A handful of words


Where would we be
without a tough doctrine
of crime and punishment?
How could order and civilization
and polite society survive,
except that the wicked should receive
desserts that are just?
Thus fear is ensconced as the
handmaiden of justice;
do the wrong thing
and pay the price for your transgressions,
commit the crime and do the time.
Mercy, therefore,
is a risk;
a danger to good order and stability.
Too much mercy and they will assume
that they can get away with it next time;
(human nature being what it is).
So, just when we think
that we have it all worked out,
the Almighty, anthropomorphised
as a loving parent,
confounds his/her own logic
to wave the grace banner
with tender images and a handful of words:
I am God and not mortal,
I will not come in wrath.
© Ken Rookes


Meet the kids: the prophet Hosea introduces his family

G’day, mate.
It has been a long time.
This is the wife, Gomer,
and the kids.
Yeah, she’s always liked bright colours,
haven’t you dear?
I keep telling her that she’s a natural beauty,
that she doesn’t need so much make up,
but she never listens to me.
No, I never thought I’d get married either,
didn’t seem to go with the lifestyle,
but I guess that the Lord had other ideas.
Domestic bliss?
We have our ups and downs.
This one’s our eldest, we call him Coniston*.
His sister, there, her name’s Pathetic Cow,
and the baby; we christened him Refugee.
Yes, I chose the names. Well, no;
it was the Lord, really.
It’s a prophecy thing.
Think about it.
Yeah, we’re all hoping that when they’re older
the message might change
and we can give them new names,
like Mercy, Joy, and Welcome.
I think the Lord would like that, too.
* The Coniston massacre was a series of killings of Aboriginal people in Central Australia in 1928.

© Ken Rookes 2013