Fathers and sons

Haiku for the generations

In the sleepless night,
when ev’rything else is still,
haiku write themselves.

He went to the war
at eighteen. Had its effect,
made him who he was.

At Bomber Command
the rear gunner faces death
over and again.

When it was over
he returned, with the burden
of his survival.

For king and country,
or the queen. Doesn’t matter;
it’s about duty.

A draft resister!
The family is disgraced,
for the father, shame.

Not like my father;
but sometimes, in the mirror,
he looks back at me.

My own parenting
would not be like my father’s.
Messed up, anyway.

Grace means accepting
that the one you argue with
might just be correct.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

It was ANZAC Day this week and I did some personal reflecting. These haiku are the result. So far.  Make of them what you will.

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At Jacob’s Well

Haiku for an opening dialogue

Did Jesus say Please,
w
hen he asked her for a drink?
Let’s assume he did.

Having slaked his thirst,
he smiled, offered the woman
water that’s lasting.

She could play his game,
this Samaritan woman:
You need a bucket!

Not for this water;
You will never thirst again!
Yes, that would be cool.

Go get your husband.
Haven’t got one, she replied.
Mostly true, he said.

They talk religion,
where best to worship God.
Your church, or mine?

He’s coming, she said,
the Messiah, called the Christ.
You’re talking to him.

Epilogue.

Much excitement!
A prophet, perhaps the Christ;
come see for yourselves!

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Costing Discipleship

Haiku for intending acolytes.

Large crowds of people
travelled with the carpenter;
learning to follow.

Some went with Jesus
for curiosity’s sake,
were yet to commit.

Jesus showed the way,
putting his life on the line
for love and justice.

Carrying the cross.
Try to guess what that might mean.
Will I qualify?

It’s a costly thing,
the discipleship journey;
look where you’re going.

Building a tower
or going into battle:
know what you’re up for.

What will be the cost,
will you have enough to win?
Finish what you start.

Jesus calls us all.
Love’s costly work is waiting;
Come with me, he says.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Tell us plainly (no more riddles)

So, is he the Messiah;
and what does it mean
if he is?
That eternal-life thing;
is it about heaven and the afterlife,
or is it something more significant?
The sheep that hear his voice,
the ones that follow him,
we’re talking discipleship now,
costly and committed,
aren’t we?
It’s not just some pretty, clichéd,
Sunday-school image:
an assiduous shepherd,
with beard and long flowing hair,
carrying a cute but errant lamb
upon his noble shoulders;
is it?

Yeah, I thought so.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

When the wine gave out

Those things that have grown weary
and no longer serve their purpose,
are to be cast aside;
their place will be taken
by the eager and determined.

The caterers’ miscalculations
threaten to bring the nuptial celebrations
to a premature conclusion.
Water’s cold austerity
gives way to wine by the bucketful;
joy flows abundant and free,
and the party continues.
The attendant throng is suitably amazed;
the man’s mother, who provoked the action,
is merely impressed.

In the hands of her son
the wedding feast is made into
the metaphor par excellence:
life that is fruitful and expectant,
filled with hope, joy,
and laden with possibility.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

And the word became flesh and lived among us

The Logos-word came,
so the story goes,
sharing light and truth and wonder
with us earth-folk;
receiving, in return,
the planet’s dust and strife,
along with our tears, regrets and weariness.
Hardly a balanced transaction.

 

© Ken Rookes 2015

Give us this bread always

They ask for signs,
but fail to embrace
the sign that was given.
They were in happy agreement
when it was all about eating
and feeding upon crusty loaves.
On those days belief came easy
and their hearts had surged,
hoping, expectant.
But seeking, receiving and dining
on the food that endures for eternal life,
(whatever that means),
is another thing entirely.

Give us this bread always.
The request comes easily,
with eager, outstretched hands,
but few opt to stay around
to receive the answer.
And the sign,
despite its stark simplicity,
perhaps because of it,
is passed by, unnoticed and ignored.
Mostly.

 

© Ken Rookes 2015