Haiku for the hungry
Seeking to withdraw,
to find peace, he went by boat
to a lonely place.
They came from the towns
trekking around the shoreline
until they found him.
He saw the great crowd,
and their needs. He went ashore
to bless and to heal.
signal that the day has passed.
The people remain.
Hungers are many.
Send the crowds away, they said,
That they may buy food.
They’ve come to be fed;
we’ll supply for their stomachs
as well as their hearts.
Five loaves and two fish
won’t go far among this crowd!
He blessed, broke the bread.
They passed it around.
Somehow it went the distance.
© Ken Rookes 2017
To get away from the multitudes
and their expectations
the man called Bread
withdraws to the hills.
Having eaten their fill,
the crowd still wants more.
They intend to make him king,
to claim him as their hero-leader,
that he might feed them when they are hungry,
heal them when they are sick,
and deliver them victory over their enemies.
Instead he gives them a handful of words:
crumbs of bread to fill them with hope,
and morsels of love to overcome their fears.
Then he offers them platters
laden with small parcels of his own strange life;
topped with generously with sacrifice.
None of these dishes will prove sufficient
to satisfy the imagined hungers of the crowd.
© Ken Rookes 2015
Another poem on this theme can be found here. This poem is called Hunger (singular!)
There’s no escaping a hungry crowd.
Even in deserted places there will be no hiding;
they find him.
To be fair, in our story, it was the disciples
who articulated the need for food.
Maybe the crowd has already
had its metaphorical hunger
Jesus fed me once.
I was hungry; for something
I couldn’t even name.
A spiritual something, an answer,
perhaps, to my bewilderment,
At least, I think it was Jesus.
Dining on his story
I caught glimpses of hope,
along with tracings of grace.
proved food enough to satisfy,
and in time, to value
both the uncertainty
and the anger.
© Ken Rookes 2014.