Monday, December 4, 2023

A voice cries, Comfort!

Haiku for a coming.

Comfort my people.

Yes, we could use some comfort.

We feel lost, afraid.

Tell Jerusalem,

in words of tenderness, her

punishment is past.

A voice is crying:

In the wilderness prepare

the way; the Lord comes.

Mountains are levelled,

uneven ground is made smooth,

as are the rough roads.

The Lord is coming,

the day of glory draws near;

we all will see it.

A voice says Cry out!

People are withering grass

and fading flowers.

When God breathes on them

the grass withers, flowers fade;

only God’s word lasts.

Shout out loud, boldly,

Jerusalem. Do not fear.

Say, Here is your God!

The tidings are good.

Tell Judah, God comes in love;

he is our reward.

He will feed his flock

like a shepherd, gathering

the lambs in his arms.

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, November 27, 2023

Don't remain angry


Don’t remain angry

Haiku of realisation and repentance

You’re elusive, God,

time you made your presence felt,

made the mountains quake!

Make a big display,

cause the nations to tremble;

make them take notice.

No God except you

has ever been seen or heard

throughout the ages.

Those who wait for God

find themselves in God’s presence;

they do what is right.

We made you angry

when we sinned. We were unclean;

and you hid yourself.

Our righteous deeds, they

are nothing, they cling to us

like a filthy cloth.

We fade, like a leaf.

Cut off from you, the wind blows

us away. We die.

You are our Father,

the potter who shapes our lives;

your hand has made us.

Don’t remain angry,

Lord, or remember our sins;

we are your people.

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023

I will seek them out

Haiku for the scattered

The sheep are scattered.

God’s people, dispersed, exiled

among the nations.

I will search for them,

says God. They are my own sheep,

I will seek them out.

I will rescue them

from all their scattered places;

I’ll be their shepherd.

I will bring them home

to Israel’s mountains, give

them food and water.

They’ll have rich pasture,

lie down in good grazing land.

I’ll be their shepherd.

I will seek the lost,

bind the injured, and strengthen

the weak They are mine.

The fat and the strong

I will destroy. They’ll receive

the justice that’s due.

Between sheep and sheep

I will judge; those who ravage,

and the scattered ones.

A true shepherd comes,

my servant David, a prince;

he shall tend my flock.

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, November 13, 2023

Deborah takes control

Haiku for a woman judge

Israel’s children

happily ensconced out there,

in their promised land.

They were not faithful;

so, the ancient tale tells us,

God abandoned them.

Canaan’s King Jabin

with Commander Sisera

oppress the people.

They suffered cruelly.

Oppressed by their enemies

They cried out to God.

Prophet Deborah

was Judging Israel, then.

That’s right; a woman!

She sent for Barak,

instructing him: God commands,

go to Mount Tabor.

Take ten thousand men;

an army from Napthali

and from Zebulun.

Sisera will come

to meet you with his army,

You will defeat him.


History written

by the winners. Black and white;

God is on our side

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, November 6, 2023

Covenant Renewed

Haiku for choosing

The tribes are gathered,

Joshua summons elders

and other leaders.

Before Abraham

your forebears served other gods;

I, your God, blessed him.

I made his offspring

many, led him through Caanan,

I gave him a son.

Therefore you must serve

the Lord; you must be faithful,

serve no foreign gods.

Choose whom you shall serve,

this day. I, and all my house,

we shall serve the Lord.

The people answered:

God has done great things for us,

we, too, will serve God.

Then put them away,

the foreign gods. If you don’t

God will consume you.

The people agree;

choosing to obey the Lord.

Covenant renewed.

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, October 30, 2023

Let the wars begin

 Haiku to challenge the narrative

Story of wonder;

defying physics. Who knows

what really happened?

Joshua is told

that God will be with him, as

God was with Moses.

He is in command;

Joshua instruct the priests

at Jordan’s waters.

Selected leaders,

twelve, bear the Covenant’s Ark

across the Jordan.

Symbolic presence;

God will drive the foreigners

from their own country

Colonising God,

a most disturbing image;

should we accept it?

As their feet get wet

Jordan’s flow is arrested.

The people pass through.

The entire nation

crossed into the promised land.

Let the wars begin.

Monday, October 23, 2023

It is not for you

Haiku for an ending

Moses has grown old.

Years of desert wanderings

end at Mt Nebo.

Look upon the land,

says God: Gilead, Ephraim,

Jericho, Judah.

I swore to Jacob,

Isaac and Abraham, this

land is for their heirs.

It is not for you.

I show it to you, but, no;

you shall not cross there.

Weary, but fulfilled,

he has seen the promised land;

Moses is at rest.

Moses, God’s servant,

was buried in Moab; his

grave remains unmarked.

He was unequalled

in signs and wonders; knowing

the Lord face to face.

Israel’s new leader

is Joshua; wise, chosen

by Moses and God.

© 2023 Ken Rookes

Monday, October 16, 2023

You cannot see my face

Haiku of mystery

Moses, God converse.

Mo seeks details, wants to know

what God is planning

Moses presses God:

If I have found favour, then

show me your ways, God.

These people are yours,

care for them. I am with you,

I will give you rest.

Will you go with us?

If your presence will not go

don’t send us from here.

With you as our God

we will be special, unique

among the nations.

I do as you ask,

I look on you with favour,

I know you by name.

Moses asks, Show me

your glory. The Lord agrees.

I shall pass by you.


Seeing my glory

you will proclaim the Lord’s name.

I will be gracious.

I will show myself

but you cannot see my face,

not if you would live.

Hide in this cleft rock

while my glory passes by,

you shall see my back.

The back view of God

Yes, I think that I’d take that,

if it was offered.

© Ken Rookes 2023

Monday, October 9, 2023

A calf of gold

Haiku for an angry God

Moses is delayed

on the mountain. The people

are concerned, anxious.

This elusive God

is not what they want. Give us

a god we can grasp.

A god to guide us,

a god we can take with us;

make us such a god.

All right, said Aaron,

give me all your gold, the rings

that hang from your ears.

Aaron took the rings,

melting them, cast an image

of a golden calf.

He built an altar.

Tomorrow we sacrifice,

celebrate our god!

The people ate, drank

and rose up to revel. God

was most unimpressed.

Go back down, Moses.

They have turned away from me,

these faithless people.

Now leave me, said God,

my wrath burns hot against them,

I will consume them.

Take it easy, God.

You brought them out of Egypt,

don’t waste it all, now.

You gave a promise

to Abe, Isaac, and Jacob;

you would make them great.

Moses convinced God

to change his mind. Disaster

averted, thank God.

© Ken Rookes 2023

A voice cries, Comfort!

Haiku for a coming. Comfort my people. Yes, we could use some comfort. We feel lost, afraid. Tell Jerusalem, in words of t...