Riding a donkey

Haiku for an uncertain entrance.

Riding a donkey
defiantly confronting;
they do not like it.

Cry out with the throng,
make with your loud hosannas.
Return in five days.

Here he comes! Jesus
with his words of costly love;
we do not want them.

Beware, you who rule,
serving powerful interests:
Jesus is coming!

© Ken Rookes 2019

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Bethany friends

Haiku of love

His Bethany friends
make him most welcome; again.
Jesus is grateful.

Brother Lazarus
reclines at table with him
Martha is serving.

Mary! Ah, Mary.
What are you about to do
to demonstrate love?

Mary comes, bringing
a pound of costly perfume;
pours it on his feet.

The fragrance lingers,
along with indignation:
What outrageous waste!

Such extravagance
and squander! T’was better sold
and spent on the poor.

Returning her love,
Jesus speaks to defend her;
She has done no wrong!

This beautiful gift,
images her love for me;
soon I will be gone.

The poor will remain
to provide new occasions
to demonstrate love.

Gather what remains,
save it for my burial;
it comes soon enough.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

The man had two sons

Haiku of grace and resentment

The man had two sons,
Loved them both. The younger one
was eager to leave.

My inheritance,
give me my share now, before
I become too old.

When your years are few,
the party goes on and on;
while the money lasts.

All good things must end.
The cash gone, the boy must work;
starves, while the pigs eat.

Heading for his home,
practising his ‘sorry’ speech:
I am unworthy!

Dad is delighted,
his son is back. Let’s party;
kill the fatted calf!

The older brother
spits the dummy. All these years,
not even a kid!

I am deserving,
my useless brother is not;
I won’t celebrate!

You know I love you,
my Son, you’re always with me;
all that’s mine is yours

Your brother was lost,
now he’s been restored to us:
we have to rejoice.

Try not to resent
the unworthy who receive
their moment of grace.

Remember, you too,
though unworthy, profited
from moments of grace.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

To become fruitful

Haiku for gardeners

Rotten stuff happens
to both good and bad people;
it’s not punishment.

When people suffer,
have empathy; don’t blame them
for imagined sins.

These words are for all;
reflect on where you’re headed,
be ready to change.

A vineyard owner
plants a fig tree, comes looking
for fruit. There is none.

Three years to produce
and still the tree is barren.
Let’s get rid of it.

The gardner shows grace.
One more year, some manure
and care: Let’s see.

Always one more chance.
So our master seeks for us
to become fruitful.

The chance to bear fruit;
justice, love and hope-filled peace.
Always one more chance.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

O Jerusalem!

Haiku for those who will not.

O, Jerusalem,
greatest city of them all;
most to be pitied.

The Pharisees warn,
Get away from here, Jesus;
Herod wants your life.

O, Jerusalem;
entitlement and power,
keenly defended.

The perfect venue
for the killing of prophets,
O, Jerusalem!

Jesus will return
to the great city one day,
to meet destiny.

Jesus is weeping
for Jerusalem’s children,
who turn from God’s love.

As a hen enfolds
her brood with protective wings,
so I would love you.

Yet you would not come.
You made your choice, live with it;
I have done my best.

One day you’ll see me
and shout: Blessed, he who comes
in the name of God.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

A lot of testing

He’s been doing a lot of testing
this devil fella.
Tried it on with Jesus.

What do you want? We can sort it for you.
Comfort? Wealth!
We’ll put you into the top ten percentile,
(that’s half of the nation’s wealth),
you won’t ever need to work again.
We can arrange some good tax breaks, too;
we’ve got some top-shelf accountants on our lists.

Celebrity?
The film crew will be around in the morning.
You can relax, it’s been a long time since fame
was a function of achievement.
A small team of spin -doctors;
should be able to provide
the fifteen-second witticisms
needed to satisfy the media.
Twitter works well.

Power? Influence?

Bit too late to choose your school,
but you’ll find that your hitherto mentioned wealth
will go a fair way towards compensating
for your parents’ oversight.

Just a couple of principles; commit them to memory
and roll them off the tongue when called upon.
You’ve worked hard and deserve everything you’ve got.
You are a generous person,
but you can’t be held responsible
for other people’s failures.
It’s people like you who keep the economy ticking over;
they should be grateful.

There you go! What more could you want?
We’ll go ahead, then?

Did you say, No?

Really?

What’s God got to do with it?

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

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