Tough words

Haiku for disciples

He began to teach:
The Son of Man must suffer.
His friends are appalled!

Religious leaders,
take issue with his message,
are out to get him.

He will be silenced
one way or another. They
will do what it take

They will reject me,
I must be put to death. Don’t
say these things! They cry.

Time for plain speaking.
Would you be my disciples?
You must bear your cross.

Follow in my way.
Only by letting it go
can you save your life.

The gospel’s demands
must come ahead of all else.
Lose you life for me.

What is the world worth,
its pleasure, fame and fortune,
if you lose your soul?

(Hear this, O blind guides,
proclaiming your fake gospel
of prosperity!)

© Ken Rookes 2021

Testing Time

Haiku for the start of Lent

baptism to temptation.
Mark gives no details.

In the wilderness,
tempted; forty days, Satan,
wild beasts, and angels.

Satan the tester,
doing what God asks of him;
checking out Jesus.

How was he tested?
Mark has no answers, leaving
us to speculate.

Jesus commences;
he will not be diverted
from his Father’s will.

Comes to Galilee
with God’s message of good news:
The day has arrived!

The kingdom is near,
the age of love is revealed;
believe it and live!

© Ken Rookes 2021

Dazzling White

Surprising haiku

that’s what we call the event;
filled with wonder, light.

Peter, James and John;
mates of Jesus, went with him
up a high mountain.

Some sort of vision,
collective experience
shared by one and all.

Jesus was glowing,
dazzling white like bleached cloth
shining in the sun.

Moses, Elijah;
law-giver, prophet; join him
in conversation.

Perhaps they talk death;
the two long buried, and one
still facing his own.

His mates are flummoxed,
don’t know what to say. Better
not to have spoken.

A cloud and a voice
bring the scene to its climax:
My Son: Hear his words!

© Ken Rookes 2021

At Capernaum

Haiku for making a start

Jesus hung out with
Simon, Andrew, James and John;
his first disciples.

The Capernaum
sermon completed, Jesus
entered Simon’s house.

His mother-in-law
being crook, Simon informed
Jesus, who healed her.

Quick recovery;
being a woman she got
straight back to serving.

With dusk the Sabbath
ended; the townsfolk came out
seeking to be healed.

Before dawn he left
to find a deserted place,
so that he might pray.

They went and found him.
Ev’ryone’s looking for you,
wants your healing touch!

There are other towns
where my message is needed;
I must go there, too.

© Ken Rookes 2021

Whose authority?

Haiku of astonishment

The unclean spirit:
a useful explanation
for much illnesses.

At Capernaum
he taught in the synagogue.
It was the Sabbath.

He taught and he healed.
The question on all lips: by
whose authority?

The unclean spirit
was noisy, challenging him.
Jesus rebuked him.

As the story goes
the spirit came out of him,
crying out loudly.

They were astounded
by Jesus and his teaching:
Where did this come from?

The news spread quickly:
Even the unclean spirits
do what he commands!

What authority?
That of the kingdom of God
of truth, grace and hope.

© Ken Rookes 2021


Haiku for the ready

First, John the Baptist.
Mark moves him from centre-stage,
has him arrested.

Proclaiming good news,
Jesus came to Galilee:
The time is fulfilled!

The Kingdom of God
comes nearer with every word
that I speak to you.

Simon and Andrew,
fishing brothers casting nets;
Jesus calls to them.

Come and follow me,
together we will call folk
into God’s kingdom.

We’ll share divine life,
filled with love, shaped by mercy,
transfigured through hope.

Brothers James and John
mending nets on board their boat,
Jesus calls them, too.

So Simon, Andrew,
James and John, hearing the call,
leave their nets behind.

© Ken Rookes 2021