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

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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

The entrance

Haiku for an arrival

Near Jerusalem
he sent the two disciples
to fetch the donkey.

An unridden colt
was his chosen conveyance;
perfect for a king.

They shout in welcome
and wave their leafy branches;
Jesus, we want you!

They shout, Hosanna!
Hosanna, Son of David!
How political!

He rode into town,
took a look at the temple,
It was getting late.

Back to Bethany
he retreated with the twelve
and the moment passed.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

For this reason

Haiku for those who seek

Some Greeks found Philip,
knew he was a follower,
asked to see Jesus.

Jesus met with them,
laid it out straight and simple;
The seed has to die.

To be made fruitful
the grain of wheat is buried
and dies to itself.

The same for us all;
if you want to save your life,
you must give it up.

Become my servant.
You must follow after me
to the hard places

My soul is troubled,
not looking forward to it:
the coming hour.

Should I entreat God
to spare the pain and dying?
No, it’s why I came.

The voice from heaven:
God’s name has been glorified
and will be again.

As he is lifted
Jesus changes ev’rything,
restores creation.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

 

Elevated

Haiku for those who grope in darkness

In the wilderness
Moses lifted the bronze snake.
The people were healed.

So, too, will Jesus,
the Son of Man sent from God
be elevated.

Of the Father’s love
Jesus is sent, precious gift
bringing us true life.

He came, grace-laden,
embodying forgiveness.
No one is condemned.

There are those who hide,
preferring darkness to light;
judgement awaits them.

Blankets of darkness
drape heavy to hide evil.
Light is cast aside.

It’s all about light,
truth, hope, love; made incarnate.
Light shines, defiant.

Their deeds are in God,
those who seek to serve the truth.
Come, embrace the Light.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018.