Annunciation

Linocut. From the Jesus and the Goths series.  C. Ken Rookesannunciation sm

Advertisements

Census

Haiku for losing control

As the story goes
Augustus and his minions
decreed the counting.

A census gives us
the needed information
to order our world.

Numbering people,
keeping control and power,
imposing taxes.

The count brings the man,
along with his pregnant bride
south to Bethlehem.

But in this baby
God upends all creation;
here is the promise.

Humble mum and dad,
common tradesman and his wife;
folk the same as us.

Find them a stable,
a shelter for giving birth.
How appropriate.

No fancy cradle;
he can sleep in a feed trough,
there among the straw.

Invite some shepherds,
poor and lowly witnesses;
they’ll proclaim his birth.

Something about God
spurning grandeur and power;
these are good stories.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Annunciation

Haiku of wonder

In these ancient tales
unexpected pregnancies
convey the wonder.

God, they assure us,
is at last doing something
to sort the world out.

An agéd woman
has managed to conceive, now
it’s her cousin’s turn.

The angel’s busy
conveying surprising news.
The girl is nonplussed.

Do not be afraid!
Easy to say, Gabriel;
it isn’t your womb!

You will bear a son.
You’ll call him Jesus. He will
do amazing things!

That, we know is true.
We will follow his story;
we will follow him.

Her fears overcome,
the girl agrees, allowing
events to proceed.

Only Luke gives us
these strange announcement stories,
stretching the waiting.

We’re left to ponder:
is wonder the same as truth;
and does it matter?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

His name was John

Haiku of promise.

His name was John
He pointed to light; shining,
challenging the dark.

Down beside the creek
he spoke of revolution.
People sought him out.

A man sent from God.
The leaders came to see him:
Who the heck are you?

If you’re not the Christ
are you Elijah; are you
some other prophet?

I am a loud voice,
lonely, crying in the dark:
Make straight the Lord’s path.

Why do you baptise;
you are not the Messiah?
No, but he is here.

I’m using water,
he who comes will do much more;
wait, watch and see!

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Prepare the way

Haiku of expectation

The brutal powers
wink smugly, worship Mammon,
plan their victory.

John the baptiser
stands tall and immovable,
prophet for us all.

Hear the earth weeping,
as she waits for her offspring
to remember love.

Something might happen
if we want it hard enough.
Make yourself ready.

The messenger comes
sent to speak God’s awkward truth,
to prepare the way.

One is soon to come.
He brings a word of hope, life,
not to mention love.

Far greater than I;
in him the heavens draw near
with the Spirit’s kiss.

We need more prophets;
women unafraid of truth,
men who make a stand.

They won’t be silenced.
Like the master they follow
they’re driven by love.

Make the pathways straight
for the one who brings true life,
who makes all things new.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Again the Question

Haiku for reading the signs

Apocalyptic
imagery to puzzle
and to disconcert.

In those days, he said,
even the skies will rebel:
the sun, moon and stars.

The end times have come,
not because heaven says so;
the planet is lost.

Look at the fig tree,
or at the barrier reef;
the extreme weather.

We ask the questions:
Where is God in all of this;
what are we to do?

When the master comes
the servants are expected
to have done their jobs.

Keep alert! Wake up!
The hour, the day is coming;
perhaps it is here.

Again the question:
What does he expect of you,
who carry his name?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Found to be with child

Haiku of mysterious birth

The birth of Jesus,
as befits a Messiah,
was less than routine.

Matthew’s birth stories
are designed to assure us:
things are in order.

Prophet Isaiah
provides a girl giving birth
as a sign of hope.

Found to be with child!
One way of looking at it;
the girl was pregnant.

With child, and engaged
to a man not the father.
It’s complicated.

Her husband, Joseph
is a good man. He still cares,
does not want her shamed.

Dreams can be useful
to spark possibilities
and provide answers.

The angel appears,
reassures the sleeping man:
somehow God is here.

Do not be afraid,
take the girl to be your wife;
the child is from God,

When the man awoke
he took the angel’s advice;
brought her to his home.

When the day arrived
the girl delivered her son.
They named him Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016