Emmaus

Haiku for an uncertain journey

For a few hours
Emmaus was the centre
of the universe.

Might as well go home,
the two said to eachother.
They had no idea.

An empty journey
devoid of joy, without hope.
Unanswered questions.

Friday’s agonies,
Saturday’s devastations;
now Sunday’s stories.

How shall we believe,
what is left for us to hope,
when will we be healed?

The stranger asks them,
What are you talking about;
what troubles your hearts?

He speaks patiently,
arranging jig-saw pieces
to make the picture.

The falling darkness
leads to an invitation;
he is urged to stay.

The stranger takes bread,
breaks, and passes it around.
Their eyes are opened.

© Ken Rookes 2017

Another poem for this Sunday can be found here and here.

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Difficult Words Haiku

Eat my flesh, he says,
as if it’s a normal thing;
this deep mystery.

Living forever;
the reward for believers.
Is there something more?

The spirit makes life,
he told those who would listen.
The flesh, conversely.

His difficult words
drove many away. Not me;
there is no other

The fisherman spoke
for us all. Your words are life:
where else can we go?

© Ken Rookes 2015

I am the bread of life

We take these words
and fashion them into a ritual.
A ritual meal of great beauty,
layered and filled with meaning
and mystery; which is almost certainly
what the writer had in mind.
Flesh is made bread.

The wheat is ground,
mixed, kneaded,
and baked in an oven. It emerges,
crusty and smelling of friendship.
So we tear the loaves in two,
break off pieces,
and share them.

And somehow, in this bread
and in the wine that accompanies it,
we take into the essence of our selves
the words the Teacher spoke,
the compassion, grace, and love he enacted.
Along with the power of his giving,
his sacrifice.

And somehow,
in this invitation to gather
at his table,
we are also invited to see with his eyes
and to behold the kingdom;
a world that may yet be transformed
by justice, hope and peace.

Somehow.
And in these fragments,
small, humble, broken,
we receive this man;
not to mention
his outrage
and his tears.
© Ken Rookes 2015

Other poems relating to this theme can be found Here. And also Here in a poem of the same name.

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

Hungers

 

To get away from the multitudes
and their expectations
the man called Bread
withdraws to the hills.

Having eaten their fill,
the crowd still wants more.
They intend to make him king,
to claim him as their hero-leader,
that he might feed them when they are hungry,
heal them when they are sick,
and deliver them victory over their enemies.

Instead he gives them a handful of words:
crumbs of bread to fill them with hope,
and morsels of love to overcome their fears.
Then he offers them platters
laden with small parcels of his own strange life;
topped with generously with sacrifice.

None of these  dishes will prove sufficient
to satisfy the imagined hungers of the crowd.
© Ken Rookes 2015

Another poem on this theme can be found here. This poem is called Hunger (singular!)

Unthinkable

You tell your kids as they grow older;
anytime, it does not matter.
We do not measure inconvenience,
nor will we mention it again.
We will leave our bed and we will come,
if that is what is needed,
to ensure that you will arrive safely home.
It is unthinkable that we should refuse.
Unthinkable, in the story Jesus told,
that a friend should decline
to embrace a minor inconvenience
for the sake of a simple request,
to fulfil the claims of hospitality
and to avoid shame.
Thus is delivered
bread for a hungry traveller.
Unthinkable that the Creator-Spirit God
should be too busy to listen,
should fail to love,
or should withhold
God’s Spirit-presence.
Unthinkable.
 
© Ken Rookes 2013

In the breaking of bread

In the breaking of bread
the Lord is known.
The human-shaped God
takes the hospitality of heaven in his hands
and distributes it to his friends.
“This is for you,” he says
looking into the eyes of the hungry.
“This food is me. Take me deep inside
your eyes, your head, your heart and your belly.
Take me into your dreams and your struggles,
your fears and your waking thoughts.
Take me deep into your cryings
and your rejoicings. Take me as you journey
towards the wonder of love
and the mystery of grace.
Find me deep within your sharings,
your yearnings, your laughings,
and the fullness of your life together.
See me with you in the loneliness of dark night
and when you close your eyes
against the blinding light.
See me; even when I disappear.
This is for you,”
he says.
 
© Ken Rookes