Monday, May 3, 2021


 Haiku of love

Make my joy complete

by keeping my commandments;

abide in my love.

You will know my joy

when love is allowed to rule.

Grace, forgiveness, love.

You, too, are to love

as Jesus loves each of us.

Love, costly and true.

No love is greater

than that which offers itself

for the sake of friends.

Servants no longer!

When you do what I command,

you become my friends.

I have no secrets

from you. All God has shown me

I make known to you.

Go and bear much fruit.

Enduring fruit, born of love,

as God’s own children.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, April 26, 2021

The vine, the true.

Haiku for bearing fruit

Jesus, the true vine.

In the image of the vine

we see fruitfulness.

The vine-grower God

seeks fruit in its abundance:

living laced with love.

Pruning. Harsh image

of being made fruitful. Pain

that leads to bounty.

Find your life in me;

together we will bear fruit,

fulfil God’s purpose.

By yourself you fail.

Take my words deep within you;

You will bear much fruit.

By bearing love’s fruits

you become my disciples,

and glorify God.

If you don’t show love,

pious words count for nothing:

you’re no disciple.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

The shepherd

Haiku for sheep

Good Shepherd, Jesus,

putting his flock’s needs before

everything else.

He lays down his life

for his sheep, those who he loves;

gives his all for them.

The hired hands retreat

when the wolves come; sad shepherds,

there for the money.

Many pretenders;

enjoying the rewards, but

not really caring.

From the PM down

there are those who claim to care,

but fail to come through.

Vote for me, they say,

we’ll look after you; but still

serve only themselves.

We must be shepherds,

reaching out with costly love,

just like our Master.

One flock, one shepherd.

Followers everywhere

joined by Jesus’ love.

Jesus gives himself

in love; laying his life down,

then he takes it up.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Be at Peace

 Haiku of resurrection greeting


Be at peace, he said,

when he stood among his friends;

but they were frightened.

They had watched him die;

thought that he must be a ghost.

He spoke to calm them.

Asks, Why do you doubt;

of what are you so fearful?

Look, see, it is I!

Joy mixes with doubt:

they see him standing there, but

their minds know better.

Jesus eats some fish.

This is meant to convince them

that he is no ghost.

How to understand?

Speaks of Moses, the Prophets;

says: These things must be.

The scriptures, he said,

tell that the Christ must suffer;

rising the third day.

Hope for humankind:

God’s way of love, forgiveness.

You are witnesses.

© 2021 Ken Rookes

Monday, April 5, 2021

Locked doors

Haiku of the first day

They were filled with fear.

They had seen their Master killed,

so they locked the doors.

In the evening

Jesus came; even locked doors

could not keep him out.

His appearances,

as one raised from death to life,

are strange, like in dreams.

Why should we expect

things to be straight forward, when

death is upended.

What really happened?

We are left to speculate,

and to imagine.

Thomas can’t believe.

Why should he? These things defy


In time, he enters

the collective belief, that

their Lord is risen.

He breathes his Spirit

upon them. My work goes on;

Forgiveness must rule.

Evangelist John

writes his book to persuade us:

Life is in Jesus.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, March 29, 2021

The tomb

Haiku of surprise

Stories of wonder

seeking to give shape and form

to deep mysteries.

Early on day one,

still dark, the Magdalene came,

to visit his tomb.

The large stone employed

as a door had been removed.

Mary is distressed.

She ran to tell them:

They have taken his body;

we do not know where.

It was as she said;

the tomb was empty, only

the linen remained.

Mary, weeping, stayed

at the tomb. Two angels asked:

Why are you weeping?

My Lord is taken.

I know not where he lies, or

what’s been done to him.

A stranger enquires:

Why do you weep? She asks him:

Tell me where he is.?

The man speaks: Mary!.

Her weeping eyes are opened.

Rabbouni! Teacher!

As per instructions

Mary found his disciples

I have seen the Lord!

The resurrection

reports begin; a woman

and an empty tomb.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, March 22, 2021

The end


Haiku of the passion.

Can’t risk a riot;

wait till the festival’s past.

Then we can kill him.

Nothing much has changed,

the dirty work still happens

when no one’s watching.

They set up Judas

to betray him. Paid him well,


Sharing sacred meal

he spoke of being betrayed..

Surely not I, Lord?

They shared bread and wine.

My body, my blood, for you;

find me deep within.

You will all leave me

when the testing time is here;

even you, Peter.

Sit here while I pray,

he told his friends. But they slept;

the flesh being weak.

Betrayed and taken,

put on trial; the outcome


Taken to Pilate.

Are you the King of the Jews?

Have you no answer?

Let me release him;

he does not deserve death. No!

Give us Barabbas!

Much mocking, spitting,

purple cloak with crown of thorns.

Lead him out to die.

They crucified him,

with two bandits, one each side.

There was much mocking.

At noon the darkness.

At three, abandonment’s cry,

and then the last breath.

With linen grave-cloth

he is entombed. A stone rolled

to seal the entrance.


© Ken Rookes 2021


Monday, March 15, 2021

The Greeks

Haiku of fulfilment

They liked debating,

those Greeks, coming with questions

to put to Jesus.

He had a Greek name,

Philip; perhaps that is why

the Greeks approached him.

Things are climaxing;

the hour is coming. Glory

revealed in dying.

The grain falls to earth

to find fulfilment through death.

and is made fruitful.

This is the pattern

for living that is true; death

overcome by life.

My soul is troubled.

It’s not hard to imagine,

what might lie ahead

This is the reason

I have come, not to retreat,

but to embrace death.

The world has been judged;

rulers who wield power, fear,

will be driven out.

When I am lifted

love’s power will be revealed;

they will come to me.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, March 8, 2021


Haiku of the light

In the wilderness

Moses elevates the snake;

bronze for healing.

Look upon the snake,

he told them. You who are ill

will not die, but live.

Look upon the Christ

when he is lifted, John says;

you, too, will find life.

When he is lifted,

when the cross is made his home,

we will see his truth.

He will shine as light,

challenging earth’s dark sadness,

that which is evil.

Seek out the light

and dwell in him; find his truth,

life without limits.

In your wilderness

raise your eyes; you will see him,

chasing your darkness.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

My Father's House

Angry haiku

It’s early in John,

the confrontation is there

from the beginning.

The powerful ones

who rule religion, are scared

of his freedom words.

In Jerusalem

the temple stands for order;

ancient traditions.

Through the temple’s gates

he strides, his angry vision

impels him to act.

Upsets ev’rything;

sheep, cattle, money changers.

This is not God’s house!

Show a sign, they say,

that proves your right to do this.

Will my body do?

Not yet a sign, but

one will be given: Three days,

then resurrection!

Come again, Jesus;

drive them out, those who pervert

your words with their lies.

They are many still

who choose power, not the cross;

or the costs of love.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, February 22, 2021

Tough words

Haiku for disciples

He began to teach:

The Son of Man must suffer.

His friends are appalled!

Religious leaders,

take issue with his message,

are out to get him.

He will be silenced

one way or another. They

will do what it takes.

They will reject me,

I must be put to death. Don’t

say these things! They cry.

Time for plain speaking.

Would you be my disciples?

You must bear your cross.

Follow in my way.

Only by letting it go

can you save your life.

The gospel’s demands

must come ahead of all else.

Lose you life for me.

What is the world worth,

its pleasure, fame and fortune,

if you lose your soul?

(Hear this, O blind guides,

proclaiming your fake gospel

of prosperity!)

© Ken Rookes 2021


  Haiku of love Make my joy complete by keeping my commandments; abide in my love. You will know my joy when love is allowed to r...