Monday, January 16, 2017

When Jesus calls


Haiku for taking a chance

With John arrested
Jesus withdraws, goes back home;
north, to Galilee.

He leaves Nazareth
and moves to Capernaum.
There he makes his home.

What the prophet said
is about to be fulfilled;
a great light has dawned.

Commencing his work,
he begins to preach. “Repent,
the kingdom comes near.”

Walking by the sea
he sees Andrew and Simon
casting out their nets.

He calls the brothers,
“Come and follow, learn from me;
we'll fish for people.”

Best offer all day!
The fishers laugh, choose the risk,
leave behind their nets.

Further down the shore
He comes across more brothers,
sons of Zebedee.

In their father's boat,
Sons of Thunder, James and John,
also get the call.

In a flash, the pair
stop, weigh their options, and leave
dad to mend the nets.


© Ken Rookes 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Lamb of God?

A challenging poem by Denis Levertov

God then,
encompassing all things, is
defenseless? Omnipotence
has been tossed away, reduced
to a wisp of damp wool?

And we,
frightened, bored, wanting
only to sleep till catastrophe
has raged, clashed, seethed and gone by without us,
wanting then
to awaken in quietude without remembrance of agony,

we who in shamefaced private hope
had looked to be plucked from fire and given
a bliss we deserved for having imagined it,

is it implied that we
must protect this perversely weak
animal, whose muzzle’s nudgings
 suppose there is milk to be found in us?
Must hold to our icy hearts
a shivering God?

So be it.
Come, rag of pungent
 quiverings,
dim start.
Let’s try
if something human still
 can shield you,
spark
of remote light.


Denise Levertov

Monday, January 9, 2017

Two disciples

Haiku for those who are called.

John the baptiser,
had a group of disciples
learning from their lord.

A man of insight,
a prophet, fearing no-one,
pointing to the light.

When Jesus turned up,
the way the story is told,
John stepped to one side.

John saw him coming.
“Look, here is the Lamb of God,”
two friends were told.

When they heard these words
they took leave of their master
to follow Jesus.

Jesus turned, saw them,
asked: “What are you looking for?”
Top question, that one.

They did not answer,
asked him, “Where are you staying?”
“Come and see,” he said.

An invitation
for all who come with questions;
and much repeated.

The Lamb of God comes
bringing life and light and hope:
Don't wait, come and see!

Epilogue.

Andrew found Simon.
“Come and meet the Messiah.”
Took him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him.
“You are Simon, son of John.
I'll call you Rocky.”


© Ken Rookes 2017

Monday, January 2, 2017

Needing to be baptised


Haiku for beginners

When he was ready
he travelled from Galilee,
south, to the Jordan.

There he came to John
with a baptism request.
John was reluctant.

You ask this of me,
I should be baptised by you;
the Baptist demurred.

Let it be so now,
Jesus answered. It's proper
and right to do this.

The river beckoned.
He sank beneath its surface,
finding his calling.

Emerging once more
from the darkness into light;
fills his lungs with life.

The white dove flies low,
with heaven's voice whispering:
this, then, is my son.


© Ken Rookes 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Tales of wonder

Haiku of uncertain destination.

The tale is dodgy,
its historicity doubtful,
but still we wonder.

Driven by a dream
they seek the child of promise,
born to be a king.

They came from the east,
a vague description, at best;
those men of wisdom.

No maps, GPS,
their star takes them all the way
to Jerusalem.

They call on Herod;
(where else would you find a prince
but in a palace?)

Herod takes advice,
sends them off to Bethlehem;
asks to stay informed.

The child is threatened
by this late development.
God's plans are at risk.

Finding the infant
they offer their gifts: the gold,
frankincense and myrrh.

The gifts are laden
with meaning and importance
for a future king.

Having paid homage,
the pilgrims return eastward,
give Herod a miss.

The nations have seen,
the threat will be overcome;
the story rolls on.


© Ken Rookes 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

To the New Year

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

BY W. S. MERWIN