The last day

Haiku of the passion

Lord, we are your friends;
You’re everything to us:
we’d never betray.

You’ll all desert me,
but don’t dwell on these failures.
There is always hope.

Even you, Peter,
so stop your protestations;
you will deny me.

Take my body-bread,
this wine, red like my bleeding;
my life, shared for you.

Facing his fears
while his weary friends sleep on;
praying all alone.

Jesus is betrayed,
arrested and put on trial.
There is one outcome.

Who are you, Jesus?
Are you the king that some claim,
the promised from God?

It has been settled.
He walks to the killing place
where his cross awaits.

They laugh and they mock,
they taunt him as he hangs there,
silent, accepting.

His work is complete.
He takes his final breath, sighs,
and lets it all go.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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Haiku of the end.

Should we pity him,
Judas, called Iscariot?
He made his choices.

Eat my body-bread
and drink of my red wine-blood;
remember my life.

Even you, Peter,
you will also run away;
three times denying.

In garden prayers
he asks to be delivered.
His companions sleep.

They come with clubs, swords
and a resolve to end it.
He is arrested.

Tried by Caiaphas,
convicted of blasphemy.
Never any doubt.

Taken to Pilate
to receive his death sentence;
this King of the Jews.

Silence, his answer,
he calmly accepts his fate;
trusts himself to God.

The crowd finds its voice.
Convicted and condemned,
he is led away.

The cross is shouldered,
and taken beyond the gates,
to the killing place.

There is no mercy.
The man is fixed to his cross
and lifted up high.

The skies are darkened.
A cry of dereliction
signifies the end.

They mounted a guard
at the entrance to the tomb:
what did they expect?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Jesus before Herod: a haiku sequence

A king called Herod
looks down from his lofty throne;
he has the power.

He smiles, curious,
having heard rumours and tales;
wonders if they’re true.

He requests a sign;
but the man stands silently
and gives him nothing.

The monarch persists,
hearing the accusations,
asks: What do you say?

No words are spoken.
Jesus stands before the king,
waits for the next step.

Treated with contempt,
he is robed, mocked and dismissed.
Your problem, Pilate.

 

 

© Ken Rookes 2016.

 

It is finished

A stone to seal an entrance,
asserting the boundary between the living
and the dead.
Linen cloths to bind a corpse,
cold lips hidden within coarse fabric;
no longer can they speak their words of love.
A hundred pounds of myrrh and aloes
to weigh a body down,
to keep it from floating off
into mythical certitude;
or uncertainty, if you prefer.
On Friday, with the setting of the sun,
light is overcome by the darkness
as a man is laid in his tomb.
Death’s accoutrements
determinedly underline the tears,
the despair,
and the apparent finality:
it is finished.

© Ken Rookes. 2015