But I say to you

Haiku for doing better

We need “shall-not” laws
to limit bad behaviour.
But that’s all they do.

You have heard it said.
All the shall-nots from the past
do not lead to love.

It is wrong to kill.
Ev’ryone knows that. We need
to deal with anger.

Violence has roots:
anger, abuse, injustice.
Act against these things.

Let love rule your hearts,
make your peace, be reconciled;
ev’rybody wins.

Try to be faithful,
and not just with your body;
with your mind as well.

Always speak the truth.
All should know your “yes” means “yes,”
and your “no” means “no.”


© Ken Rookes 2020.


Haiku for followers

Sodium chloride,
commonly known as salt. What
to do without it?

Should salt lose its taste,
(an impossibility!)
it would be thrown out.

We are to be salt
imparting flavour and life
to an eager world.

Jesus came as light;
calling disciples to come
and reflect his life.

You too will be light
shining love into the dark.
Stand tall and shine bright.

He came to fulfil
the law, prophets; to correct
all the shortcomings.

Law has become dead,
none listen to the prophets;
hear what Jesus says.

In this present age
few listen to his teachings;
few there are who love.

They worship mammon
while the planet is burning.
They will not enter.


© Ken Rookes 2020

Love-songs for Jesus

Haiku for sweet voices.

singing love-songs for Jesus
while the planet burns.

Jesus is imaged
stylish, well-fed and dreamy;
blessing the faithful.

Self-styled believers,
with clean hands and fixed smiles;
no longer hearing.

Pop groups out in front
singing pap songs; cloying, sweet
and irrelevant.

Keep singing! Louder!
And drown out the disturbing
gospel messages.

What would they look like,
true songs of love for Jesus?
Thorns with bloody nails?

Lyrics sung in streets,
composed of courage and hope;
never popular.

The words are hidden
behind deeds of compassion;
these true songs of love.

Don’t give me pretty
songs with hands raised in the air;
sing from the gutters.

Songs shaped with justice,
hope spilling into action:
love-songs for Jesus.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Before it’s too late

Timid, soft and fluffy
waving hands above anxious heads
Is this enough to get us into heaven?

My question,
impolite and unwelcomed:
What has this to do with faith?

The buzz, the feelgood;
it’s reassuring. God,
keep telling us that we’re okay.

Pray harder, louder, implore the almighty;
don’t do anything until the answer comes.

Don’t do anything,
it’s safer that way.
No mistakes.

If there is a God
she must be screaming.
Before it’s too late!

What was it he said?
Something about love, neighbours?
Before it’s too late.

Don’t count on his return
to bring healing to the planet.
It doesn’t work that way.


© Ken Rookes 2019

The cost

Haiku for disciples

Think priorities.
Discipleship must come first,
before family.

This is difficult.
Know what you’re getting into
when you answer ‘yes!’

The cross you carry
is an instrument of pain.
You will feel its weight.

Finish what you start.
Sit down, estimate the cost
before you begin.

I have looked ahead,
can see what’s waiting for me;
know who you follow.

Carefully reckon
the cost of discipleship:
follow anyway.

Don’t let anything
keep you from the kingdom path.
Be a disciple.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Being ready

More haiku for disciples

He gives the kingdom,
what more will you ever need?
Nothing else matters!

Give it all away!
Give alms, sell your possessions;
they’re not important.

Make sure you’re ready.
Be alert and be faithful,
live the way God wants.

Let love rule your life,
work for justice and for truth.
Live for the kingdom.

It is not enough
to simply live decently;
make a difference.

Perhaps tomorrow,
we don’t know when it all ends.
Love makes you ready.

The kingdom good news
is concrete hope and justice;
make sure you do it.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Abide in my love

Basic commandments for disciples.

The Father loves me,
and so, my friends, I love you;
abide in my love.

Keep my commandments.
By doing so you will dwell
in my gen’rous love.

The upshot of love
is joy, wond’rous and complete.
This joy shall be yours.

As I have loved you
so you must love each other.
This I command you.

To lay down one’s life
for the sake of one’s comrades:
love at its greatest.

You are all my friends,
nothing is withheld from you;
ev’rything is yours.

I have chosen you;
go and create fruits of love,
bear the fruits that last

Love one another.
Get this commandment sorted,
the rest will follow.


© Ken Rookes 2018