Heirarchies of honour

Haiku for the humble

We all observe them,
the heirarchies of honour
that show our status.

Do not be troubled
by lists of significance
and where you fit in.

Simply be yourself,
unconcerned about status.
Honour comes and goes.

Be humble, accept
whatever God allots you,
God will exalt you.

Don’t invite your friends,
your brethren or rich neighbours:
they will pay you back.

Learn to be gen’rous.
Give to those who can’t pay back,
and make them welcome.

Share with the cripple,
the poor, the blind and the lame;
they can’t repay you.

Generosity
is its own blessing: be blest
as you share your love.

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Not on the Sabbath

Haiku of freedom

Jesus was teaching
in one of the synagogues,
it was the Sabbath.

She came to see him,
the woman; she hadn’t stood
straight for eighteen years.

As we might expect
Jesus spoke words of freedom;
touched and made her whole.

Standing straight, praising,
and giving glory to God,
the woman rejoiced.

The law is broken!
They protest: Six days for work,
don’t use the Sabbath!

You are hypocrites!
he answers. On the Sabbath
we do what we must.

It’s not the Sabbath
that stops you rejoicing, but
your hatred for me.

Get hung up on law,
ignore what God is doing;
how sad you all are!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Fire on Earth

Haiku of urgency

He brought division,
surprised us all; we wanted
polite religion.

His words were crazy,
wild, disturbing our comfort,
not respectable.

Co-opting his words,
we made of them a program
of pious order.

If you want polite,
respectable and ordered,
you’d better leave now.

Your world is dying
and all you sing is pretty.
Don’t give me pretty.

Your world is dying,
open your eyes, can’t you see?
Time to do something.

Don’t give me love songs,
give me love’s revolution;
let me take the pain.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Being ready

More haiku for disciples

He gives the kingdom,
what more will you ever need?
Nothing else matters!

Give it all away!
Give alms, sell your possessions;
they’re not important.

Make sure you’re ready.
Be alert and be faithful,
live the way God wants.

Let love rule your life,
work for justice and for truth.
Live for the kingdom.

It is not enough
to simply live decently;
make a difference.

Perhaps tomorrow,
we don’t know when it all ends.
Love makes you ready.

The kingdom good news
is concrete hope and justice;
make sure you do it.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019