About poemsinseason

Ken is a poet and an artist, among other things. He is also a Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia. In 2011 he self-published a book of poetry, Promptings and Provocations. Ken currently lives in California Gully, Victoria. He is working out how to use his time in retirement, mostly through poetry and art. From 2013 - 2015, he lived at Willowra, a remote Warlpiri community in the Northern Territory, where his wife, Jane was School Principal. Most of Ken's poems are responses to the three-year lectionary cycle of bible readings. An exploration of posts from three / six years earlier should reveal other poems responding to the same readings.

Home town Nazareth

Haiku for returning.

Across Galilee
Jesus spoke of God’s good news;
the people listened.

They liked what he said,
and praised him for his message;
his words gave them hope.

Home town Nazareth:
he went to the synagogue
and stood up to read.

They gave him the scroll.
Prophet Isaiah. He found
the words, read them out.

The Spirit of God
rests on me, I bring good news
to those who are poor.

I proclaim release,
the recovery of sight,
freedom and blessings.

And then he sat down.
Today, he said, this scripture
is being fulfilled.

Today? Yes today!
You who hear these words this day,
lift your hearts, rejoice!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Oz Day Haiku 2019

In this wide scorched land
fear settles red, a dust film
smothering justice.

Who chose this dark day
of dispossession and death
for celebration?

 

© Ken Rookes

Cana

Haiku of celebration

Coming together,
two people joining in love;
great celebration.

Gospel writer John
builds wonder right from the start:
spins his wedding yarn.

They were all present:
Jesus, his Mum, disciples;
for the wedding feast.

The Cana couple,
all bouquets and bridal waltz!
Then the wine gives out.

Mother Mary comes
with her high expectations.
My son, do something!

Son, Jesus, resists.
Why bring your request to me?
It isn’t my hour.

She tells the servants,
Do whatever he tells you.
Water jars are filled.

They draw some water,
take it to the chief steward.
What a splendid drop!

The good wine comes first,
the lesser when folk are drunk;
you’ve held back the best!

A kingdom image;
the inferior gives way
to the surpassing!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

 

High Expectations

Haiku of anticipation

High expectations
reverberate through Judah:
has the time arrived?

The baptising man;
we’ve been waiting for so long,
could he be the one?

They put it to him:
Are you the Christ-Messiah?
He answered them: No!

I wash with water
baptising to cleanse your sin;
he is so much more.

He comes bringing fire
to fill you with the Spirit;
set your hearts ablaze.

When the candidates
had all been baptised by John,
Jesus himself comes.

As he is praying
he doors of heaven open
Spirit-dove descends.

Heaven’s voice is heard,
(whisper, thunder, who can say?)
My beloved Son!

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Wise men from the East

Haiku of adoration

Wise men from the East,
so an old story tells us,
came seeking a king.

A child has been born
who will rule over Judah;
we have seen his star.

In Jerusalem
they make their inquiries.
Herod is alarmed.

Those who have power
become anxious at the thought
that they might lose it.

Calling a meeting
of the chief priests and the scribes,
Herod seeks answers.

Bethlehem, they say.
According to the prophet,
Bethlehem’s the place.

Go to Bethlehem,
and when you do find the child
come, report to me.

They locate the boy,
bow down in adoration,
and give him their gifts.

Gold for a king’s crown
frankincense to worship him,
myrrh for his dying.

Proving their wisdom
the men, having found the child,
choose a new way home.

© Ken Rookes 2018

The boy Jesus

He was twelve years old
when he went with his fam’ly
to Jerusalem.

Nobody missed him
amidst all the confusion
of the festival.

The fam’ly heads home.
A day into the journey
they note his absence.

At last they find him
sitting among the teachers
in the great temple.

The twelve year old boy
holds his own with his questions
and his perception.

They were astonished,
his parents. They chastised him,
Why have you done this?

Why did you seek me?
You should have known where to look;
in my Father’s house.

In twenty years’ time.
He will return for the feast
and the conclusion.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018