They ask for signs,
but fail to embrace
the sign that was given.
They were in happy agreement
when it was all about eating
and feeding upon crusty loaves.
On those days belief came easy
and their hearts had surged,
But seeking, receiving and dining
on the food that endures for eternal life,
(whatever that means),
is another thing entirely. Give us this bread always. The request comes easily,
with eager, outstretched hands,
but few opt to stay around
to receive the answer.
And the sign,
despite its stark simplicity,
perhaps because of it,
is passed by, unnoticed and ignored.
In ancient writings
the sun, moon and stars
combine to herald the coming
of the new age.
The laws of physics are cast aside
as the sun draws its blinds,
the moon withholds its light from the earth,
and the stars are swept into glowing heaps,
having fallen from the sky.
emblazoned in the heavens
to signal cosmic events
and to fanfare the advent of the Son of Man;
whatever that means.
Something to do with Jesus,
and what he came to do,
and be. Something to do with
defiant love, reckless compassion,
and a quixotic commitment to justice, peace
The man in the Peter Booth landscape
stares out with red eyes
while the city burns behind him.
Fearful and anxious blacks and greys
give birth bloodily to the distress and pain
of orange flame and scarlet moon.
(Or is it the sun?)
The standing white dog observes without judgement;
nothing that these mortals do can surprise him.
Booth’s apocalyptic vision
could have been referencing this Lucan passage,
speaking as it does, of celestial signs
in the firmament above,
and distress upon earth.
The literalists get excited,
talk fervently of the day that is coming,
of end-times, judgement
and of the hope of heaven’s compensation
for earthly hardship and indignity.
Vindication for the righteous.
They look to the skies, eager to be the first
to see their Master surfing the clouds,
hoping for a mid-flight rendezvous.
Look, Jesus, here we are;
we’ve kept ourselves nice!
It is not in the skies
that the work of faith is to be done,
but here, among earth’s dust,
where the faithful wait
with yearning and with tears,
and with defiant love; costly, unresting.
They press on, determinedly declaring
in the midst of indifference, uncertainty and distress:
The kingdom of God has come near!