Monday, March 28, 2016



The previously-dead Jesus meets with Thomas
and invites his sceptical friend
to extend his hand,
to touch his master's injured hands and side.
This, according to gospel-writer John,
is the incontrovertible proof
that his Lord lives.

We find it less convincing.
Nor do the various reported signs work for us
in quite the same way that they did for the evangelist.
What evidence, then,
might persuade you and I that our Lord lives?

The generous acts of his followers? Perhaps.
Loving deeds of disciples? Maybe.
Lives spent courageously for the sake of justice, hope,
and the gospel? Yes,
such as these could be sufficient
to satisfy the rest of us sceptics.

©Ken Rookes 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A group of Easter haiku

Third day Haiku

It is the third day.
The Sabbath has concluded:
now we anoint him.

Empty tomb haiku

The tomb is empty.
Nothing will be found inside;
except mystery.

The women: Haiku

Returning, they spoke
of what they had heard and seen.
No one believed them.

Idle tale haiku

The women's story:
not taken seriously
when they told the men.

Mary. A haiku.

Mary Magdalene;
witness to the empty tomb.
Can this mean he lives?.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016


(a poem written by Studdert Kennedy - a chaplain in the 1st world war, - but the sentiment feels appropriate to me when i think of Australia's attitude towards asylum seekers.) 

Indifference, by GA Studdert Kennedy 

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree, 
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary; 
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep, 
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap. 

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by. 
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die; 
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain, 
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain. 

Still Jesus cried, ‘Forgive them, for they know not what they do,’ 
And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through; 
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see, 
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary. 

by GA Studdert Kennedy


You man there keep those women back and God Almighty he laid down on the crossed timber and old Silenus my offsider looked at me as if to say nice work for soldiers, your mind's not your own once you sign that dotted line Ave Caesar and all that malarkey Imperator Rex well this Nazarene didn't make it any easier really - not like the ones who kick up a fuss so you can do your block and take it out on them Silenus held the spike steady and I let fly with the sledge-hammer, not looking on the downswing trying hard not to hear over the women's wailing the bones give way the iron shocking the dumb wood. Orders is orders, I said after it was over nothing personal you understand - we had a drill-sergeant once thought he was God but he wasn't a patch on you then we hauled on the ropes and he rose in the hot air like a diver just leaving the springboard, arms spread so it seemed over the whole damned creation over the big men who must have had it in for him and the curious ones who'll anything if it's free with only the usual women caring anywhere and a blind man in tears.

Bruce Dawe


My wife an I and I own a Golden Labrador dog (of course she is beautiful) her name is Gabby. Most mornings Gabby and I go for a walk for about ½ hour.
We live in the Harcourt Valley and only have one rural road along which we can walk. Along that road a farming family used to have a horse named Sally. She “lived” in a good sized paddock which had a stand of pine trees and a small spring fed dam. Each morning on our walk I would look out for Sally. And if I did not see her I felt a bit glum. However more often than not on our return journey home I would see her through the pine trees or out in the open. And I was always happy to see her. It was that different perspective coming from another direction that allowed me to see Sally.
If you read any of the Early Church Saints (either men or women) they often talk about the “dark night of the soul”. What they meant by that was that they had a sense that God was absent. No matter how long their devotions, how dutiful their service they had this sense that God was not there. Then they would stop fretting, stop trying too hard to connect with God and the moment of joy would come as they sensed God again in their lives and in their activities. It was that different perspective that enabled them to experience God again.
In John’s gospel there are two stories in chapters 3 and 4 which seem at first unrelated, but really I think quite intentionally linked. The first story is that of Nicodemus coming to Christ at night (dark time represents evil, tragedy, God absent). And Jesus offers him “Light”. The second story is that of the woman at the well in the midday heat and Christ offers her “Living water”.
Easter and Pentecost offer us the possibility of a different perspective.
To see Christ anew, and too understand in a different way how God’s grace and love is available to all people and at work already in our world.
For example the unexpected hug, the kind or loving word, the act of grace by another, in a time of reflection, the moment of recognition that Christ has been here, the word that enlightens us, these experiences offer us that different perspective, they offers us that “Living” water or the “Light” that shines on the darkness.
Lord, give us ears to hear and eyes to see your actions in the world.

Rev jon Watson

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Crucifixion Haiku

Watching from afar
as our friend is put to death;
please don't condemn us.

© Ken Rookes 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jesus before Herod: a haiku sequence

A king called Herod
looks down from his lofty throne;
he has the power.

He smiles, curious,
having heard rumours and tales;
wonders if they're true.

He requests a sign;
but the man stands silently
and gives him nothing.

The monarch persists,
hearing the accusations,
asks: What do you say?

No words are spoken.
Jesus stands before the king,
waits for the next step.

Treated with contempt,
he is robed, mocked and dismissed.
Your problem, Pilate.

© Ken Rookes 2016.

Monday, March 7, 2016

In Bethany: a haiku sequence

Dinner for Jesus
in Bethany with his friends.
The end approaches.

Martha is serving,
Lazarus sits with Jesus,
Mary is Mary.

Mary takes perfume,
pure nard, big and costly;
pours on Jesus' feet.

Feet are wiped with hair;
the house is filled with fragrance,
devotion and tears.

Here, too, is outrage.
“A years wages are wasted;
what about the poor?”

The poor need our help,
and so much more. Loving acts
demonstrate love's truth.

“My death approaches;
the anointing is timely.
Let her be,” he says.

Mary's wasteful gift
is received with gratitude
by one who knows love.

© Ken Rookes 2016

The storm

Haiku of stillness After a long day telling stories, parables, Jesus needs a break. Suggests a boat trip. Let us cross the lake; ...