Pentecost Poem: The Sound of Dust

Note: I updated this poem from when I wrote it in 2005 with a few changes and greater commitment to the rhythm and meter. I am writing it from the point of view of some older Jewish men sitting in a courtyard in Jerusalem that Pentecost morning, watching and listening to the chaotic events around them, asking themselves what it all means. The theme of judgement through the tongues of foreigners (Dt. 28 and Isaiah 28) runs behind my thoughts. I will be reading this as part of my message at Stromness Baptist Church this Pentecost morning.

The Sound of Dust

by Andrew Jones

what does it mean?

this howling wind?

this sound of dust?

this courtyard scene of rushing men?

this rude awakening from rest

and memories of God?

what does it mean?

these laughing men

with shining face

and weakened knee?

will they tell our stories now?

will they don the robes of priests?

will they tell our stories now

from the lips of foreigners?

what does it mean?

this language game?

this teenage stunt?

this sound of blowing

life and death?

how dare they tell our stories well?

how dare they speak our language well?

how can they speak our language well?

how dare they tell our stories as theirs?

Something has ended and begun

and the dust will not settle today.

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


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