Some came seeking truth

Haiku for the wise

Not all of the scribes
were counted as enemies;
some came seeking truth.

One brought a question
to Jesus, not to trick him,
but to understand.

Of all God’s commands,
which is the one that comes first,
which is the greatest?

The shema, he said.
The Lord is one: Love the Lord
with heart, mind and strength.

The second is this:
You are to love your neighbour
as you love yourself.

The scribe was impressed.
These are very good answers,
there is none better.

You show great wisdom,
you are close to God’s kingdom,
responded Jesus.

Close to God’s kingdom,
nearing the destination!
Yes, I would take that!

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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Lament for the children

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

We can feel the shame,
the helplessness and pain,
of children in detention,
their lives held in suspension.
We mourn with them and grieve,
and we won’t be relieved
Until the suff’ring kids are freed
Until the kids are freed.

These families are sentenced
to futility and despair
while those who sit in judgement
condemn without a care.
But no crime has been committed,
they came looking for a welcome;
they asked us for protection,
and we stole their hope and freedom

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

The criminals in Canberra
pretend to serve our interest.
They claim it’s for our benefit,
that it’s for the best.
Our moral compass has been lost
on that we can be clear:
It’s been swallowed by the politics,
of racism and fear;

On the tiny island of Nauru,
amidst the desolation,
no one’s going anywhere;
there is no destination.
There’s nothing to look forward to
just more desperation,
for children and their parents, too,
a helpless situation.

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

Childhood should be wond’rous,
with laughter. and with learning;
without the fear and sadness,
the aching and the yearning.
If we only could we’d make it right,
create a justice outcome,
take their hands, hold them tight
and make these children welcome.

How long must the children wait
for justice and compassion?
Kindness, hospitality;
why must these things be rationed?
We will raise our voices high,
together we shall loudly cry:
Until the suff’ring kids are freed,
Until the kids are freed.

We’re aching the children,
we want to wipe their tears
We want to give them freedom,
we long to end their fear.

Ken Rookes 2018

I wrote this for the Bendigo Rural Ausralians for Refugees rally held last Wednesday, calling for the release of children and their families from detention on the Island of Nauru. The people were invited to participate in the response (Bold). It works as a sort of rap.

I was invited to offer it as a prayer at Eaglehawk Uniting Church this morning. People responded positively, and it opened up some good conversations

 

The Blind Man

Haiku for seeing

Blind Bartimaeus
lived in perpetual night,
but he still had hope.

Beggng by the road,
hearing reports and gossip,
he hoped in Jesus.

Jericho’s grapevine
told him Jesus was in town:
what were the chances?

He comes! They told him.
“Have mercy, Son of David!”
The blind man shouted.

You are a nuisance,
Bartimaeus; be silent!
He shouted louder.

Jesus heard his voice,
stopped and called the man over.
Take heart! They told him.

Jesus said to him,
What do you request of me?
Teacher, let me see.

Go, Bartimaeus,
your faith has been rewarded:
your sight is restored.

Bartimaeus went.
He went along with Jesus,
followed on the way.

Would that I, meeting
with my master; like friend Bart,
follow in his way.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Forget the honour

Haiku for disciples

Teacher, will you do
for us whatever we ask?
What is it you want?

Brothers James and John
didn’t get it; asked Jesus
for seats of honour.

In glory may we
sit with you, at your right hand,
and one at your left?

You are asking much,
and you do not understand:
can you drink my cup?

And my baptism;
are you able to share it?
Yes, we are able.

You answer quickly!
In time you will share these hings
and my suffering.

The others saw red!
James and john had gone too far.
Jesus called them in.

Forget the honour,
That’s not the name of this game!
It’s about serving!

Others crave power,
you are not to be like them.;
you must be like me.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

One thing is lacking

Haiku for those who struggle to let go.

Running to Jesus,
he knelt: For life eternal,
tell me what to do?

Jesus answered him;
You should know what God commands;
do these things and live.

Teacher, since my youth
I have kept the laws of God.
Jesus looked with love.

One thing is lacking:
Go, sell what you own, and give
it all to the poor.

Then come, follow me,
your wealth will be in heaven;
you will know true life.

The man was dismayed;
his possessions were many,
he could not let go.

How hard it will be
for the wealthy to enter
the kingdom of God..

Camels will pass through
a needle’s eye easier.
The rich will struggle.

Who then can be saved?
Mortals cannot achieve it,
God makes it happen.

You who have left home
to tread the kingdom’s pathways
will be rewarded.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

They brought their children

Haiku of blessing

They came to test him,
the Pharisees, loving law;
What about divorce?

For your heart’s hardness,
Moses permitted divorce.
Human brokenness.

Two becoming one:
a generous unity
and image of love

They brought their children
to be embraced by Jesus,
seeking his blessing.

The twelve gatekeepers,
also known as disciples,
spoke sternly to them.

Let them come to me,
said Jesus indignantly,
and do not stop them.

To children like these
the kingdom of God belongs;
enter like a child.

He took the children
into his arms, blessing them,
declaring God’s love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018