Monday, September 30, 2019

The size of a mustard seed

Haiku for the faithful

Increase our faith, Lord,
the apostles requested.
A silly question.

What’s the point of faith,
however big or tiny,
unless it is used.

You don’t need much faith,
a mustard seed will suffice.
Just put it to use.

Even a schoolgirl
can make a real difference;
faith joined with courage.

Do not reward us
for doing what’s expected.
We do what we must.

We are worthless slaves.
We owe God everything;
thanks are not required.

What to do with faith?
Love, forgive, build justice, peace;
welcome the kingdom.

Look deeply within;
see the faith already there,
ready to wake up.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, September 23, 2019

The gap

Haiku for the indifferent

It’s always been big,
the gap between rich and poor.
Keeps getting larger.

The wealthy man’s scraps
could have fed the poor beggar.
They weren’t on offer.

For a peaceful life
the rich invest in awnings
that conceal the poor.

Beggars confront us,
we hide behind the question:
Are they deserving?

God does not question,
embracing the poor beggar,
deserving or not.

The wealthy protest,
if only we’d realised!
You chose not to know.

Should someone return
from the dead to give warning,
they still would not hear.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Not strong enough to dig

Not strong enough to dig
Haiku for those who are caught.

The man was corrupt
in charge of his master’s wealth;
finally caught out.

He is in trouble,
knows that he faces charges;
what is he to do?

To ashamed to beg
and not strong enough to dig;
what a dilemma!

He’s not finished yet!
Uses what’s left of his job
to curry favour.

When he’s unemployed
he intends to be welcomed
into wealthy homes.

Cunning like a fox;
summons his master’s debtors
and discounts their debts.

The master gets wind,
laughs at the outrageousness
of his steward’s scheme.

Make friends for yourself
by means of dishonest wealth.
Strange words from Jesus.

Disturbing advice
for those who follow the light;
Should we be more shrewd?

© Ken Rookes 2019

They called out to God

Haiku for those in bondage

Time’s dust overlays
memory; generations
cause the past to lie.

Joseph is forgot
and those who once were welcomed
are made enemies.

Arriving as guests,
they multiplied, became feared,
ended up as slaves.

Crying out to God
to end their cruel suffering;
Lord, deliver us!

Fugitive Moses,
tending sheep in Midian
sees a burning bush.

As the twigs crackle
Moses hears a voice calling,
takes off his sandals.

Most disturbingly
the voice purports to be God:
I am sending you!

I hear my people,
I know their pain. You must go,
bring them from Egypt.

Demurring, Moses
protests his limitations.
This is beyond me!

Say to my people
I am has sent me to you;
My name for all time.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019


Haiku of struggle

Jacob heads for home
hoping that time has softened
his brother’s anger.

Jacob is fearful.
He prays for deliverance,
hopes in God’s promise.

He hedges his bets:
sends his ample gift ahead
trying to appease.

Pausing for the night
Jacob buys time, putting off
the confrontation.

Sends the mob ahead,
waits alone. A man appears;
strange, mysterious.

Coming together
in a primeval contest,
Jacob fights the man.

They wrestle, Jacob
and the stranger. No one wins,
The sun is rising.

The man asks Jacob,
Let me go! Before I do
give me your blessing.

I’ll give you a name.
you have contended with God;
you are Israel.

Jacob understood;
he had wrestled with the Lord.
Somehow he survived!

Each of us wrestles
with the Lord in our own way;
we don’t often win.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Monday, September 9, 2019

Finding the lost

Haiku for fringe dwellers

The tax collectors
and all the other ratbags
listened to Jesus.

All the good people
objected: This man hangs out
with unworthy types.

He told them stories
about things that had been lost.
Now they‘re being found!.

It doesn’t matter,
sheep, coins, car keys or people;
the lost need finding.

Grace is ev’rything,
I once was lost, now I’m found.
So the old hymn goes.

The ratbag sinners,
by definition, are lost;
they need an embrace.

They dwell on the fringe;
Jesus, offers them friendship.
No one need stay lost.

Lift up your eyes. Look,
the lost are all around us;
love them like Jesus.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Laughing Boy

Haiku of surprise

Back in ancient times
God wandered with some angels,
met with Abraham.

At Abraham’s tent
the Lord was welcomed with cakes,
yoghurt, milk and veal.

The childless couple,
long past it, would have a child,
the strangers promised.

Sarah overheard,
listening near the entrance;
she laughed at the thought.

The promise mocks her.
Her childlessness is failure;
laughter hides her pain.

The impossible
is made possible, with God;
so the story says.

Sarah does conceive.
Apparently the old folk
still knew what to do.

Laughing Boy arrives.
Lots of joy, hope, and wonder,
not to mention laughs.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Haiku in response to the Narrative lectionary.

Monday, September 2, 2019

The cost

Haiku for disciples

Think priorities.
Discipleship must come first,
before family.

This is difficult.
Know what you’re getting into
when you answer ‘yes!’

The cross you carry
is an instrument of pain.
You will feel its weight.

Finish what you start.
Sit down, estimate the cost
before you begin.

I have looked ahead,
can see what’s waiting for me;
know who you follow.

Carefully reckon
the cost of discipleship:
follow anyway.

Don’t let anything
keep you from the kingdom path.
Be a disciple.

© Ken Rookes 2019

Sunday, September 1, 2019

An old creation story

A poem for the Narrative Lectionary

An old creation story
Haiku from the dreamtime

The ancient story
sees the divine creator
sculpting humankind.

The Eden garden;
fruitfulness to be enjoyed,
The man must tend it.

The tree of knowledge
of good and evil is there;
a great temptation.

What did God expect
from her arboreal ban:
don’t eat of this tree?

Humans dominate
the other creatures, even
giving them their names.

The man sleeps deeply
as the woman is taken,
rib-like, from his side.

Fashioned from the ground
the man and woman of dust
belong to the earth.

She is his helper;
he will be her helper, too.
They will be partners

What means this order;
first the man, then the woman?
Damn patriarchy!

Two will become one,
this divine purpose: friendship,
support, and oneness.

© Ken Rookes 2019

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; ...