Ken Rookes 2015

In Paradise

I could never get much excited by the notion
of Paradise / heaven / the hereafter.
It sometimes seems to be a construct of the church,
attached to the teachings of Jesus
and distracting us from his command
to get on with the work of love.
At best, it is a bit-player, thrust
on to the centre-stage, to claim the spotlight.
There it assumes the role
of an all-controlling Master of Ceremonies
through whom ecclesiastical authorities,
popes, priests and everybody in-between,
direct the thinking and the behaviour
of the masses. If you want to get there,
as opposed to the other place,
remember; we hold the keys!
It suited, too, the civil authorities
with its message of divinely ordered patience.
No need for revolution, in Paradise
you will receive your reward / recompense
for all the indignities, pains and brutalities
suffered during your earthly sojourn!
In Luke’s story of the passion
the word is placed upon the lips
of the cross-suspended Jesus,
as he responds to the justice and compassion
of a fellow criminal. Truly I tell you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.
To die with Jesus; perhaps this
is the proper meaning of Paradise.
 
© Ken Rookes.

Another poem for The Reign of Christ Year C can be found here

Things that have been written in heaven

Things that have been written in heaven,
the Platonists tell us,
become blueprints for the things
that happen upon earth.
Except that the earthly copies are fuzzy,
diminished and incomplete reflections;
the polished brass mirror
that the great apostle mentions in his letter.
Our names, says Jesus,
have also been written,
giving cause for rejoicing.
We picture them;
penned flowingly in indelible ink
upon the parchment pages
of some large, quarter-bound, cosmic journal.
Some say that it is a ledger,
a record that will be called into play
in the final summing-up
when we all will receive the just rewards
for the ways in which we have been stewards
of the wondrous gift called life.
Perhaps.
But what if the writings
do not constitute a book of accounts.
Maybe it is merely a simple list,
a sort of honour roll
that reverses the Platonic order.
A list, not ruled-off,
that blurrily registers in heaven
realities that are enacted upon earth.
A list to which names are continually added,
identifying humble and imperfect people,
like you and me;
uncertain disciples
making their hesitant and stumbling steps
towards a deeper truth,
and thereby entering into life.

© Ken Rookes 2013

In paradise

I could never get much excited by the notion
of Paradise / heaven / the hereafter.
It sometimes seems to be a construct of the church,
attached to the teachings of Jesus
and distracting us from his command
to get on with the work of love.
At best, it is a bit-player, thrust
on to the centre-stage, to claim the spotlight.
There it assumes the role
of an all-controlling Master of Ceremonies
through whom ecclesiastical authorities,
popes, priests and everybody in-between,
direct the thinking and the behaviour
of the masses. If you want to get there,
as opposed to the other place,
remember; we hold the keys!
It suited, too the civil authorities
with its message of divinely ordered patience.
No need for revolution, in Paradise
you will receive your reward / recompense
for all the indignities, pains and brutalities
suffered during your earthly sojourn!
In Luke’s story of the passion
the word is placed upon the lips
of the cross-suspended Jesus,
as he responds to the justice and compassion
of a fellow criminal. Truly I tell you,
today you will be with me in Paradise.
To die with Jesus; perhaps this
is the proper meaning of Paradise.
 

© Ken Rookes.