The man had two sons

Haiku of grace and resentment

The man had two sons,
Loved them both. The younger one
was eager to leave.

My inheritance,
give me my share now, before
I become too old.

When your years are few,
the party goes on and on;
while the money lasts.

All good things must end.
The cash gone, the boy must work;
starves, while the pigs eat.

Heading for his home,
practising his ‘sorry’ speech:
I am unworthy!

Dad is delighted,
his son is back. Let’s party;
kill the fatted calf!

The older brother
spits the dummy. All these years,
not even a kid!

I am deserving,
my useless brother is not;
I won’t celebrate!

You know I love you,
my Son, you’re always with me;
all that’s mine is yours

Your brother was lost,
now he’s been restored to us:
we have to rejoice.

Try not to resent
the unworthy who receive
their moment of grace.

Remember, you too,
though unworthy, profited
from moments of grace.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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We are one

We are one

Human people
children, women, men;
created, according to one ancient tradition,
from the dust of planet earth.
Creatures of flesh,
breathing air, touched by spirit;
blood filled, pulsing, warm with life.
Dust, not stone.
}Together in our humanness.

Lives intertwined, connected,
bound up with each other;
one.
Your joys are my joys,
your loss I feel as my own,
your pain and your anguish are mine.
My hope grows together with yours.

We use different names
to describe the mystery
and the source of our being,
we know that no single name
no individual understanding
can ever be complete
or exhaust that mystery.
We struggle together
striving after truth,
leaning towards love;
always reaching.

We choose hope over fear
generosity ahead of greed,
love before hatred.
Always love.
Always forgiveness,
always friendship;
always we will strive to understand
ur sisters and brothers
so that we might build
a future of compassion,
of justice and of peace.

We will not turn away
when we see people brutalised and suffering.
Whether their names are known to us
or strangers at a distance seeking our help,
we will stand with them.

We will put aside our hearts of stone,
our suspicious thoughts and our jealousies.
We will not speak words that lead to fear,
or hatred;
nor will we listen to them.
We will trust ourselves to love.
Though selfishness and fear
should surround us, they shall not prevail.
We will put aside despair,
and walk determinedly upon uncertain paths
towards a future of hope.
We shall trust ourselves to love.

We are one.
Let me serve you,
help you, encourage you,
embrace you.
We are one.
You are my sister, my brother
my child, my parent,
my neighbour, and my friend;
I find my true self in you.

Together we will dance,
we will sing, chant, and shout.
We will walk hand in hand,
discover ing wonders,
creating possibilities;
working and building,
crying and laughing.

We will pour ourselves out in an offering of love.
We will strive,
stand and struggle together,
defiantly;
knowing that none of us
will be fully alive
until we do.

We are one.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

 

This is a revision of my post. We used it as an affirmation at a combined Churches and Rural Australians for Refugees Gathering for Peace Justice and Inclusion at Bendigo on Palm Sunday.

To become fruitful

Haiku for gardeners

Rotten stuff happens
to both good and bad people;
it’s not punishment.

When people suffer,
have empathy; don’t blame them
for imagined sins.

These words are for all;
reflect on where you’re headed,
be ready to change.

A vineyard owner
plants a fig tree, comes looking
for fruit. There is none.

Three years to produce
and still the tree is barren.
Let’s get rid of it.

The gardner shows grace.
One more year, some manure
and care: Let’s see.

Always one more chance.
So our master seeks for us
to become fruitful.

The chance to bear fruit;
justice, love and hope-filled peace.
Always one more chance.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

O Jerusalem!

Haiku for those who will not.

O, Jerusalem,
greatest city of them all;
most to be pitied.

The Pharisees warn,
Get away from here, Jesus;
Herod wants your life.

O, Jerusalem;
entitlement and power,
keenly defended.

The perfect venue
for the killing of prophets,
O, Jerusalem!

Jesus will return
to the great city one day,
to meet destiny.

Jesus is weeping
for Jerusalem’s children,
who turn from God’s love.

As a hen enfolds
her brood with protective wings,
so I would love you.

Yet you would not come.
You made your choice, live with it;
I have done my best.

One day you’ll see me
and shout: Blessed, he who comes
in the name of God.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

A lot of testing

He’s been doing a lot of testing
this devil fella.
Tried it on with Jesus.

What do you want? We can sort it for you.
Comfort? Wealth!
We’ll put you into the top ten percentile,
(that’s half of the nation’s wealth),
you won’t ever need to work again.
We can arrange some good tax breaks, too;
we’ve got some top-shelf accountants on our lists.

Celebrity?
The film crew will be around in the morning.
You can relax, it’s been a long time since fame
was a function of achievement.
A small team of spin -doctors;
should be able to provide
the fifteen-second witticisms
needed to satisfy the media.
Twitter works well.

Power? Influence?

Bit too late to choose your school,
but you’ll find that your hitherto mentioned wealth
will go a fair way towards compensating
for your parents’ oversight.

Just a couple of principles; commit them to memory
and roll them off the tongue when called upon.
You’ve worked hard and deserve everything you’ve got.
You are a generous person,
but you can’t be held responsible
for other people’s failures.
It’s people like you who keep the economy ticking over;
they should be grateful.

There you go! What more could you want?
We’ll go ahead, then?

Did you say, No?

Really?

What’s God got to do with it?

 

© Ken Rookes 2019