Reflection triggered by “that” deportation

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Palm Sunday Gathering Perth 2016

News just broke of his deportation
Tennis can’t save his mixed reputation
Oz immigration brooks no mitigation
Outrage and sorrow split more than this nation.

Yet refugees linger long through the years
Detained indefinitely for fleeing their fears
Split from family, self, friends and their peers
All but forgotten, alone with their tears.

Brief juxtaposition highlights our shame
Celebrity status throws light on the game
Our government toys with those it would tame
“Rules are rules” and “there’s only you to blame.”

Whether deserved or not, humanity’s on ice
Fortunes can change in a blink or a trice
All it takes is a throw of the dice
Those who hold power determine the price.

I dream of a world that is more like a home
That resembles the vision of the ancient shalom.
Wholeness of purpose, like sweet honeycomb
Friendship abounds, and life is a poem.

Claim your authority… when authentic!

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: What is a life lesson everyone can benefit from learning?
Photo by Gladson Xavier on

Gingerly I laid out my clinical case
Involving some conflict I refused to face
My mentor stood up, tall and intense,
Determined to inject me with some good common sense.

“Who is your bishop?” he demanded to know.
“We have none – we are our own,” I declared so.
He leaned forth and pounded table with fist.
Snarling “Then claim your authority!” – he seemed to insist.

His meaning I savored and began to reclaim
Authority I avoided when it could have been my aim
Not from loveless base or greed for control
But love that is authentic and seeks to make whole.

Authority founded on Christ-love drives me these days
Boundless and free, without fear or malaise
No dogma to nip at heels and oppress
Confounding those who control and suppress.

For all whose timidity prevents them to thrive
May they seek their kernel that makes them alive
That’s what’s authentic and where authority’s found
And leads to new vistas where all good abounds.

Public Freaking vs Public Speaking

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: A Challenge You Faced and Overcame

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Pimpled and bespectacled, I stood before the class
“One minute speech,” he said, “if you expect to pass.”
Butterflies a-flutter, my propensity to stutter,
Prevented speech, for only nonsense I could splutter.

“Sit down, Ryle,” he commanded with disdain,
“Another turn will come, if marks you wish to gain.”
Red-faced and downcast, I shuffled to my seat.
This fear of public speaking, showing off my sound defeat.

Now a retired preacher-man
who looks back on that occasion.
I shake my head and wonder
at the powers of persuasion.

Mentors woke within me
A strong and fervent passion
Tempered by my quietness
and words I liked to fashion

Some stints in factory and emporium
and some practice on cows in confusion
honed some oratory skill and an ornery will
to beat my shy disposition.

Yet Jonah-like I fled
Nineveh filled me with dread
Still the Inner Nudge-Nudge gently made me budge-budge
Fifty years on, speech has long been my bread.

Carpe Diem!

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: What does your ideal day look like?
Photo by Lukas on

Is it me or do others feel like wreaking mischief on some of these questions? (Insert appropriate emoji for signaling no hostile intent!)

What is an ideal day?

Each day, whether work or leisure, significant anniversary or ordinary humdrum, free or restricted through health or circumstance, provides a fresh unexplored landscape that is fecund with opportunity and possibility, risk and hazard. Each day, then, depending one’s disposition, can present as ideal.

As for me? Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!

Emoting little bytes

#Bloganuary Writing Tip: What emojis do you like to use?

Photo by Lady Escabia on

What was that? Why do you assume
That emoji use is something I consume?
Annoying little blighters that would sully my page
when they appear, winking and blinking; they cause me rage.
Meant to subtly enhance a tone,
they change one’s voice to something unknown.
If I can’t write a coherent phrase
A cartoon blip won’t improve my ways.
A polly I knew texted only in emoji –
She was once the Minister in charge of diplomacy.
Effective? Who are the ones that can really say?
Egyptian hieroglyphics may have saved the day!

… to boldly go…

Photo by Jeremy Mu00fcller on

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: What does it mean to live boldly?

Star Trek memes abounding; different voices sounding;
To live boldly is to step into the unknown –
for those grafted to perfection, dare to be marred:
for those winning affection, dare to say no:
for those wedded to success, dare to fail:
for those striving to be special, dare to embrace the ordinary:
for those hoarding knowledge, dare to spill out extravagantly:
for those clinging to safety, dare to let go:
for those at the happy party, dare to suffer
for those in charge, dare to be vulnerable
for those lost in numbness, dare to engage.
… and so, live long and prosper!

An Attitude of Gratitude!

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: What Are 5 Things You Are Grateful For Today?

Why does such a question trouble me?
Is it because it appears to commodify gratitude?
I am deeply grateful for many things, although troubles are ever threatening and I have described my state as watchfulness in a sea of existential dissonance.
Yet underneath runs a never-ending stream of thankfulness
– a perpetual Ignatian examen oriented towards the radiance of uncreated Love.
My Polar Star!

Making an Ass out of U & Me

#Bloganuary Writing Prompt:
What do people incorrectly assume about you?

“Twould be mistaken to assume you know my mind
The devil’s advocate in me might rise to blind
all further knowledge of my intent
To examine my thoughts requires my assent.

‘Twould be mistaken to assume my passion
Few are those who win such ration
But my drive and energy are plain to see
Transparency plus tied to the Mystery

(c) Dennis Ryle January 2022

The Rite To Write

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What do you like most about your writing?
#Bloganuary writing prompt

I talk a lot – it was my job as a sky-pilot (what Ozzies call a pastor). It came second to listening a lot. Most of my talk was in a teaching/preaching situation, some times through the week and several times on Sundays.

In order to talk meaningfully in this way, one must have one’s thoughts in order. Writing was how I did it. I often enjoyed the process, even when unsatisfied with the result. Somehow the action of writing gets my monkey-mind on track and things fall into place more clearly. Even when drawing the process to a conclusion, however, there’s always a sense of more. The topic is not exhausted and remains open-ended in an ever-expanding sense of wonder. I have years of manuscripts of sermons and lessons collected over the years, but have rarely been back to them. When I do pull one out and read it, it seems like the words, though familiar, were written by a stranger. I’ve moved on into fresh ways of discovery and articulation.

I guess this is why I still write. The process is centering and meditative. I don’t talk as much as I used to. But the process goes on!

Ha ha ha….

What makes you laugh? #Bloganuary writing prompt

Irony. I grew up on American slapstick which entertained me for a while but was ultimately unsatisfying. A lot of it turned real in the hazing typical of adolescence and early adulthood – both as executor and executee. Much of the laughter was hollow. Thank goodness for a healthy family background in good solid, subtle, understated British humour, which can somehow blend Monty Pythonesque prat falls with dry and laconic life observations that are pregnant with wit. This blend, perhaps, has become the hallmark of Aussie humour.

The best lesson learned, however, is how to laugh at myself. Lots of opportunities – slapstick – like when in the midst of one of my Sunday morning sermonic harangues, a tooth came loose and ended in the lap of a surprised parishioner. I simply retrieved it and carried on.

Irony, however, happens every single day and saves one from taking oneself to seriously.