Parables and Poems
By Simon Brown
72pp, 240 x 170mm,
Text includes many b/w photos and glossary.
Published November 2002
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About the book
This precious collection springs from the tradition of revealing God by telling stories.
A Baptist pastor, Simon Brown shares his spiritual insights into everyday life.
Some stories are direct, others more subtle, but New Zealanders will identify with all of them.
A child having fun with God playing imaginary games; sitting round a campfire beside a river; death, sin, greed, hope, laughter, family and love — all are here.
Evocative images of people, artwork and places add depth and another dimension to reflect on.
Parables and Poems will stir emotional connections with this land and its people.
Extracts from Parables and Poems
When God was young
When I was six and God was young we used to play together.
He told me the secrets of life; like how the baby bird gets in the egg, why wetas take so long to drown and what really happens if you swallow gum.
God was so much fun. One day he bet me my playlunch he could teach a frog to talk. No sooner had we shook on it than 300 frogs jumped out of hiding yelling, “Sucker.” I always lost my bets with God but we shared everything anyway…
These old cronies
I met these old cronies, a woman with her man,
married for 35 good years.
Huddled to the fire on a stone laden beach, the broth
of yesterday’s fish-heads and wine, steaming.
Small tin boat Sally near their two-berth blue van,
parked shaded by the rata tree in bloom. And tui.
Their home was brick back at Huntly, both worked
down the open coal mine. Kids long left the huddle.
They’ve been stoking that fire 36 summers.
“Their eldest,” she giggled, “was made here.”
Old shoulders stayed touched in the fire glow amber,
we talked for a time about fishing and life.…
Betty Bunter bent her fork as she stabbed the blood red steak with force. Not angry. Not fussed. Just hungry. “Bloody hungry.”
“So you’re the pastor of the local church then?” she belched between loads not really listening for an answer…
The liturgy of life
River pouring from a teatree spout.
It’s one long cup of tea.
Juicy mist steams on the hills,
home of pigeon and boar.
Sea birds wake to call aloud,
the sun he’s still in bed.
One lone gull steals up the skirts
of dawn, in search of love…
Completing the Trinity
Three persons in the Trinity
the Father, Son, the Holy Ghost
honeymooning and swooning above,
eight squillion years of it,
creators of eternity and time.
The unbroken circle of power, of love
Alpha and Omega, the All.
Humbled, exalted, completed,
in the faith-filled yes of a child.
Life beyond the tomb
Must be hard being Jesus today. Ever thought about that? I mean, sure it was tough when his mates shunned him at the end. Especially old Judas. That was tough. And the whips with bone in the ends must have really stung too. I mean he wasn’t a bad guy who deserved it or anything. Then there’s those bleeding thorns and cross with blunt nails. Sure that was tough. You’ve got to admit it. That can’t have been a picnic for Jesus. No siree. And what about the public trial, mocking and jeering from the crowd. The same crowd that hugged him a couple of days before and sang songs like Hosanna to the King, and stuff with cloaks and palms. That must’ve been a bit of a shocker. His close friends took off leaving Him with no mates, only enemies. Hung out to dry in the sun like a shot rabbit on a fence wire. Jeez mate it must’ve been grim. So all in all Jesus’ death must have been a hell of a time for Jesus. No doubt about it. I really mean it…
Praise for Parables and Poems
“These poems and stories are strong stuff. Of the earth, earthy, they are shot through with a sense of wonder, which is an encounter with the divine. God is here — not in celestial glory — but in the ordinary and everyday.”
Brian K Smith, Former Principal
Carey Baptist College
“A delightful raconteur, Brown weaves mystery and the mundane as casually as a man knotting a fishing net. In these stories and poems he trawls the imagination and brings back a healthy catch to be enjoyed over a driftwood fire at the edge of the sea. Read and enjoy.”
Mike Riddell, Author
“…we long for indigenous stories to bring meaning, inspire courage, form personal identity and stretch faith. Simon’s stories and poems do this. Born out of our landscape and our people they connect New Zealanders with the concerns of God. ”
Author of A Churchless Faith
About the Author
Simon is married to Anita and together they’ve raised six children in the small rural community of Glenbrook, south west of Auckland, New Zealand. Simon has worked as a carpenter, commercial fisherman, cowshed hand, rouseabout, building contractor, student, labourer, pastor, school chaplain, youth worker and writer. His interests include most things but above all, he enjoys mucking around with family, and a few close friends, trading yarns.