Bitter Was the Night

This is the night when you wash each other’s feet. The night when you remember the Passover. The night when  you share the hasty meal before the  deliverance from God’s wrath. This is the night when God struck down the first born of all living things, human and other animal life. This is the night when God’s son prayed and wept in the garden. The night when the others slept instead of keeping vigil. This is the night of betrayal. This is the night of premonition  of horror.

So go to your beds to sleepy rest. But don’t dream. Don’t let your memories invade your unconsciousness. Turn off your minds to the call to stand vigil. I’ll join you. I’ll wait for the cock crow and wonder if, in my sleep, I’ve been guilty of three times of denial. I’ll wake certain that it happened. Somewhere, sometime, I know that I turned my back, didn’t listen to the plea, shrugged off the need. Tomorrow I’ll be there in the church, sorrowful for the death of my God. Repeating the prayers of lamentation and commiseration. An onlooker, not a true participant in  the passion. Not yet. Maybe next year.

Happy Easter!



And did you do anything

When you were crying out

Your injustices, your complaints

Against the occupying forces?


Wasn’t it all just an excuse

To pillage the villages,

To steal a few girls,

Pretending you were a freedom fighter?


Sure, the king turned a blind eye

To your shenanigans,

It suited him to let you

Annoy the foreigners, didn’t it?


When you were rampaging

Across the weary land,

There was another calling for change,

Did you never hear him?


While you were murdering and tearing,

Marauding through the hills,

He was healing and mending,

Did you not cross paths?


You and your ragamuffin band

Were little more than a nuisance,

You couldn’t think you mattered,

Or were you so deluded?


What did you think

When you were chosen by the mob,

That the governor had a good

Sense of your worthiness?


Not even a political prisoner,

You were just in the right place

At the right time,

Were you destined or merely lucky?


People are forever fickle,

They didn’t care a fig for you,

They just wanted the other one dead,

Was it possible you didn’t get that?


If you thought the crowds were cheering

Because you had been released,

You surely didn’t understand the situation

Or did it just not matter?


Like the governor washing his hands,

You wandered into the story,

He didn’t know what he was doing,

Did you have any better idea?


In the end, they say

That even the man’s god abandoned him,

Anyway that’s what I heard,

Was that really right?


In any case, how could you walk from prison,

Right past that innocent man

As if you had that right,

When you had no right?


Then they killed him, above a rubbish tip,

While you quickly got out of town,

While you got to live

What more did you do, did you?

 Ruari Jack Hughes



Ain’t Love Grand?!

She’s back! After three days of stooging around on my own, my lady is home. She’s been away at a conference about stuff on which she is some sort of wizard and about which I couldn’t even begin to comment. Computer stuff — something I’ve decided you either have in your blood or you don’t. I most definitely don’t.

It’s interesting how you get involved with another person and you know it’s right. There’s something which connects you and you can’t really define it or put any explanation to why this one rather than the million or more others out there who are reasonably available no matter what age you are, what you look like or any other criterion which you may think matters. We all call it love largely for want of more imagination since the word is so hopelessly debased in current usage. Still, it’s a word that’s been around a long time and I reckon it does fairly well to get the idea across about how there is this someone in your life that you can’t imagine not being there and you still surviving. Well, not for too long anyway.

But while all that’s said, there’s still this strange business that we never fully know the other one. No matter how long you’ve been together (in our case it’s a very long time), how many places you’ve been to, how many things you’ve done, how many arguments you’ve had, how many times you’ve forgotten why you even had the argument, how many times you’ve slept together (and how many of those times were after you had sex), there is still a mystery. Maybe that’s what keeps you together. That ultimate unknowability of the other. The fascination of someone who isn’t you, has a separate being and personality, a unique take on the world.

For very many years I have known that every day brings forth something new. Almost never do I pull the sheets up and nod off to dreamland without recognising that today I had a new experience unlike any before. Or I learnt a new fact. Or the one I love revealed yet another facet of herself that I hadn’t seen previously. It’s quite wonderful and apparently it’s an endless possibility. So I’m very glad she’s back.

Here’s a poem to finish, and since it’s about love, it had to be a sonnet, Right?

Can it be Different Now?

Know that you were loved
In the break of day
When sunlight had moved
The shadows from where you lay
And as the night fell
Scattering stars in its wake
Like the casting of a spell
Love was there for you to take.

Can it be different now?
Only the years have passed by
Day and night are the same
Can anything here disallow
The moon to rise or the sun to lie
Or love to echo the sound of your name?

Ruari Jack Hughes

That’s What Friends Are For

Just shared a BBQ dinner at our place with two of my closest friends. I’ve known Robin for 45 years and Alan for not much less. Yet it’s not like we see each other often (though that may change since they’ve recently moved to the same suburb). It’s not the frequency of contact however, that makes some people the sort of friends who you feel are a part of your life and always will be. There’s little to distinguish these true friends from family. You can go sometimes for years without seeing each other and then pick up the conversation as if it was just a day or two since you were last talking. There’s a level of affection that’s more than just ‘friendly’. Friends in this category of relationship are the ones who give back to you. Every time you see them (or even just think about them) there is the knowledge that you have been confirmed as who you are. Your sense of yourself is reinforced in the recognition that you are someone important to the other. It is of course, another form of love.


An epigram for the day:


Love is always there

In our lives and in our hopes

Making all things well

Ruari Jack Hughes