Monday, April 30, 2012

surprise tofu chocolate cake

I think heaven's gonna be a surprise for a lot of us.

Stop making everything so beautiful and sensual!
Stop feeding me pomegranets and chocolate and wine!

I just want a self-assemble, box-shaped, mass-produced mansion,
and for you to hand me all the bits, 
with inscrutable pictogram instructions and no allen-key,
just to teach me a lesson.

And we'll gather in grey rooms,
moaning at the walls,
sharing in the victorious reign of Christ.

Don't you think heaven's gonna surprise us?

It'll be party town!

There'll be MUSIC
and JOY

and from the vibe at most of our rehearsals,
we're gonna be as uneasy as a Grandma at a Bieber concert.  

Sunday, April 29, 2012

echoing Adrian Plass

am i the only one
who gets stressed when having to 'type the words that appear below',
like google is about to accuse me of being a robot,
and i'll never be allowed to tell my friend i love her post?

am i the only one
who gets excited as winter approaches
instead of spring and summer,
who finds a strange thrill in sitting in a backyard, chatting over a cuppa,
with shadows crazy lengthening at only 4 in the afternoon?

am i the only one
who cries when driving alone,
but suddenly feels self-conscious as a truck passes,
as if the driver is going to peer through my windscreen
and judge me as a traffic hazard, and possibly call the police?

am i the only one
who never knows whether to hug the person hello or not,
not because of the unwritten gender rules regarding handshakes and kissing,
but because i never quite believe that this person is happy to see me at all,
and hugging them would be a insult
to their emotional reality,
and make me out to be some sort of ignorant, 'special' person,
who doesn't realise that actually, everyone hates them.

am i the only one
who is never sure if you're actually happy to hear all this stuff,
or if you're sitting somewhere, polite smile frozen on your face,
not really listening,
but working on the crises in the Middle East and other Proper Important Things instead...?

Of course not!!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Martha and Martha.

It's just like Jesus said,

"Get back in the kitchen bitch,
help Martha make my dinner.
We men are hungry, and we have some important things to discuss."

"The kingdom of heaven is like fairy floss,
it looks so good to eat,
but all the promise melts to nothing on burning tongues."

"The kingdom of heaven is like a warm, cosy room,
seen only through a window on a frosty night.
The occupants argue around the fire until the glass fogs,
and no one can see in any more.

Monday, April 23, 2012

face down disciple

I HATE your plan.
Your plan sucks.
A lot of what's happened so far has been awful,
and painful,
some of it tears at my heartstrings,
some of it tears at my throat, burning, strangling.

Your plan has been hard so far,
and I'm done with it.
I'm tired.

I know what I want the rest to be like!
I know how it could be, should be.

It's quiet and peaceful,
With lots of love to give and receive,
and very little lost.


You make everything too hard,
You ask me for too much.

I can't give everything!
Then I'll have nothing to keep me warm!

I know why Judas kept a hold of the purse strings -
it drove him mad to see you waste it like that.

I know why Jonah went to Ninevah -
anything but follow where you called.

I don't know why Abraham took a walk with Isaac,
and found the wood,
and raised the knife.

I don't know why you got up again at Gethsemane and kept going.

I just want to lie here on the ground a little longer...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

feet used to running

Which me shall I show You today?

Do You know the me in my room?
The one not smiling,
dampening pillows with tears,
lolling in sloth.

Do You know the me in the classroom?
Cracking jokes,
getting on with work,
sending 'proper adult' emails about timetables and rosters.

You know both me-s.

And unlike some,
You know both are me,
and when which ones,
are truer still,
and how,
and why.
I stand before You fully integrated,
better known by You than by myself.

It is a relief not to struggle,
to rest in Your total embrace,

and yet, I run,
and hide from Mercy's face,

because my feet are used to it. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

a bit more shameless promotion

Hello dear readers,

as you may have seen a couple of days ago, I have entered a blog competition, and I would LOVE it if you feel able to express your support by voting for me in the Sydney Writer's Centre Best Australian Blogs People's Choice Awards! (Try saying that 10 times, fast, after a few glasses of Shiraz!)

You can get to the voting form by clicking this cool button, yay!

People's Choice Award

You could also just click on this link to get to the voting form.

Speaking now from the dark side of my nature as a media hag, I hereby promise that the first person to comment here to say that they have voted will receive a handwritten copy of the poecy of their choice, and I'll make it all pretty and stuff, so you can frame it, then hide it from the world.

Go forth and vote! (Please please please pretty please! That includes you Mum!)

With love,

:-) Jo

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I wonder what happened to all the other people
who didn't have a burning bush,
but just a bunch of sheep.

I wonder what happened to all the other Lazarus',
who couldn't hear your voice very clearly through their grave clothes,
so were unsure whether to come out or not...

People say, "how surprising. Miracles seem to have diminished.
Maybe they were all made up.
Myths and fantasies."
It's like you're not even there.

But I reckon there's always been some poor sod,
standing next to Elijah.
Straining to hear you in the silence,
but hearing only their own blood,
pounding insistently against their inner ear,
demanding to be fed. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

what's the point?

I left church today feeling bad for not loving you more.
I wallowed for a while,
but nothing changed,
so I wondered if that was the point...

I read J. I. Packer today, and felt guilty for not loving you more.
I wallowed for a while, and beat my breast (metaphorically).
I frowned for at least an hour,
and then wondered if that was the point...

I left prayer meeting today, feeling uneasy about my lack of prayer.
I went to bed feeling hollow and woke up sad.
Then I wondered if that was the point...

Why do these good things turn sour?

Why does everyone else seem to do better?

Why do I fail at the most basic step?!

Why does an exhortation to honour you rightly
turn into a shouted demand
that I can't possibly live up to...?

I live for the few seconds,
sometimes days,
when I know in my heart that you love me.
When I have no problem understanding that you're my Dad,
and you're tenderly leading me,
lovingly admonishing me,
moulding me to be like you.

Breathe in, breathe out.

The feeling's gone...

In between I am anxious,

I wish sometimes,
that someone would remind me
you died to fix this problem I have
of not seeing you, knowing you, loving you as I ought.
There is no problem,
because you see, know and love perfectly
in my place.
And that is the point. 

ta da!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

my sword

It was while we were in Capernaum.
I thought I'd better get a sword.

You kept saying we were going back to Jerusalem,
but I know the leaders there hated you,
even though the people praised you,
I thought, 'we've got to have a sword'.

You never seemed to understand things,
the right way,
the way I saw them.

What kind of King comes without a standing army?
What kind of King wanders through the wilderness,
filled with thugs and thieves,
without a guard to protect him?

Are you crazy?!

I know you did that walking on water thing.
And that you'd raised the dead.
And healed the sick.
But surely we'd need a sword!
My sword.

They came in the night,
as we knew they would.
Cowards and manipulators,
always seeking cover of darkness.

And I was glad I had a sword.

But you.
You told me to put it away!
The first blow struck
was the last blood for my blade.

And then...

Then I really wished you'd let me use my sword.

But all too soon you were dead and buried.
We sat at the table,
wounded and bewildered.
And my sword quivered at my side,
in anger and fear.

Then Mary came running,
she'd left the others,
came tearing off to tell us your body was not there.

I picked up my sword and ran.
Fast feet did fly,
adrenaline did take them.

Whether guards or priests,
people or peasants,
my sword,
my sword,
would fight for your body.

They'd desecrated your honour,
shamed your glory,
ruined your body,
quashed your story.

But I, with my sword in hand
would never let them take you again,
I would take a stand
and fight ten thousand thousand.

But you...

No thief had raided,
no thugs invaded.

had adulterated
your resting place.

And you didn't even need my sword.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

for Paris

Not cold in her grave she lies,
but hot.
Baked back to clay by unforgiving sun.

Three days have passed,
but life's light does not sink down,
piercing thick layers of soil to touch her.

Life's light has not reached
her stiffening, suffocated body at all.

Her silent lips are mimicked now
by silent stares above.
She speaks not death's dark secrets,
while blind teachers disclose empty truths.
Milk stuff,
to minds starved of the meat
so necessary for their journey ahead.

Paris died.
Small child.
And every womb cried out,
empty arms groped for their beloved.

No no no no no no no.

Don't worry yourselves about it,
it didn't happen,
but it did,
so we should shut up now
and eat some chocolate.

Hallmark words will not revive her,
no kiss of life can now resuscitate.

But yet,

your voice may find her,
through soil and darkness penetrate.

Unafraid of death's black shadow,
powerful truth, now spoken as command.


And light will blind her,
breath shall find her lungs again. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Refiner's fire,
my heart's one desire,
is for you to burn me alive,
and melt my skin til it bubbles away.

Launderer's soap,
my heart's one desire,
is to be pummelled by you,
slapped against rocks til my bones break,
ready to do your will.

We listened to words from Malachi on Sunday, and these were my sermon notes, inspired by this song:  I love this song, but it doesn't really capture the horror of the metaphor...