Poem For The Sunday Lectionary – Advent 1, Year A (2019)

ABOUT THAT DAY AND HOUR NO ONE KNOWS
(Matthew 24: 36-44)

The ordinary morning, through the kitchen windows
the sun coming in, the sounds of the waking street.
Your daughter’s hands exploring
her neck, plaintive voice at the breakfast table:
“Mommy, what’s this lump right here?”

It’s the end of the shift, you’re thinking
of home, the softness of the waiting chair.
The foreman has called the entire line
to meet first here in the lunchroom.
His eyes go wet, there’s a quiet whisper.
“They’re shutting the plant,” he says.

The busy afternoon, an acre of papers
upon your desk, your eyes on the demanding
screen. The cell phone chimes,
words in your ear like a distant siren’s wail:
“You’d better come. Better make it quick.
There’s been a terrible accident.”

They’ve given you something for the immediate
pain, from the hall the sound of someone hurrying.
Somewhere a beeping machine.
The doctor stiff beside your bed, her face
as still as the wall. “I’m afraid,”
she begins, “the X-rays show. . .” and
your eyes trace the veins on your hands.

An ordinary day. An ordinary hour.
The earth in its usual turning.
The breath in your lungs,
the blood in your heart.
And suddenly the thief
breaking into your world.
Suddenly the cry. The bell.

Copyright ©2019 by Andrew King

Poem For The Sunday Lectionary (Pentecost +25, Yr B)

WITH PAINFUL GROANS
(Mark 13: 1-8)

God’s realm of love does not arrive full blown:
the Spirit labours long in human hearts.
The future comes to birth with painful groans.

Like the tumbling of the temple’s ancient stones
change will pull some precious things apart.
God’s realm of love does not arrive full blown.

Deep change, like tremors in earth’s shifting bones,
reshapes the world, redraws the social chart.
The future comes to birth with painful groans.

Rejecting hate, which far too many own,
can sow the seed of change that needs to start –
God’s realm of love does not arrive full blown.

Oppressive power, clinging to its throne,
is like the seized-shut brake that stops the cart.
The future comes to birth with painful groans.

God’s will for justice, peace, has been made known
but bears fruit only part by tender part:
God’s realm of love does not arrive full blown.
The future comes to birth with painful groans.

Copyright © 2015 by Andrew King