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

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Give us this bread

Haiku for those who hunger.

The crowd found some boats
and crossed the lake to find him,
at Capernaum.

Is it for the signs
or because you ate your fill
that you’re seeking me?

Food that perishes
is worthless; the Son of Man
gives the food that lasts.

His food leads to life.
His word brings life eternal;
God’s seal rests on him

They asked for a sign,
that they might have faith in him.
Like the desert bread.

In the wilderness
your forebears ate God’s manna;
this too, did not last.

The true bread from God
comes from heaven to the earth,
gives life to the world.

Give this bread to us,
they said, not really knowing
what it is they ask.

I am living bread.
Come, you need never hunger,
nor do you need thirst.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

The crowd, hungry for his word.

Haiku of unexpected abundance

The crowd came to him;
saw the signs he was doing,
the sick getting healed.

Up on the mountain
the crowd, hungry for his word;
Jesus will feed them.

Where will we buy bread?
Six month’s wages, said Phillip,
Wouldn’t buy enough.

Five loaves and two fish
that was all they could muster:
a boy and his lunch.

They sat on the grass.
He took the loaves and thanked God,
passed the bread around.

As the story goes
they all had enough to eat,
gathered up the scraps.

Understandably
the people got excited:
He is the prophet!

He made himself scarce,
went further up the mountain
to be by himself.

When evening came
his disciples took the boat,
went out on the lake.

The lake became rough
and the wind blew against them;
they were terrified.

And then Jesus came
with words of reassurance,
Do not be afraid.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

Promise and hope

Haiku for the shepherdless

They came back to him,
eager, full of their stories,
telling what they did.

We all need a break,
let’s find a deserted place,
away from the crowds.

They went in a boat,
trying to get clean away;
didn’t really work.

They watched them leaving
made haste on foot, got there first
to welcome the boat.

They were a great mob,
like sheep without a shepherd.
His heart ached for them.

And so he taught them
many things. Then he fed them;
meeting their hunger.

And then they sailed on,
landed at Gennesaret;
still more people came.

Wherever he went,
from across the whole region,
they came to be healed.

He came among them
with the prospect of freedom,
a promise of hope.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

He came, walking towards them.

Haiku for those who sink.

He sent them ahead
by boat, to the other side.
The crowd was dismissed

Seeking solitude,
he ascended the mountain
to pray and reflect.

Out upon the lake
his friends battled wind and waves,
a long way from home.

In this strange story
he came ghost-like at morning,
caused them much alarm.

The reports tell us
that he walked across the lake.
Fear not! It is I!

Stranger still, a man
steps from the boat to join him;
does all right; at first.

Beginning to sink,
he cries in fear: Lord, save me!
Jesus takes his hand.

Is this an image
of baptism, of drowning
and rising to life?

Like the little boat
we are battered by the waves,
far from land and hope.

The waves engulf us;
We are fearful and we doubt.
Jesus, take our hand!

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Peace, be still!

When the boat is getting swamped
and the wind and the rain
beat against our faces and drive into our eyes;
when the news bulletins are full of fear and pain,
our leaders point their fingers
and no one takes responsibility;
when women are beaten,
children deal (or don’t) with trauma
and men set their brains aside
for the sake of chemical pleasure;
when the poor are undeserving,
the wealthy are withholding
and compassion is declared a luxury
we cannot afford;
when the weak and the vulnerable go unprotected,
their oppressors go unpunished
and we are no longer outraged by injustice;
then, Jesus,
speak again those words
you spoke to your distraught disciples,
to the out-of-control elements,
and to a planet curtained with tears:
Peace, be still!

© Ken Rookes 2015