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

Matthew’s Beatitudes

Haiku for malcontents.

The poor in spirit,
Matthew tells us, will be blessed;
God will be their king.

Those who weep and mourn
will receive divine comfort;
they will know God’s peace.

Fairly straight-forward,
so far, these beatitudes.
Most reassuring.

The meek, we are told
will inherit the earth. But
it’s hard to see how.

Those who are hungry
for righteousness and justice
will be filled. One day.

But if they dare act
against our wealth and power,
we will deal with them.

Those who show mercy
will be labelled ‘bleeding hearts.’
(I made that one up.)

Those who have pure hearts
will see God. We will dismiss
them, call them naive.

The makers of peace
are God’s children. They refuse
to abandon hope.

Their task is thankless.
Dismissed as fools, both their tears
and their smiles persist.

Blessed are the ones
who suffer for goodness’ sake;
God will embrace them.

They may, however,
receive no justice on earth.
should they be content?

What’s a blessing worth?
Whether real or imagined,
can it compensate?


© Ken Rookes 2017


Blessed are you who live
according to the yearnings of your souls,
not the evidence of your eyes.
Blessed are they who plant vineyards in their old age.
Blessed are those who are the masters of comfort,
and not its slaves.
Blessed are you who give and who will not stop.
Blessed is the one who leaves no scars upon the earth.
Blessed are they who carry their Lord’s scars
within their hearts.
Blessed is the one who listens for the Spirit’s deep sighs,
and trembles within.
Blessed are you who sing your comrades’ songs.
Blessed are they who sigh before beauty.
Blessed are you who allow yourself
to be broken by love.
Blessed are those who roar with anger,
who confront the unjust,
and those who wait with aching.
Blessed are the lonely, and those who befriend them.
Blessed is the one whose words encourage.
Blessed are you who will awaken from your sleep,
and you who will not.
Blessed are the children of Truth,
sons and daughters of Light.
Blessed are the shameless ones, unafraid to die.
Blessed are they, who, for joy,
dance among the stars.
Blessed are the defiant ones,
following the less-trod path.
Blessed are those who choose laughter over politeness
and peace ahead of fear.
Blessed are you who tell the great story
and dream righteous dreams.
Blessed is the pilgrim; travelling in hope
and coming near the kingdom.

© Ken Rookes
This poem is also found in my book, Promptings and Provocations.
199 poems plus relief prints, $20 + $4 p&p, Australia.