Monday, April 27, 2020


Some rural haiku

Rural metaphors
abound in Jesus’ teachings.
This is an old one

The Lord is shepherd;
we find it in the Psalms, and
in Ezekiel.

There’s a few of them;
Jacob, Moses, Amos, Dave –
looking after flocks.

Good shepherd Jesus;
guide, protector of his flock,
knowing ev’ry sheep.

He is no stranger.
We know his voice, hear his words,
and we follow him.

Jesus is the gate,
through him we pass into life
in all its fullness.

Thieves and bandits still
speak tempting words; we must not
let them seduce us.

Good at pretending
they have our interests at heart,
but ripping us off.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, April 26, 2020


Haiku for founding a church

We went there last year:
Thessaloniki, sun-drenched,
oozing history.

Coming among them,
the Apostle convinced some,
offended others.

They couldn’t find Paul
or Silas; they grabbed Jason,
dragging him to court.

Much consternation.
Seditious accusations!
They get out on bail.

Somehow the word stuck;
planted in turmoil, the church
produces much fruit.

Paul writes them letters,
commending their love and faith;
they are examples.

Their love and welcome
prove that they have truly heard
Jesus words’ of life.

The deeds are noted,
their faith is celebrated
throughout the region.

People are watching;
by our fruits, we too, are known.
Better get it right.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary Readings for the fourth Sunday in Easter.

Monday, April 20, 2020


Haiku for opened eyes

They did not know him
the perplexed pair walking home
to Emmaus.

They’d heard the reports
from the women at the tomb;
struggled to believe.

The stranger listened,
then spoke to their confusion;
The Christ must suffer.

They pressed him to stay,
Come in and share some tucker.
They passed him some bread.

The recognition!
Then he was gone. They raced back
to Jerusalem.

Jesus, let us see
and recognise your presence
as we share the bread.

Let us see your face,
Lord; and journey as comrades
towards your kingdom.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The word that brings life

Haiku of wholeness

He couldn’t escape.
The people recognised him;
the word spread, they came.

For the miracles
and the healings they gathered,
pleading, insistent.

Wherever he went
they came for the miracles,
more than for his words.

Jump a year or two,
he is no longer with them,
except in Spirit.

At the Lovely Gate
disciples Peter and John:
the lame man begs alms.

Following their Lord
they speak a healing word, pull
off a miracle.

Walking and leaping,
the healed man sang God’s praises.
They were all amazed.

Better than silver,
more valuable than gold;
God’s word that brings life.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the two bible readings from the Narrative Lectionary for the 3rd Sunday of Easter.

Monday, April 13, 2020

The purpose

Haiku of peace

John does it better!
His Jesus comes through locked doors.
Well, why shouldn't he?

Imparting Spirit,
Jesus ensures the mission
goes on without him.

Make forgiveness real,
so that all folk are made free,
capable of love.

No room for doubting!
Even Thomas is sorted,
leaving me alone.

Doubt is not opposed
to Faith; that’s the role of Fear.
Doubt and Faith are friends.

My Lord and my God!
Hey, followers of Jesus,
get on with the task!

The book is written,
John asserts, to convince us;
so that we might live.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The next chapter

Haiku of witness

Ah, Theophilus
our erstwhile correspondent,
here’s the next chapter.

They saw him alive
a number of times, so the
tradition tells us.

In Jerusalem
the Spirit will be given,
you must wait for it.

He sends power
to bear witness with your lives,
not just with your words.

Are we to witness
just to the resurrection
or to his whole life?

He remains with us,
no longer in the flesh
but by his Spirit.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for the second Sunday in Easter

Monday, April 6, 2020

The tomb's emptiness

Haiku without limits

The tomb’s emptiness,
underlined by an earthquake.
Still confounding us.

Two faithful women,
don’t need spices as a prop,
visiting the tomb.

Its all a bit much!
An angel is sent to clear
away confusion.

The stone has been rolled
and the guards have all fainted.
Do not be afraid!

Instructions follow.
Come and see, then go and tell:
Your Lord has been raised!

Fear mixes with joy,
strangeness and uncertainty.
What are we to think?

Suddenly he’s here.
Do not fear! Go, tell my friends
We will meet again.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Love's duty

Haiku of the dawn

The Sabbath had passed.
They came to tend to his corpse,
to confront their pain.

The three: Salome,
the Marys, women of faith,
doing love’s duty.

As the sun rises
they bring their aching sorrow,
their baskets of spice.

Who will roll the stone?
One more barrier to face
and to overcome.

Look! The stone is gone!
Come inside the dark unknown,
discover the truth.

A youth dressed in white
greets them, Do not be alarmed!
Not much chance of that!

The tomb is empty.
What are we to make of this?
Does he really live?

Mark leaves us with doubt,
bewilderment and terror
as they flee in fear.

© Ken Rookes 2020

One for the Narrative Lectionary, responding to Mark's story of the empty tomb.

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; ...