Monday, June 14, 2021

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; we can

leave the crowd behind.

He slept in the stern

as winds gathered force, and waves

beat against the boat.

They woke him. Teacher,

don’t you care that we perish?

He spoke: Peace, be still!

Rebuking the wind

and commanding the sea, he

speaks, and all is calm.

Why are you afraid?

He asked them. Where is your faith?

They were filled with awe.

Who, they ask, is this?

When our boat is being swamped

he brings us order.

Speak your word of peace

into my turmoil, Jesus;

let my waves be stilled.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, June 7, 2021



Haiku of the kingdom


metaphors abound: seeds, growth

and much fruitfulness.

Here is the kingdom;

seed is scattered on the ground,

grows in ways unseen.

How does the seed grow?

Who can understand? Who cares,

we’ll still harvest it!

Again, the kingdom

is like a mustard seed; small,

but great potential!

A home for the birds;

a great outcome for this seed,

small and unacclaimed.

Parables sneak up,

catching hearers by surprise;

life-giving wisdom.

Great story-telling

Jesus! Drawing us in, and

disturbing our thoughts!

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, May 31, 2021


 Haiku for an errant son

A new sensation;

the crowds flock to see Jesus,

that they might be healed.

His family hears,

are disturbed by the reports:

He’s out of his mind!

The scribes say he has

a demon! But a house that’s©

divided can’t stand.

Before you enter

to plunder a strong man’s house,

first you must bind him.

When the Spirit moves

in ways you can’t understand,

don’t criticise.

Mum and the boys come

by; attempt to and sort him out,

to take him back home.

The family call

their son and brother: ‘Come out!’

But he stays inside.

Who is my mother,

my brothers?’ he asks the crowd?

You who do God’s will.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, May 24, 2021

In the darkness

Haiku of enquiry

Nicodemus comes

to see him, in the darkness,

hiding his questions.

Own your questions, Nic!

Don’t worry what others think;

reach out for the truth.

This man called Jesus,

is he sent from the Father?

Let’s see what he says.

You must be reborn!

What mystery he utters:

how can these things be?

If you would enter

the kingdom, you must come through

water and Spirit.

From the things of earth

to the realm of the heavens,

I speak of these things.

Through the Spirit we

rise beyond the world’s limits

to the realm of God.

Ah, teacher of law,

you must understand these things;

you will find life here.


For love Jesus comes,

bringing God’s word of grace, hope,

and life from above.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, May 17, 2021

The Advocate Comes

Haiku for Pentecost

The Advocate comes;

Spirit friend standing beside

and taking our part.

Speaking truth into

the soul, and bearing witness

to Jesus the Son.

Time for the parting.

I must go. Feel the sorrow;

I share it with you.

You are not alone.

The Spirit will take my place,

will speak to your hearts.

The Spirit brings truth,

shining light upon the world

and into your heart.

It is for the best.

Together you will declare

the truth that he brings.

I could say much more.

It is enough for now, as

much as you can bear.

The Spirit completes

what I have begun, and brings

all things together.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Monday, May 10, 2021

All mine are yours

Haiku of departure

He calls God ‘Father’

inviting his friends to share

the intimacy.

He keeps his father’s

trust; the men and the women

he took to himself.

Not one of them lost.

He embraces them in love,

giving protection.

Their home is not here

amidst earth’s dust and despair,

but with the Father.

Here, amidst earth’s dust

is the place of struggle, where

love is made concrete.

I made known your word,

they are holy through your truth.

Father, keep them safe.

Here, amidst earth’s dust

they must go on, without me;

making the love real.

The joy is complete

when love, truth, witness and word

are come together.

© Ken Rookes 2021


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

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; ...