Monday, June 29, 2020

These hidden things

Haiku for children

The invitation
must be accepted, or else
it has no value.

The flute is playing
the children are calling out:
Why won’t you come dance?

Here is the offer
of life filled with love and hope:
RSVP now.

Share fully in life,
both its joys and its sorrows.
There’s no other way!

The children can see
the things that the wise refuse;
the wonders of God.

I see you’re weary,
your burdens consume your life.
Come, receive my rest.

My yoke is easy,
blessed with purpose and with hope;
come and learn from me.

© Ken Rookes 2020


Haiku for considering

Ah, Leviathan,
mythical beast of the sea,
disturbing our dreams.

Will you tie the beast
Leviathan, with a leash
that your girls might play?

Best not take him on,
Leviathan. He’s bigger
than you. God is too.

God, who created
great beasts and monsters; only
God calls them to heel.

Job, who are you to question,
the Almighty’s ways.

You are mighty, God;
mysterious, knowing all;
and I never knew.

Job answered the Lord.
Now I see you; now I know
better than to speak.

Forced to acknowledge,
God finally concedes, Yes
Job, you spoke the truth.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary readings for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost.

Monday, June 22, 2020

In our welcoming

In our welcoming
Haiku of the cup

Honours and rewards.
Why are they so important?
Simply do what’s right.

welcoming his followers
and welcoming Him.

God has welcomed us;
so we open arms to God
in our welcoming.

A righteous reward;
not cash or shining medal,
but satisfaction.

Cups of cold water
for one of his little ones,
these, too, are noted.

Honours and rewards?
We have no need of these things,
serving is enough.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Out of the whirlwind

Haiku of the gobsmacked

I am in the dark.
What is the charge against me?
Paint it on my face!

Out of the whirlwind
the voice of the almighty:
Let’s see what you know!

God comes the heavy:
Answer me, if you are game.
My turn to question!

When earth’s foundations
were laid, and its measurements
set out; were you there?

When I gave each star
its place in heaven’s choir
where were you hiding?

Who set the limits
to the oceans as they swelled?
(Do that again, God!)

Those deserted lands
where none pray for rain to fall;
still I water them.

Who gives birth to dew,
rain and sleet; and winter frost
to freeze lakes solid?

After much complaint,
Job, standing before the Lord,
has nothing to say.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary readings from Job for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Monday, June 15, 2020

The teacher instructs

Haiku for disciples

The teacher instructs
his followers; they will shape
their lives upon his.

The teacher directs
her disciples; live like me,
they’ll treat you the same.

Do not be afraid.
Truth will come out at the end.
Simply be faithful.

Proclaim it loudly
from the rooftops, what you hear
from me in whispers.

You are of great worth
to God. Should they take your life
God will receive you.

I bring division.
There is much they will not hear,
much that will offend.

You must take it up;
the cross that says servanthood.
Shrink not from its shame.

You would find your life?
Lose it with me. Discover
the life that is true.

© Ken Rookes

Sunday, June 14, 2020


Haiku for contemplating death

A tree, when cut down
still has hope that it might sprout,
and send forth new shoots.

When mortal life ends
there can be no returning.
The line has been ruled.

Images of death.
A lake might lose its water:
a river dries up.

Let me be hidden
among the dead in Sheol;
I long for release.

My words of complaint;
someone write them in a book,
lest they be forgot.

My vindication
awaits me. I shall see God
when my time has come.

There must be someone,
among heaven’s hosts, who knows
I am innocent.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative lectionary for the third Sunday after Pentecost

Monday, June 8, 2020

Harassed and helpless

Harassed and helpless
Haiku for labourers

Are they any less
harassed and helpless, the crowds
of the lost, today?

Caught up in the lies
and the dodgy promises
of fear peddlers.

Sheep without shepherds,
with none to watch over them,
and no-one who cares.

We care about you,
they cry, those seeking profit,
those craving power.

He sent out the twelve.
They are lost, they are fearful;
Touch their lives with love.

Tell them, The kingdom
is coming near. Share good news,
bring healing and hope.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday, June 7, 2020


Haiku to protest innocence.

Such deep depression
to curse the day of one’s birth,
or conception’s night.

Let clouds fall darkly,
let the morning stars be dimmed
and the dawn withheld.

Let all be darkness,
let no joyful cry be heard,
her womb remain closed.

Life is but trouble;
had I not been born, I would
have been spared the pain.

Quit your whinging, Job.
You cannot be innocent;
punishment is just.

You have done much good;
that doesn’t mean you’re blameless.
Come to terms with God.

I won’t be silent.
I will make complaint to God;
I have done no wrong.

Why test us humans,
why bother us constantly.
God, give us a break!

If I sin sometimes
how does that affect you, God;
can't you look away?

God, why target me,
why am I such a burden?
Can’t you let me go?

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary for the 14th June 2020.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Some of them doubted

Some of them doubted
Uncertain haiku

Some of them doubted,
on the Galilee mountain
when they met with him.

The twelve minus one.
Clearly all were not convinced;
still they worshipped him.

He commissioned them,
gave them his authority:
Go, make disciples.

Go to all nations,
baptise in the Fathers name,
the Son and Spirit.

Teach them to obey
the commandments I gave you;
show them how to love.

And remember this;
I promise to be with you
until the age ends.

© Ken Rookes 2020

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; ...