Doubting in the dark

Haiku of unexpected hope

John the Baptiser
languishing in the dungeon;
doubting in the dark.

Sending out his friends
to find out. Are you the One
or must we still wait?

Return to John, tell
of the things you see and hear;
life in its fullness.

Tell of God’s welcome,
the outsiders who find home,
of friendship’s triumph.

Tell of the confused
who have come to understand;
lives renewed by love.

Tell of the gospel
taking root in aching hearts,
producing much fruit.

Tell of forgiveness
bringing many beginnings,
joy blended with hope.

Tell prophet-man John
that God’s reign is upon us,
and to be at peace.


© Ken Rookes 2019.

The Baptiser cries

Haiku of expectation

The Baptiser cries
loudly his words to repent,
and weeps in silence.

In his op-shop clothes
of camel hair, leather belt,
catches them off-guard!

Make ready, he says;
things are changing, a new day
is about to dawn.

You privileged ones,
presuming on your birthrights;
produce fruits of love.

No place for smugness
you who think you have arrived;
you must live justly.

Flee the coming wrath;
produce fruits of justice, and

One is coming soon,
with greater, more powerful
words of hope and life.

He will bring judgement.
There is really no need; we
bring it on ourselves.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Keep awake, therefore.

Haiku for the vigilant

Things we do not know:
what lies around the corner,
what is to happen.

The days of Noah,
eating drinking, marrying;
just like us today.

Planet Earth is stuffed.
Should be taking to the streets,
not watching TV.

What price relevance?
The things we’re doing in church,
while the planet cooks.

Does the Lord return?
Will he come to fix things up?
Not holding my breath.

The thieves are coming!
Climate change deniers, all,
stealing the future.

On the far right, fools
posit an infinite earth.
Extinctions abound.

The party goes on,
so much fun! Don’t disturb us;
we don’t want to know.

We did not expect.
But no! They warn us: twelve years!
What if they are right?

Sleep on, you Christians.
Would God let these things happen?
Who else will stop them?


© Ken Rookes 2019

Into Paradise

It was called The Skull
this place where death is dispensed
with lumber and nails.

Jesus, Son of Man,
has his own appointment there
his arms stretched out wide.

To his right and left
two criminals share with him
his sentence and pain.

The leaders mock him,
along with the killing squad:
Save yourself, O King!

One felon joins in,
deriding him with mocking:
Save yourself, and us!

He has done no wrong;
leave him! Our condemnation
is just; his is not.

Jesus, think on me,
the second spoke, when you come
into your kingdom.

We die together.
This day you’ll journey with me
into Paradise.


© Ken Rookes 2019

No Resurrection?

Haiku for questioners

No resurrection?
Not the way Jesus saw it.
Does that make him right?

Sadducees say no,
life is finite. We live once,
end of the story.

Myself, I waver;
does that mean I’m lacking faith?
Please don’t condemn me.

Should that day arrive
and we stand before God’s throne,
all must trust in grace.

The Sadducees bring
their convoluted question:
whose wife will she be?

Jesus laughs them off;
marriage has no purpose then,
in the life to come.

Offering his own
complex logic, Jesus proves
that the dead are raised,

God rules the living,
that is what really matters;
serve the living God.


© Ken Rookes 2019

Entering Jericho

Haiku for grumblers

Mr Zacchaeus,
short of stature, short of friends
wants to get a view.

Zac is wealthy, but
a tax collector by trade,
not well respected.

Jesus is coming,
passing through Jericho town.,
so Zac climbs a tree.

(This is a great yarn!)
Jesus comes by, sees the man,
Friend Zac, come on down!

I’m needing somewhere
to dine and to sleep tonight;
your place will do fine.

All the good people
begin to grumble: he goes
as a sinner’s guest!

The act of welcome
brings existential crisis:
alf my wealth I give!

The lost has been found,
sinful Zac belongs to God!
Clever move, Jesus!


© Ken Rookes 2019

How good is this, God? or The best form of welfare. (re-post)

Haiku for the relevant Minister.

Those who are righteous
can treat others with contempt,
Jesus warned, beware!

The tax collector,
lowly, the Pharisee, grand,
stood in the temple.

The Pharisee prayed
proud, God it’s good to be me,
I thank you for that.

I’m such a fine bloke,
honest, blameless, quite unlike
that dole collector.

The tax collector
bowed his head, God, have mercy
on me, a sinner!

The second went home
justified, his prayer answered.
Not the Pharisee.

They are in control,
still, the Pharisees, with their
contempt for the poor.

How good is this, God,
that we are not drug users
and welfare cheaters?


© Ken Rookes 2019