The tomb’s emptiness

Haiku without limits

The tomb’s emptiness,
underlined by an earthquake.
Still confounding us.

Two faithful women,
don’t need spices as a prop,
visiting the tomb.

Its all a bit much!
An angel is sent to clear
away confusion.

The stone has been rolled
and the guards have all fainted.
Do not be afraid!

Instructions follow.
Come and see, then go and tell:
Your Lord has been raised!

Fear mixes with joy,
strangeness and uncertainty.
What are we to think?

Suddenly he’s here.
Do not fear! Go, tell my friends
We will meet again.


© Ken Rookes 2020

Love’s duty

Haiku of the dawn

The Sabbath had passed.
They came to tend to his corpse,
to confront their pain.

The three: Salome,
the Marys, women of faith,
doing love’s duty.

As the sun rises
they bring their aching sorrow,
their baskets of spice.

Who will roll the stone?
One more barrier to face
and to overcome.

Look! The stone is gone!
Come inside the dark unknown,
discover the truth.

A youth dressed in white
greets them, Do not be alarmed!
Not much chance of that!

The tomb is empty.
What are we to make of this?
Does he really live?

Mark leaves us with doubt,
bewilderment and terror
as they flee in fear.

Posted for the Narrative Lectionary in response to Mark’s story of the empty tomb

© Ken Rookes 2020

Sunday. The first day.

Haiku for upending

Sunday. The first day.
The sun returns from beyond;
light chases darkness.

They come to the tomb,
the women, aching, faithful,
to honour their friend.

Bringing their spices
they come to prepare his corpse;
their duty of love.

The stone had been moved.
The open entrance calls them;
Come, see my surprise!

The tomb is empty,
His broken body is gone,
spirited away.

Two men, shining bright
in robes that dazzle the eyes,
come and address them.

Why look in a tomb?
The one you seek is alive!
Remember his words.

The women returned,
(there were at least five of them),
but they weren’t believed.

Peter, however,
wanted to see for himself,
and ran to the tomb.

Only the grave-clothes
were there to be seen. Peter
returned home, amazed.

A tomb that’s empty,
a man no longer present:
should we doubt or hope?

How shall we respond
to this story of wonder,
and to he who lives?


© Ken Rookes 2019

The Sabbath had passed

Haiku of hope and celebration.

The sabbath had passed,
here they come with tearful eyes
to tend his body.

Three of the women,
bring their spices to the tomb
along with their love.

The sun had risen,
the darkness was at its end:
lots of metaphors.

Of the entrance stone
they questioned each other: Who
will roll it away?

The tomb was open,
the stone already rolled back!
Nothing to stop them!

Entering the tomb
there is nothing to be seen;
at least no body.

A man, dressed in white
with his most puzzling words;
Do not be alarmed!

Jesus? He’s not here.
There is the place they laid him;
he’s been raised to life.

Go inform his friends!
The women flee in terror
and keep their mouths shut.


© Ken Rookes

A group of Easter haiku

Third day Haiku

It is the third day.
The Sabbath has concluded,
now we anoint him.

Empty tomb haiku

The tomb is empty.
Nothing will be found inside;
except mystery.

The women: Haiku

Returning, they spoke
of what they had heard and seen.
No one believed them.

Idle tale haiku

The women’s story:
not taken seriously
when they told the men.

Mary. A haiku.

Mary Magdalene;
witness to the empty tomb.
Can this mean he lives?.


© Ken Rookes 2016


The way Luke tells the story
in his two-volumed tome,
the ascension and resurrection of our Lord
was really the one event,
neatly book-ended by the two men
dressed in dazzling white
who sneak up suddenly beside the disciples.
I presume that the need for two figures
is to avoid the possibility that, if there were only
one, he might confused with
the risen Lord himself.
Handy with their rhetorical questions,
the men become a useful literary device,
proceeding to explain to Jesus’ followers
what is really happening.
The ascension is an awkward story, really;
necessitated by a physical resurrection,
and the subsequent need to dispose of a body.
This, in turn, is required by Luke and Matthew
to give apparent substance to the reality
and wonder of divine presence, experienced
long beyond the days when Jesus walked
and worked and lived among them,
recklessly living out his message
of all-conquering love. It is experienced
still. John does not concern himself
with the ascension, and Mark,
at least in his shorter ending,
is prepared to settle for the ambiguity
of an empty tomb.

© Ken Rookes

Whose every breath

One day,
it is admittedly unlikely,
a clever archaeologist
may dig up Jesus’ bones.
This will cause much consternation,
the reports of an empty tomb being the one detail
about which the four gospel writers
are in complete agreement.
Still, the inability to locate a corpse
will never be adequate proof
of resurrection.

So, what is;
what might convince a sharp
and enquiring mind
that Jesus is truly alive?
Surely it is his disciples,
those in whom his spirit dwells;,
people who have taken deep inside themselves
his living words of generosity and forgiveness,
whose activities thoughts, attitudes, politics
and whose every breath testifies
to his undying love.

 © Ken Rookes 2013