The true vine

Haiku for bearing fruit

I am the true vine.
Rural metaphors abound,
call us to bear fruit.

God the vine-grower,
keen to get a good harvest;
pruning the branches.

Painful metaphor
this pruning stuff. Us branches
were not consulted.

You received my words,
they have made you clean, worthy
to receive my life

Jesus, the true vine;
here is life, discipleship;
the important things.

We would bear good fruit,
creating love, forgiveness;
reshaping the world.

Become one with him,
find true life joined to the vine;
accept the pruning.

Choose to live in me,
he said, together we will ,
bear love’s precious fruit.

© Ken Rookes 2018

Paying the rent.

Haiku for a new order

Parables abound,
and here’s another vineyard.
This one’s rented out.

Shades of Isaiah.
Fruitlessness still the problem,
but it’s not wild grapes.

This time the tenants
refuse to pay the due rent;
and with violence.

Slaves are beaten, killed.
Not even his son is spared.
What were they thinking?

The owner will come
and deal with these reprobates.
It won’t be pretty.

He will start again.
Other tenants will be found;
they’ll produce the fruit.

The rejected stone
becomes the one that is key;
how unexpected!

Religious leaders:
pay attention! It is you
who must give account.


© Ken Rookes 2017

Do this thing

At the centre of the story
is love.
Nothing else.
A commandment,
said to be new.
Do this thing.
Right there at its core;
always has been, will be.
There, from its beginning,
and when it comes to its brutal end.
Which, at this point in the story, is not far off;
but perhaps it’s not really the end.
This love finds its greatest expression,
we are told, in sacrifice;
in spending oneself for others,
for those embraced as friends.

Love the same way the master does;
a rule for disciples
and all who come after.
Be courageous; do this thing,
and turn it into the fruit that endures.

© Ken Rookes 2015

Came looking

God the failed gardener;
sleeves rolled up,
hands roughened and calloused
from clearing the stones
and building them into walls and tower.
Blistered with digging and hoeing,
skin darkened from all the pruning
and all the sun,
came looking;
but the vineyard is unfruitful.
Came looking
among the empty branches;
among the fear and the voting
and the credit cards,
among the accumulators, the manipulators
and the gate-keepers
among the networks and the systems
and the tent-cities,
among the indices and the vaults
and the shock-jocks,
among the editorials and the card-gamers
and the judgement-sitters,
among the candidates and the slogans
and the low denominators,
among the investors and the magnates
and the number-gatherers,
among the light-thieves, the chance-dealers
and the hope-stealers.
Came looking.
God, the failed gardener
came looking
among the sad empty branches
for some generosity, some love
and some mercy;
but the vineyard
is unfruitful.

© Ken Rookes 2013

Fig tree fruits

If you repent,
the much-loved doctrine declares,
you will be forgiven.
A simple-enough transaction,
with the reception of forgiveness transmuted,
by divine alchemy, into the golden currency
of paradisiacal admittance. 

With much tears and wailing, repentance is enacted,
souls are pronounced saved,
and heaven’s host, we are told, prepares another room. 

But what if repentance is no mere turning point,
arrived at once and finally?
What if it is an attitude that grows, develops,
and manifests itself in actions;
many and uncounted, small and large;
with an impetus towards sharing and justice
and generosity and peace?
And what if the second chance grace
is all about such fruitfulness?

Fig tree fruits from plants worth their place
in the garden.

 © Ken Rookes 2013