Monday, July 15, 2019


Haiku of grace

Martha and Mary:
the sisters receive Jesus
and make him welcome.

Someone has to cook the food,
Marha is busy.

On the other hand,
Mary is quite indolent,
list’ning to Jesus.

A gen’rous spirit
is key to any welcome,
but Martha complains.

Lord, do you not care?
she protests, asking Jesus
to judge between them.

It’s all right, he says.
Mary hears my words of grace;
you should listen, too.

Jesus’ correction
is not without affection.
One thing is needed.

It’s about choices,
every day we make them;
choose grace ev’ry time.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, July 1, 2019

Sent ahead

Haiku for mission

Seventy, there were,
in pairs, sent ahead of him
with a word of peace.

Jesus said to them,
The harvest is plentiful,
we must bring it in.

Be a labourer.
Tell of the kingdom’s good news;
touch them with new life.

You will be like lambs;
vulnerable. It’s all right;
that’s the way it is.

Those who follow me
must deal with hostility.
It is always so.

Travel light; no bag,
no purse. Don’t be distracted
from the work of peace.

Some will welcome you.
Stay with them, be satisfied.
Bring healing, breathe hope.

It is coming near,
God’s kingdom; we’re bringing it.
This is a great work.

Rejoining Jesus
they spoke with joy and wonder
of what they had seen.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019

With time running out

Haiku for decisions

With time running out
Jesus knew that he must go
to Jerusalem.

The company came
to a Samaritan town,
but they were rebuffed.

Why Jerusalem?
If you’re only passing through
don’t bother to stay.

We should punish them;
call down fire! said James and John.
Jesus rebuked them.

I will follow you,
a man said. Foxes have holes,
but I am homeless.

I will follow you,
a man said, but I must wait
for father to die.

The dead must bury
their own. Leave them, you must go
proclaim God’s kingdom.

I will follow you,
but first I must say farewell
to my family.

To plough a straight line
you cannot keep looking back;
likewise the kingdom.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

Gerasene contry

Haiku for crazy people

Gerasene country:
among the tombs and the swine,
the broken man roams.

Naked to the world,
cut off from society
he is in torment.

With shackles and chains
they have tried to restrain him.
The man is too strong.

When Jesus arrives
Legion comes to confront him,
bringing his demons.

Whether it’s demons,
mental illness, brain damage;
he still needs healing.

The swine dash headlong
into the lake, carrying
dark spirits with them.

The towns-people came
and found the man clothed and sane,
sitting with Jesus.

Please leave us Jesus,
it’s all too much, we’re frightened!
So he departed.

Let me come with you,
the man begged. No, said Jesus,
Go, declare God’s deeds.

So the man went home
restored; to live, to love, and
to tell his story.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

One and three.

Grappling haiku

They call it myst’ry
this trinity thing, holding
concepts in tension.

After all these years
I still don’t really get it.
I don’t think God minds.

Think how Parent God,
with Jesus and the Spirit,
strangely coalesce.

One God, three persons,
traditional formula:
all else heresy!

Does our imagined
God monitor errant thoughts;
scoring our faith?

Perhaps I also
am heretic. Woe is me!
Or does it matter?

The truth that matters:
God somehow strangely present
in our loving deeds.

O Holy Spirit,
Divine Parent and His Son,
let me live in you.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

The Spirit will come

Haiku of promise

They sing lots of songs,
sweet romantic songs of love,
to Jesus on high.

Do you cringe at them,
those romantic songs of love,
Jesus, Son of Man?

If we love Jesus
it’s not about singing songs,
but obedience.

Pouring his Spirit
on the ones who prove their love,
doing what he says.

The Spirit will come
to abide in and with you,
present in my place.

He stands beside you,
an advocate and teacher,
recalling my words.

I give you my peace,
my Spirit and my presence
to guide your living.

When the troubles come
let your hearts rise above them;
do not be afraid.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, May 27, 2019

Praying for his friends

Haiku to unite

He’s praying for them.
Jesus knows his time is near,
and prays for his friends.

Knows the day comes near
when they will need each other
and must stand as one.

Not just for his friends
but for those who hear their words;
he prays for them, too.

This unity thing:
Jesus one with his Father,
Jesus one with us.

I and you and them;
much mutual indwelling
speaking unity.

From the beginning,
splashing over ev’ryone,
love, divine and true.

Witness to the world
with your unity and love,
prove that you are mine.

A love explosion!
Yours for me, growing in them,
united in love.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019

Now that day was a Sabbath

Haiku by the pool.

In Jerusalem
many invalids, blind, lame,
wait beside the pool.

When the water stirs,
according to tradition,
healing is present.

Portico people
hoping for this lottery
to deliver life.

At the Sheep Gate pool
the lame man lies, unable
to enter in time.

Jesus came, asking
Do you want to be made well?
Did he need to ask?

Stand, he told the man,
Take your mat and take a walk.
That is what he did.

It was the Sabbath
when Jesus made the man well;
most reckless of him.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, May 13, 2019


Haiku of supreme importance

People sing Glory!
raising hands in ecstacy;
doesn’t mean a thing.

Don’t care what you say,
there’s just one way to glory;
a pathway through death.

Soon I will be gone,
you cannot go there with me,
where I am going.

Listening to God,
following God’s commandments;
these things bring glory.

Another command,
(call it new, but it’s been said),
just love each other.

Actions filled with love!
This is how I have loved you;
that’s what you must do.

Everyone will know
that you belong to my group
when you live in love.

There’s no other way,
forget raised arms, words and songs:
it’s only by love.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tell us plainly

Haiku of the sheep

Who are you? they ask.
Tell us plainly, are you he
who God is sending?

You’re not serious,
he answered them. I’ve told you,
but you won’t believe.

You aren’t intrested
in what I have to tell you,
so stop pretending.

My sheep hear my voice,
they listen to my teachings
and they follow me.

I give them my life
and so we walk together
towards God’s kingdom.

They need have no fear;
I hold these sheep in my hand.
God gave them to me.

We act together,
the Father and I; working
to bring life and hope.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, April 29, 2019

Going fishing

Going fishing
Piscatorial Haiku

Seven disciples
decided to go fishing:
found themselves a boat.

They went out at night
hoping that the fish would come
but they caught nothing.

Standing on the shore
the stranger shouted advice:
Try the other side!

The nets are breaking;
It must be the Lord! they shout.
Peter heads ashore.

A lakeside fire,
a breakfast of bread and fish
with their risen Lord.

Jesus asks Peter:
Simon, do you love me more?
Lord, you know I do.

Simon, feed my lambs.
Twice more Jesus questions him:
How do you love me?

even Simon must get it;
love made real by deeds.

He said, Feed my sheep,
take care of my little lambs.
It’s all about love.

© Ken Rookes 2019


Haiku of grace M artha and Mary: the sisters receive Jesus and make him welcome. Hospitality. Someone has to cook the...