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

Intimations

Haiku of wonder

Transfiguration
intimations of glory;
he must be the one.

Great stories are told
to further prove the greatness
of one we call Christ.

The stage is prepared:
for a sacred drama, here,
upon a mountain.

Lots of heavy stuff
happens high up in mountains;
just ask Elijah.

Elijah is there,
along with Moses, talking
with Jesus, shining.

Prophet, lawmaker,
they converse with one who will
surpass both of them.

The cloud voice echoes:
this is my Son, the chosen,
listen to his voice.

His bewildered friends
have no idea what it means,
or who they follow.

The story is told
across two millennia;
and still we wonder.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Love your enemies

Impossible haiku

Love your enemies:
surely the most laughable
of all his commands.

Easily dismissed
when fear is cultivated
to harvest power.

The title, ‘Christian,’
becomes robbed of its meaning
by those who must hate.

Bless those who curse you,
pray for those who abuse you.
More futile commands.

Even bad people
love those who return their love;
be better than that.

Would you follow him;
this man who insists on love
ahead of all else?

Real love is one-way,
not a bargain or a deal,
expects no return.

Generous, like God,
love is extended to all;
you don’t pick and choose.

Don’t be judgmental,
don’t condemn those who fall short,
practice forgiveness.

When it comes to love,
aim high, and don’t be afraid
to fail, says Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

Blessings, surprising and unexpected

Blessings, surprising and unexpected

Haiku for a revolution

The place was level,
a good site for straight talking.
Useful metaphor.

They sensed his power
to bring freedom and healing,
not to mention hope.

He pronounced blessings
surprising, unexpected,
to those without hope.

The poor are promised
entry into God’s kingdom :
what more could they ask?

Those who are hungry
will be filled, the ones who weep
will have cause to laugh.

Are all these blessings
to be made real in this life?
And why shouldn’t they??

Along with blessings,
a series of woes are dealt
to those who have, now.

More flammable words
of gospel revolution
to upend the world.

Words to discomfort
the rich and the powerful,
but they don’t listen.

Here too, a blessing
for those who would follow him:
you will be reviled.

 

© 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