Haiku of Shame

haiku shame sm

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Burdens hard to bear

I worry and I fear,
I need and I want.
I am anxious;
I could lose everything.
I am free;
I am burdened.

Some burdens are my own creation;
I tell myself that I am dealing with them.
Others I have received,
unwelcome gifts weighing heavily
upon shrinking shoulders,
from Scribes and from Pharisees,
who, in every age,
know with certainty what is best for me

I am burdened;
I am free.

To feel, decide
to do, to don’t.
To open wide;
to will, to won’t
To bleed, to weep;
to give, to keep.
To rage, to rail;
to struggle, fail.

Listening to the silence
with eyes half-opened,
mind half-closed.

Seeing the ugly,
reaching after beauty,
coveting truth,
questioning.

I am free,
I am burdened.

Holding on to freedom,
letting go the burdens.
Holding on to burdens,
letting go the freedom.

© Ken Rookes 2014

The greatest commandment

Any religion;
whichever myths have inspired it,
no matter how it connects its members
with divine spirit,
whatever its claims,
however it patterns its ritual
or intones its worship;
is an empty shell
if it fails to draw from its adherents
lives of creative generosity.

In the writings of a breakaway group
named for its reluctant founder;
the plethora of commandments
in the Hebrew scriptures
surrender their ground
to a pair.

The carpenter from Nazareth
spoke often of divine agape,
the source of all that is good and true.
His listeners were invited
to make their own fruitful responses,
to share the love.
He calls this costly agape stuff
the greatest of fruits,
and enacts it at every opportunity.
Love, along with her precious siblings;
generosity, forgiveness, peace, tears and hope,
provide the means, he assures us,
by which the planet
along with its diverse and wonderful creatures,
will find life.

© Ken Rookes 201

Whose wife will she be?

When we have finished living,
after we die,
we will continue to exist; in some form.
So Jesus is recorded as saying
as he responds to the improbable scenario
put to him by a group Sadducees
endeavouring to ridicule
notions of resurrection.
This state of eternal existence will be quite unlike
that which we have previously known,
here among earth’s red dust;
he tells them.
Don’t expect family reunions,
welcoming friends
or the lovers embraces
so favoured by our imaginative reassurances
in times of grief.
And there will be no opportunity
to complete or to add
to the life that has been concluded.
The goodwill we have sown,
the love we offered,
the peace we made,
the grace by which we lived
and the hope, joy and laughter
we spoke, danced and sang;
these alone will stand.
Gentle, sometimes unnoticed,
they witnesses to the reality
of our faith and worship.

It is enough.
Would it be so terrible
if the Sadducees were right?
© Ken Rookes 2014

Many are called

 

Many are called,
declared the man from Galilee.
Many?
Could he have meant everyone?
Perhaps, yes;
even all humankind.
Yes; women, men, children
of all ages;
people from every continent,
nation, region;
people of faith and non-faith,
seekers after truth,
and those who might be indifferent to it;
adherents of the teachings
of Moses, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed,
Ghandi, and any of two dozen other
groomers of the spirit;
along with all the ones who turn their faces
from those teachings.

Many, the man affirms, are called.

Not so many, however,
determine to live
by those divinely appointed principles:
generosity, sacrifice,
peace, justice and love;

few choose to be chosen.

.

© Ken Rookes 2014