Crying in the wilderness

Crying in the wilderness,
weeping in the bush;
feeling some of the pain,
fear, despair and disappointment.

The prophets have been silenced;
only their tears remain,
dripping unseen from holy cheeks.

They say the Lord is coming.
Perhaps it is the tears,
the necessary tears,
by which our hearts are prepared.

Weeping in the wilderness,
crying in the bush.

© Ken Rookes 2013

Yes, I know the exegesis is dodgey, but it might just hold some truth, anyway.

Another poem for the second Sunday in Advent, year A, can be found here.


Choose love over fear;
the alternative is emptiness.
Choose to be generous;
in giving there is much joy.
Choose to dance,
at least in your heart if your legs refuse.
Choose the way of truth; there will be a price,
but you will have no regrets.
Choose laughter over tears.
Where this is not possible, weep loudly
and unashamed.
Like a flower unfolding in the morning light,
choose life to the fullest.
Choose to compromise if you must;
but know what it is costing
Choose honour ahead of convenience,
sacrifice ahead of comfort.
Choose the cross, it is the way of hope.
Choose to sing and to shout,
to pray and to worship
Choose to take action;
all creation is waiting for you.
Choose wise wrinkles of age ahead of the
smooth-skinned folly of youth.
Life is never the final choice,
love is.

© Ken Rookes

Her voice has tears


Her voice has tears.
They infuse the words,
draw strength from the melody’s extremes,
and waft through the car’s interior
before being exhausted
through the gaps in the door seals.
Some penetrate my skin and mingle
with my own longing disappointments.
A few trickle from the wireless controls
and form a pool in the plastic depression
beside the transmission lever,
drowning small coins and causing
bits of fluff and discarded wrappers
to float upon its glistening surface.
Her voice has tears.
More than mere words
they paint a picture of serial failure,
sorrow and regret.
Her voice has tears.
They tell of anger and outrage;
deep sighs and profound groans,
broken and raw,
but, oh, so achingly sweet,
with defiant flashes of grace
and glimmers of advent hope.

© Ken Rookes

Listening to a glorious day of music at the second annual Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival, I remembered this poem





handsome prince of Israel

with flowing locks of hair

and self-opinion to match;

bides his time as he plots revenge

for the rape of his sister.

After murdering his half brother,

the perpetrator of the crime,

he endures with satisfaction his exile,

knowing that this, too, will pass.

When his father,

(the weak old man,

he does not deserve to be king),

when his father finally welcomes him home,

he patiently conspires,

inching towards the day

that he will make his own.

Inverting the hourglass

to effect the capture of the crown,

the prince stumbles in its shifting sand.

Caught mid-flight,

suspended by his ego,

he waits once more as his enemies

advance with spear and sword;

to pierce his body

and shatter his father’s heart.


Ken Rookes