He came, touched by God.

Haiku for those who dare to hope

He came, touched by God,
sharing human pain and death;
brushing us with love.

The aching sadness.
He’s gone, along with our hopes.
Can life endure death?

The promise of life,
our hearts strong with excitement,
crashing to the earth.

We weep for ourselves
as we shed our tears for him;
lifeless in the tomb.

Is anything left
from the storehouse of his life?
Was it for nothing?

A few words remain
from his wisdom and stories;
let us remember.

Surely not the end!
Darkness, hatred and fear
must never prevail.

Dawn’s radiant light
confronts insistent darkness;
will it overcome?

We have heard rumours,
we want to believe they’re true,
that somehow he lives.

Go on, look within
for the resurrection glow;
incandescent love.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

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Matthew’s Beatitudes

Haiku for malcontents.

The poor in spirit,
Matthew tells us, will be blessed;
God will be their king.

Those who weep and mourn
will receive divine comfort;
they will know God’s peace.

Fairly straight-forward,
so far, these beatitudes.
Most reassuring.

The meek, we are told
will inherit the earth. But
it’s hard to see how.

Those who are hungry
for righteousness and justice
will be filled. One day.

But if they dare act
against our wealth and power,
we will deal with them.

Those who show mercy
will be labelled ‘bleeding hearts.’
(I made that one up.)

Those who have pure hearts
will see God. We will dismiss
them, call them naive.

The makers of peace
are God’s children. They refuse
to abandon hope.

Their task is thankless.
Dismissed as fools, both their tears
and their smiles persist.

Blessed are the ones
who suffer for goodness’ sake;
God will embrace them.

They may, however,
receive no justice on earth.
should they be content?

What’s a blessing worth?
Whether real or imagined,
can it compensate?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

Magnificat: a haiku sequence

Haiku for a revolution

A young teenager,
so the ancient story says,
offered up a song.

The girl is with child;
this is a thing of wonder,
of hope and of joy.

Nobody special,
she is God’s lowly servant;
humble, accepting.

Magnifying God,
she sang with praise, rejoicing
at God’s strange favour.

Mercy unconfined,
across the generations,
for those who trust God.

God’s strength surprises
to scatter the great and proud
in their vanity.

From their noble thrones
the powerful are brought down.
Let the day come close.

The poor, down-trodden;
these will be elevated
to God’s chosen place.

The hungry will eat,
they will dine upon good food;
the rich will miss out.

From this young girl’s lips
came words of revolution.
Most disconcerting.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

 

When John heard in prison

Haiku of enquiry

We missed you, Baptist;
your amusing desert rants
made us think again.

The authorities
were less amused; took offense,
waited for their chance.

If you’d stopped and thought
you might have backed off, instead
you’re locked in prison.

So you sent your mates
to find out what’s happening.
They seek out Jesus.

They ask: are you he,
the one we are expecting,
or do we still wait?

Open up your eyes,
what do you see, and hear
as you look about?

The blind see again,
lepers are being made clean,
the lame are walking.

And as for the poor,
they’re hearing the good news
with joy and with hope.

Go, tell the prophet
that God’s kingdom has come near.
Tell him: be at peace.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Community gardens haiku

Vigorous broad bean
growing tall, towards the sky;
someone let Jack know.

Recycled fences
divide earnest allotments,
uniting people.

Weeds the enemy,
compost and mulch our friends;
here is abundance.

A break from the rain;
the bees are out and about.
Fertility’s kiss.

Delicate blossom
or coarse white broad bean flower;
the bee doesn’t care.

Humble silverbeet
claims its garden corner place
and shines from the sun.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Anzac Day

Day of shining medals.
With each marching step
they
clink solemnly the nation’s gratitude
upon proud chests.

There are medals for peace-keepers, too.
Rightly so;
but only a few for peace-makers.

The peace-makers press on determinedly,
undaunted,
undecorated
and
undisturbed.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

When the wine gave out

Those things that have grown weary
and no longer serve their purpose,
are to be cast aside;
their place will be taken
by the eager and determined.

The caterers’ miscalculations
threaten to bring the nuptial celebrations
to a premature conclusion.
Water’s cold austerity
gives way to wine by the bucketful;
joy flows abundant and free,
and the party continues.
The attendant throng is suitably amazed;
the man’s mother, who provoked the action,
is merely impressed.

In the hands of her son
the wedding feast is made into
the metaphor par excellence:
life that is fruitful and expectant,
filled with hope, joy,
and laden with possibility.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016