Parable Poems

by Robert Brow



how can he be true prophet they rebuked the sin of man he has friends none of us care to know prostitute common thief heathen Jews who don't even wash their hands the proper way before eating as for Levi pitiless cruel mean gathers taxes for the Romans but Jesus sits happy in that house see him ignore the sabbath day if you weaken even one rule all the Torah is then called into question but they call him rabbi teacher blasphemous son of God we must silence the ignorant Galilean (taken from Mark 2:13-28)


I am sorry you were hurt when I came I do admit I looked too rudely yes I want you as a friend to go sailing we love art but how can I not see through my male filter do you reject Rubens Goya Velasquez they admired and painted the women in their lives


I loved God went to church and had never ever lied to anyone when the police banged the door have you Jews hidden here I said never they went away and I cried what have I done telling lies to do good will my first lie to save a Jew lead downwards into other enormities (based on the story of Corrie ten Boom whose family hid Jews from the Nazis)


he that looketh on a woman lusting for her has already committed adultery but Lord did you love women without finding them beautiful did you design sparkling eyes thighs feet and ankles why should I look guiltily at your delight (based on Matthew 5:27-29)


I was alone at the cottage separated unemployed I cursed God he heard me I sang aloud dived naked with the loons the old lady across the bay looked shocked she came across to my side I expected the full length of her tongue she thanked me I was about to take pills she explained your looniness has saved me from suicide she swam home and I typed my resume sent it off excitedly with hope again


I've been cold all this winter but yesterday my maple sap penetrated heart desire forced a way into buds I never knew were in my skin now exploding for the spring (suggested by the inrush of the Spirit in John 15:4-5)


I had touched the old body held if often saw it dying crucified and buried in the tomb first thought he must be the gardener till he called me by my name with a body transformed Why did he say don't hold me why should I seven devil Magdalene be the first to see him live (taken from John 20:14-18)


my profession is to shepherd the stupid sheep they don't know the voice of God I have to preach make them eat the proper food I need respect for my honour punctilious legislation is required they will exploit any loophole when Jesus came he was too free but now we have tradition on our side I can force subdue by guilt and stirring up a public storm to shame them but the Spirit must be watched he can undo my profession so easily


some people think a piece of gum has lost flavour after only twenty chews I knew a guy who discarded after sucking the peppermint without chewing but I chew till long after the mint is gone then I stick it under a pew I wish there was a way to make gum that lasted so I could chew eternally (suggested by Matthew 5:13)


I have to dance to his tune and always the same corny barrel organ monkey notes why can't I pick my record step out to my own beat when I hinted at my longing he turns on television watching sports while I cry feed him bed him mind his kids O God I hate myself and him


he understands my longings to catch up education my parents had denied encourages my freedom and he holds me tenderly when I burst into tears he watched me try on thirty ugly dresses was ecstatic when I found what I wanted the other man has money and flowers turns me on but I wonder if he loves me


I loved her stroked her back to stretch open the last hard centimetre as I prayed for her final expelling the outcome of our sexes a long orgasm now released the beginning of new life it's a girl she was crying in my arms


my rich uncle left a million so we bought a big house and decided to adopt Tom for our family But of course I explained my wife and I will be writing our black book you won't know what's the score if you make fifty per cent we adopt you Tom looked sad so I offered forty per cent but he wouldn't we liked him but he certainly missed a chance to make it comfortably rich respected in our family


I loved sport dancing swimming and the boys enjoyed me drinking driving never did mix I begged him to drop me off but he drove furiously hit a tree walked away next I knew my back broken I was crippled paraplegic the X rays arrived back diagnosed as hopeless I was ready for suicide a minister came to call proved to me it was God I should blame that got me mad but I began my talking back with the venom outpoured came to faith but O my God is terrible in his loving (Pat French was raised in Calcutta, came to Toronto, and a drunken boy friend left her paraplegic. She came to a tough knowlege of God, and had a Bible study in her home on Isabella Street. When she died, her estate was willed to Mother Theresa. The $250,000 she had saved from the insurance was paid in July 1982.)


I was grilled by the office secretary till finally he ushered me like jelly into the boss who grilled me another hour you are hired she announced if you submit to my orders yes of course I answered kiss my feet she commanded so I kneeled very humbly I took off her two shoes madam I said your ankles are beautiful but I never kiss a girl the first date strangely she hired me let me manage the business till the day she made me take her out on a date and we kissed


by the harbour sailors drank rich merchants had gold rings a slight push in the crowd slit a wallet for my pay thief friends call it fishing I had caught ten fish that day so felt good when I went in with the crowd in the school of Tyrannus a fellow Paul spoke about two thieves one day Paul said it's time you got a job and with your pay you could join in my mission I will teach you to catch fish for the man between two thieves (based on Mark 1:17, Acts 19:9, Ephesians 4:28)


sand pipers moved in front I sang aloud tried leaping in a turn to astonish the herring gull he liked it I recited my poetry so he came to my big toe pecked at it like dead fish so I dived into the surf showed him how to catch a live fish came up laughing which upset him and he left me like a male chauvinist but the breath in my lungs was the breeze from the sea so I danced like Pavlova and he came to squawk again


the nursing home had a dance and they played the old tunes I felt strange nurse's husband brought along to entertain she dragged out an old fellow made me dance with Mrs. Pott bowed to her took her hand may I have the pleasure she was eighty quite a flirt the best dancing of my life


a prostitute seemed easy in Chicago to check my sex it wasn't nice but at least I was a man and could talk with authority on the subject in the motel I opened the Bible from the drawer and discovered I was one flesh with the woman in a marriage terminated by divorce (The verse he found was "whoever is united with a prostitute becomes one body with her." 1 Corinthians 6:16 quoting the marriage text in Genesis 2:24)


I had taken three services that afternoon I was digging potatoes in my garden a farmer came and watched me you are working on the sabbath you should practice what you preach I explained the commandment was to work six and rest one day for him digging would be work for me it's recreation so he told me all my spuds were too deep they wouldn't sprout


on my day off I had dozed flat on my back on the beach when I woke I could feel her eyeing me as I tried to reduce the flabbiness of my waist so I turned on my stomach but could smell the perfume near my ear do preachers only work one day a week she asked me how did she know my profession that's easy you preached last Sunday in our church I liked it and I thought you were old enough and young enough to listen to my confession


the old farm was tedious under the eye of my father and he agreed to divide it I got my share and sold it off to a builder slipped away rented a pad with stereo I found myself the popular man about town till my Visa bounced on me it was strange all my friends disappeared the only work was hog feeding would my father have me home he might let me work the farm a hired hand at least a bed and my meals in the kitchen but my father came running hugged me as he called for new clothes and a ring a barbecue thanksgiving dancing wine for my friends but my brother wouldn't come (taken from Luke 15:11-32)


can't she see I am correct intuition is no answer to the facts and when I win she cries as if tears substitute for the truth I don't claim perfection am humble enough to know my limits but her pride convinces her that justice is feminine liberation


when they said get undressed as the party got rowdier I walked out a foul taste in my mouth why should I bare my body to be pawed by idiots who can't tell vulgarity from my freedom


he dated me adoringly twenty months did'nt kiss or hold my hand so I pulled the plug on him then yesterday we met again on the street and we talked both lonely twenty years down the road now he says he loved me he had planned our marriage hadn't asked in case I might say no could I make something of the fellow should I call write a note run into him or just forget