Monday, October 18, 2021

Now I see

Haiku for the enlightened

The blind beggar sees

enough light to realise

that Jesus can help.

Just a glimmer, but

The smallest fragment of hope

leads him to shout out.

Blind Bartimaeus

has heard the rumours; he cries,

Jesus, have mercy!

The crowd insists: Hush

Don’t trouble the teacher! But

Jesus has heard him.

Jesus stops. Call him!

Take heart! they tell the blind man,

he is calling you.

The teacher asks, What

should I do for you? Let me

see again, Jesus!

Your faith makes you well.

Sight restored, Bartimaeus

follows on the way

Open our eyes, Lord.

We, who grope in the darkness,

would see, and follow.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, October 11, 2021

At your right and left

Haiku for servants

Teacher, will you grant

whatever we ask of you?

They ask, cunningly.

What is it you want?

He asked brothers James and John

when they came to him.

In your glory time,

grant us to sit at your right

hand, and at your left.

Jesus must have sighed.

You don’t know what you’re asking;

haven’t heard my words.

Can you drink my cup,

or share in my baptism?

Sure we can, Jesus!

Yes, you will follow.

Death will be my baptism,

suffering my cup.

The Gentile rulers

play at power, lording it;

Don't imitate them!

Would you become great?

You must become a servant;

be the slave of all.

The Son of Man came

not to be served, but to serve;

and to give his life.

The sighs continue.

Many still play power games;

refusing to hear.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, October 4, 2021

We have left everything

Haiku of the journey

He had kept the law,

this man who wanted to live

the life eternal.

Jesus looks with love.

One thing you lack. Sell the lot,

give it to the poor.

For your poverty,

treasure in heaven. The cost

proves to be too great.

How hard for the rich

to enter God’s realm. Camels

squeezing through needles!

Relax, he wasn’t

talking to us. Just this man!

We can keep our stuff.

We who have comfort,

warm, with three meals; perhaps we

are among the rich.

Who, then, can be saved?

For mortals, not possible,

but God can do it.

What you leave behind

to follow, you will receive

back a hundredfold.

In the age to come

all will be reversed. The first

are last; the last, first.

© Ken Rookes 2021


Monday, September 27, 2021

In patriarchy

Haiku of the powerless

In patriarchy

women are commodities;

discard when it suits.

They ask, Can a man

lawfully divorce his wife?

How will he answer?

What did Moses say?

A simple certificate

to dismiss will do.

You misogynists!

Because you are hard of heart

Moses gave this law!

In God’s great purpose

two people come together

to be joined as one.

Together as one

in mutual support, love;

marriage is God’s gift.

The twelve gate-keepers

were dismissing the children;

Jesus takes offence.

Let the children come;

the kingdom belongs to them.

They bring God’s blessings.

Powerless children;

by grace alone they receive.

So, too, must you come.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, September 20, 2021

Not one of us

 Haiku of welcome

Wasn’t one of us,

casting out in Jesus’ name;

we told him to stop.

Complained to Jesus.

No probs. He’s not against us,

must be on our side!

When deeds of power

are done in my name, they bear

witness to my words.

The great welcomer;

Jesus looks a what we do,

not at our Tee-shirt.

When people bless you

because you carry my name,

they too, will be blessed.

Don’t make barriers

that cause the weak to stumble;

work to welcome them.

Let nothing stop you

from living the kingdom life.

It is ev’rything.

The kingdom’s good salt

is in you. Share peace and salt

with everyone.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, September 13, 2021

Making matters clear

Haiku of servanthood

Avoiding the crowds,

hanging with his disciples,

making matters clear.

Betrayal awaits

the Son of man, and then death;

but there’s more to come.

His words seem riddles.

to his friends. Afraid to ask,

not understanding.

They were arguing

as they travelled. Which of them

would be the greatest.

They are embarrassed

when he asks them, will not say

why they had argued.

Those who would be first

must be last of all, must learn

to be a servant.

He takes a small child

in his arms. When you welcome

such, you welcome me.

Some self-styled Christians

climb the ladder, reach the top,

then forget to serve.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

Who am I?


Who am I?

Haiku of the question.

Near Caesarea

he turns to his disciples,

asks them, Who am I?

Some say Elijah;

others, John the Baptiser,

one of the prophets.

But what do you say?

he asks them, looking for an

answer more profound.

Peter finds the words.

You must be the Messiah!

(Whatever that means.)

The one that God sends

will suffer, be rejected

by those in power.

When he speaks of death

the disciples are disturbed.

Weren’t expecting that!

Peter finds the words.

Don’t talk of such things, Jesus;

the Christ cannot die.

Those who would follow

the paths to life, they must learn

to lay life aside.

They must be ready

to deny themselves, to take

their cross upon them.

For the gospel’s sake

you must do the things I do;

you must die to self.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, August 30, 2021


 Haiku of the impudent answer

Jesus is in Tyre,

a coastal city up north

in Gentile country.

He is travelling

incognito, needs a break.

But the word gets out.

A woman finds him.

Her daughter is sick; she wants

Jesus to heal her.

The woman bows down

at his feet. She’s desperate,

begging him to help.

You’re not one of us.

I’ve been sent to feed the kids,

not to feed the dogs.

The woman insists,

impudent. Even the dogs

get to eat the scraps!

Jesus laughs out loud.

Quite right, great answer! Go home,

your daughter is healed.

Holiday over,

Jesus makes his way back home;

brings blessing and hope.

They were astounded.

At his hands the deaf and mute

find healing and life.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, August 23, 2021

Defiled hearts

Haiku of true worship

The Pharisees frown;

Jesus, your friends are eating

with their defiled hands.

Cleanliness requires

much washing, of hands and food;

also cups and pots.

They put much stock in

being ritually clean.

Jesus laughs at them.

Rules are worth nothing.

It’s what you do, what you say,

that matters to God.

Don’t try to honour

God with your lips if you won’t

do so with your hearts.

Take note, you leaders:

evil words and loveless deeds

render you unclean.

Human traditions

are rubbish, worship too; if

you’re ignoring God.

There’s only one law

that you need to keep; that you

love. The rest is dross.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, August 16, 2021

Difficult teaching

Haiku for the troubled

Come, eat my flesh! The

literally-minded folk

take extreme offence.

What is his meaning,

this claim to be bread for all;

the bread who gives life?

The words that I speak

brings life to your spirit; yet

not all will believe.

Even disciples

are troubled. This difficult

teaching troubles them.

Some of them decamped.

He asks the twelve, Do you wish

to turn back also?

Simon Peter speaks:

To whom can we go? Your words

alone lead to life.

We have known you, Lord;

We see your words are true, that

you are sent from God.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, August 9, 2021

Life for the whole world


Haiku for disputation

I am bread that lives

and gives life to the whole world;

life that comes from God.

He offends them, this

Johannine Jesus; speaking

of his flesh and blood.

Only Eucharist

can make sense of these sayings.

That, and his dying.

True food, and true drink,

my very self in flesh, blood;

I am here for you.

Eat of me; take me

deeply inside you, find me

in all your living

Take me deep within;

my body, blood, and my words.

You shall truly live.

You, who are my friends,

I live in you, you in me;

multiplying life.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Now I see

Haiku for the enlightened The blind beggar sees enough light to realise that Jesus can help. Just a glimmer, but The smallest fr...