Painter, poet, printmaker, performer
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Ken Rookes, Willowra School, PMB 102, Via Alice Springs, NT 0872 Australia firstname.lastname@example.org
Some SES poems
While living in Victoria Ken was volunteer Chaplain with the North-West Region of the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES)
A blessing and two poems from the inside of some Christmas cards.
An SES Blessing
May your equipment always be ready,
may your lashings always be tight.
May your crews be aware of the dangers,
may your lighting plants shine through the night.
May you master the skills that are needed,
may you always work safe and secure.
May your comms be clear and effective,
may your management always be sure.
May your ropes pack away free of tangles,
may your chainsaws start at first pull.
May you learn something new ev’ry training,
may your welfare box always be full.
May both gloves be found where you left them;
whoever you seek, may you find.
May your overalls gleam in the darkness,
may your tools never be left behind.
May you rise to great heights in your teamwork,
may your knots always look as they should.
May you take pride in all your achievements,
may you accept the bad with the good.
May God bless you with trusted companions,
worthy comrades on whom you rely.
May you know that your work’s deeply valued,
may your standard be always flown high.
Ken Rookes 2007
The metaphorical star sits
in the sky above Bethlehem;
whilst over the nearby hills
a bright and shining à capella choir
sings its divine refrain
to mark the coming of light
into the dark corners of a troubled world.
At a time and place far distant
another light shines from a slender tower
to wipe some darkness
from one of earth’s troubled corners.
Humming engines drone their insistent chorus
whilst determined voices speak of release and freedom.
No angelic beings, these, robed in glowing white,
but human, helmeted, garbed boldly in humble orange;
fulfilling their own divine calling
and doing what they can.
Ken Rookes 2008
The way Luke tells the story, Mary
was unknown and unknowing.
The girl, on the verge of marriage,
was confronted one day
by a light-filled spirit angel creature
with a message from somewhere
beyond this dust-filled ground mortal place
that she and the rest of us patiently inhabit.
Fear not! The creature assures her.
Having found favour, apparently,
in the all-seeing eyes
of the One Who Calls the Shots,
she is, it seems, to be offered that amazing gift
Like all volunteers she had few inklings
of the ultimate outcome of raising her hand;
of where the call might take her,
or of the sorrows, joys,
and disappointments that awaited.
Being the first to be asked, as best she knew,
the young daughter of Nazareth
laid aside her many misgivings
and agreed to take it on.
Ken Rookes, 2009.
They were on a training exercise
when the man flagged them down
in the fading December light.
Assessing the situation,
a couple of the crew, both women,
grabbed a first-aid kit and followed the man
called Joe into the humble shed.
Observing that the place was illuminated
only by a few dimly glowing oil lamps,
the others set up the lighting plant.
They grabbed some blankets from the truck,
and, noting that there would probably
be need for some boiled water,
they plugged a jug into the generator.
Making themselves useful,
they prepared to direct the traffic
and control any bystanders who might come by;
placing some witches’ hats and flashing lights
around the old stable door.
They remembered to call headquarters,
reporting that their return would be delayed;
then, doing what they did best,
they stood around and waited.
Hearing the cry of the newly-delivered child,
followed by the shout, “It’s a boy, Maria!”
they allowed a respectful minute or three to pass
before poking their heads inside, offering
their congratulations, and taking a closer look.
They were joined by some curious shepherds,
who, noticing the sky flooded with light, and
picking up the echo of some distant angel chorus,
decided that they’d better check it out.
Ken Rookes 2010