The acts of the apostles



Selected poems



Cloud sonnet

Morning, and it's enough to

watch the intention of clouds

make good their vocation

to cleanse a stained world.


Some days they disappear.

Absent from continuous blue,

they soon return, their

floating forms, mist-laden.


Like diaphanous angels

they chart our weighted lives 

— the forward steps we venture,

foolish or very wise.


High-hearted, they understand

how much of us is water too.





I like history, reading about the past;

of the Egyptians for instance, with

those strange gods and hieroglyphs;


of the deep thinking Greeks who

gamely faced the Persians, made

sinuous vases, devised geometry;


and of course of the Romans who

invented the arch, built roads, sent

out legions and became an empire.


This morning, a girl sits opposite

me in the train, her arm a canvas

of ink, her eyes rimmed with kohl.


Her head bends to a phone. Ten

fingers fly. She has not noticed

that I am sliding into history.





It's a hard life

and the whipped sea's a terror.

Sometimes though, its slate beauty

lifts my heart.


It's hard work casting and hauling,

and net-mending's endlessly boring

except for the back and forth

with the boys.


And now, this stranger.

What is it? Something in his voice? 

The way he stands against the sky?

Eyes that sum us up in a flash?


A word and the world is changing,

and fishing is not what we thought.


Follow, he says.




The Acts of the Apostles

It wasn't all action.

Sometimes they stopped in their tracks

struck dumb by the thought 

that they had walked, talked, eaten and

drunk with the Lord of Creation. 

How to explain that to their grandchildren,

let alone strangers!


The story could not to be contained.

It burst forth from their mouths

as they followed the Spirit.


Sometimes they stopped to pray

(though isn't prayer action?).


For some, their last act on earth,

meant death.




Bill RushBill Rush is a Melbourne writer and has published three books of poetry. His last book was Into the World's Light. He is a retired pharmacist with a theology degree.

Topic tags: poetry, Bill Rush, Easter



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Existing comments

Some lovely pieces of poetry; I especially appreciated the Cloud Sonnet. But The Acts of the Apostles - Prayer is action! Surely not. That understanding is why Christianity continues to trip over itself. To listen to the Spirit one needs to - Be still and know that I am God. Ps 46. The it's into action.
John Pettit | 29 March 2018

Thanks John - I see your point. I guess I was thinking of work as prayer and prayer as work - or at least being available to prayer. And yes, it is as much about listening as anything else. Not easy in this frenetic world.
Bill Rush | 29 March 2018

Events observed with a keen contemplative eye, Bill. Thank you.
John | 06 April 2018


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