The Holy Family

From the series”Jesus and the Goths.” Linocutholy family

And the word became flesh and lived among us

The Logos-word came,
so the story goes,
sharing light and truth and wonder
with us earth-folk;
receiving, in return,
the planet’s dust and strife,
along with our tears, regrets and weariness.
Hardly a balanced transaction.


© Ken Rookes 2015

Among the teachers

The boy was precocious, no question;
Speaking of God as father, and such.
Twelve years old, adrift in the temple
and taking it up to his elders.
Being advanced for one’s age
is a quality not always welcomed
by the educated, wise and experienced;
Israel does not need another Samuel.
Still, his youthful idealism captured our attention;
in a decade or so,
given the benefit of our collective wisdom,
he might be made into something,
or Someone.
A useful Someone.
With proper guidance and direction
he could become a minor sensation.
Imagine: a peasant teacher from the northern provinces.
Never happened before,
he could prove quite handy.
uch a possibility is, of course, a long way off.

We’ll get him to come back in a few years.
The first step will be to re-channel
that youthful idealism;
then we can begin his real education.



© Ken Rookes 2015

Nativity Haiku

Shepherds and angels
conversing in the shadows,
illumined by hope.

Good news pronouncement;
Great joy! The one sent from God
breathes earth’s air today.

Down in Bethlehem
while everyone sleeps; at last
something has happened!

No room at the inn;
so the man and the woman
had to improvise.

Why do you delay?
You should get yourselves moving
or you’ll miss the show.

Entrusting their sheep
to the angelic choir,
they went to find him.

A baby is born.
It happens every day;
what’s special this time?

This feed-box cradle
is offered as a sign. Strange,
but appropriate.

The shepherds returned,
sharing their wond’rous story;
couldn’t keep silent.


© Ken Rookes 2015

Blessed the fruit of your womb

The story begins with a girl,
fecund, mid-teens,
belly beginning to swell.
It will get much larger,
as, within her womb,
the miracle of life claims its space.

An unlikely sign, vulnerable,
yet outrageously defiant;
a sign to engender hope,
to confront earth’s bondage
and futility.

A peasant girl,
pregnant with purpose and possibility;
the lowly are to be elevated to positions of significance
while kings, emperors, princesses
and other persons of power and plenty
will be asked to descend from their lofty seats
to begin their acquaintance with earth’s dust.

The girl could be anyone;
any place on the planet,
any point in its history.
She is caught up in this common human tale;
the wonder,
the waiting,
the struggle,
the pain
and the joy.

A sign for eternity.


© Ken Rookes 2015





The people were filled with expectation

Our expectations are not high.
Should a prophet like John appear in our midst
to tell us how we should modify our lifestyles
so that the whole planet and all its people might benefit;
we would not listen.
We would dismiss him,
deny any truth in her message
and surround ourselves with clever people
to comfort and reassure us.
We would prefer, rather, that some Father Christmas fix-it-God
should descend from the heavens
with his big red bag of gifts for humankind
and sort everything out,
(world peace, climate change, terrorism, the poor,
domestic violence and such);
but most of us don’t really expect that to happen.
In the end we find ourselves reluctantly admitting
that the prophet might have been right,
and that change
and fruitfulness
and real hope
might have something to do with the serious work
of repentance.
But, then again . .


© Ken Rookes 2015