With time running out

Haiku for decisions

With time running out
Jesus knew that he must go
to Jerusalem.

The company came
to a Samaritan town,
but they were rebuffed.

Why Jerusalem?
If you’re only passing through
don’t bother to stay.

We should punish them;
call down fire! said James and John.
Jesus rebuked them.

I will follow you,
a man said. Foxes have holes,
but I am homeless.

I will follow you,
a man said, but I must wait
for father to die.

The dead must bury
their own. Leave them, you must go
proclaim God’s kingdom.

I will follow you,
but first I must say farewell
to my family.

To plough a straight line
you cannot keep looking back;
likewise the kingdom.


© Ken Rookes 2019



Gerasene country

Haiku for crazy people

Gerasene country:
among the tombs and the swine,
the broken man roams.

Naked to the world,
cut off from society
he is in torment.

With shackles and chains
they have tried to restrain him.
The man is too strong.

When Jesus arrives
Legion comes to confront him,
bringing his demons.

Whether it’s demons,
mental illness, brain damage;
he still needs healing.

The swine dash headlong
into the lake, carrying
dark spirits with them.

The towns-people came
and found the man clothed and sane,
sitting with Jesus.

Please leave us Jesus,
it’s all too much, we’re frightened!
So he departed.

Let me come with you,
the man begged. No, said Jesus,
Go, declare God’s deeds.

So the man went home
restored; to live, to love, and
to tell his story.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Now that day was the Sabbath

Haiku by the pool.

In Jerusalem
many invalids, blind, lame,
wait beside the pool.

When the water stirs,
according to tradition,
healing is present.

Portico people
hoping for this lottery
to deliver life.

At the Sheep Gate pool
the lame man lies, unable
to enter in time.

Jesus came, asking
Do you want to be made well?
Did he need to ask?

Stand, he told the man,
Take your mat and take a walk.
That is what he did.

It was the Sabbath
when Jesus made the man well;
most reckless of him.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Going fishing

Piscatorial Haiku

Seven disciples
decided to go fishing:
found themselves a boat.

They went out at night
hoiping that the fish would come
but they caught nothing.

Standing on the shore
the stranger shouted advice:
Try the other side!

The nets are breaking;
It must be the Lord! they shout.
Peter heads ashore.

A lakeside fire,
a breakfast of bread and fish
with their risen Lord.

Jesus asks Peter:
Simon, do you love me more?
Lord, you know I do.

Simon, feed my lambs.
Twice more Jesus questions him:
How do you love me?

even Simon must get it;
love made real by deeds.

He said, Feed my sheep,
take care of my little lambs.
It’s all about love.


© Ken Rookes 201

Not unless I see.

Haiku of growing hope.

Sunday evening.
The disciples locked the doors,
fearing they were next.

The women’s stories,
which might have brought them some hope,
went disregarded.

Jesus came and stood
before them: Peace be with you!
His friends were perplexed.

He shows them his hands
to help put their minds at ease.
Yeah, right; that’ll work!

There is rejoicing,
along with bewilderment.
The stories were true‽

He sends his friends out,
breathing his Spirit, charging
them to forgive sin.

The absent Thomas,
could not believe their reports.
Not unless I see!

Seven days later,
so John tells us, Jesus came,
to meet them once more.

Here I am, Thomas!
See the nail-marks in my hands,
touch my wounded side.

Falling to his knees
Thomas cries: My Lord, my God!
Finally convinced.

You see and believe?
Blessed are those who believe
who don’t get to see!

Jesus did much more.
Were the stories written down
they would fill volumes.


© Ken Rookes 2019

They came to listen

Haiku for net leavers

They came to listen,
to hear what he had to say;
the Nazareth man.

Some said that he spoke
direct words from the Father.
They pressed in on him.

Two boats at the shore.
He employs one to teach from;
a floating platform.

The lesson concludes.
Take the boat out, he tells them,
and let down your nets.

The fish aren’t biting.
what would be the point? they say.
Yet, if you insist.

The nets are soon filled,
nearly breaking with the strain.
The other boat comes.

Simon, James and John,
fishing partners, are amazed;
can’t believe their eyes!

Boat owner Simon,
falls before him, cries: Depart!
I am not worthy!

Stick with me, he said
we’ll catch people, netting them
into God’s kingdom!

When they reached the shore
the fishermen left their nets
and followed Jesus.


© Ken Rookes 2019

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