The greatest is love

Essential haiku

Hard to imagine
a world where love is vanquished
and fear goes unchecked.

If I have not love
then I am nothing, worthless
just a fading sound

I may understand
mysteries; if I lack love
I’m less than a breath.

Patient, kind, trusting
the good intent of others;
love is this, and more.

Love delights in truth,
bears all, hopes, does not insist;
and never gives up.

Prophecies will cease,
tongues and knowledge, too, will end.
Love goes on and on.

So much is partial;
when all things are made complete
so, too, will knowledge.

Behave like adults,
put an end to childish ways;
be guided by love.

There remain three things
without compare: faith, hope, love.
The greatest is love.

© Ken Rookes 2020

Posted in response to the Narrative Lectionary, 1 Corinthians 13, for the sixth Sunday in Easter.

Outrageous

Haiku of revolutionary blessings

They are outrageous,
these beatitude sayings;
will you believe them?

What is he thinking?
How do such wild thoughts arise?
Impossible hopes!

Things turn upside down:
the poor, the mournful, the meek,
they will know blessing.

The merciful ones;
to them will mercy be shown.
Let us show mercy.

The ones who build peace,
are the ones God loves the most:
they are God’s children.

Those whose hearts are pure,
open, giving, believing;
God’s face shines on them.

When they revile you
as a disciple, Rejoice!
Your reward is great.

 

© Ken Rookes 2020

Song of Mary

Song of justice, song of peace,
song of struggle, song that pleads,
song to stir the anxious breast,
song that brings the weary, rest.
Song that speaks into the pain
song to bring us back again.
Song upon the lips of Mary,
song to make the rich folk wary.

Song of revolution shout,
song to throw the despots out.
Song of promise for the poor,
song that opens up the door.
Song to ring across the nations,
song of reconciliation.
Song of blessing from above,
song of unexpected love.

Song for widow, orphan, stranger;
song to celebrate the anger.
Song of laughter, song of tears,
song that challenges the fears.
Song of trouble, song of strife,
song of hope and truth and life.
Song that overturns the wrong,
sing with Mary, join the song.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

We are one

We are one

Human people
children, women, men;
created, according to one ancient tradition,
from the dust of planet earth.
Creatures of flesh,
breathing air, touched by spirit;
blood filled, pulsing, warm with life.
Dust, not stone.
}Together in our humanness.

Lives intertwined, connected,
bound up with each other;
one.
Your joys are my joys,
your loss I feel as my own,
your pain and your anguish are mine.
My hope grows together with yours.

We use different names
to describe the mystery
and the source of our being,
we know that no single name
no individual understanding
can ever be complete
or exhaust that mystery.
We struggle together
striving after truth,
leaning towards love;
always reaching.

We choose hope over fear
generosity ahead of greed,
love before hatred.
Always love.
Always forgiveness,
always friendship;
always we will strive to understand
ur sisters and brothers
so that we might build
a future of compassion,
of justice and of peace.

We will not turn away
when we see people brutalised and suffering.
Whether their names are known to us
or strangers at a distance seeking our help,
we will stand with them.

We will put aside our hearts of stone,
our suspicious thoughts and our jealousies.
We will not speak words that lead to fear,
or hatred;
nor will we listen to them.
We will trust ourselves to love.
Though selfishness and fear
should surround us, they shall not prevail.
We will put aside despair,
and walk determinedly upon uncertain paths
towards a future of hope.
We shall trust ourselves to love.

We are one.
Let me serve you,
help you, encourage you,
embrace you.
We are one.
You are my sister, my brother
my child, my parent,
my neighbour, and my friend;
I find my true self in you.

Together we will dance,
we will sing, chant, and shout.
We will walk hand in hand,
discover ing wonders,
creating possibilities;
working and building,
crying and laughing.

We will pour ourselves out in an offering of love.
We will strive,
stand and struggle together,
defiantly;
knowing that none of us
will be fully alive
until we do.

We are one.

 

© Ken Rookes 2019

 

This is a revision of my post. We used it as an affirmation at a combined Churches and Rural Australians for Refugees Gathering for Peace Justice and Inclusion at Bendigo on Palm Sunday.

The great song of announcing

Haiku that lead to fulfilment.

Mary went in haste
to visit Elizabeth
at home in the hills

Two women embrace,
both pregnant, feeling wonder
and knowing the joy.

They cry and they sing
their songs of expectation;
the world is pregnant.

The young woman’s song
filled with its socialist themes
won’t win many friends.

The proud are scattered;
powerful kings and rulers
brought down from their thrones.

And yet the lowly,
cast aside, will be lifted
and the hungry filled.

And what of the rich?
They have had it all; send them
away wih nothing.

A promise of hope
for the people who struggle:
The new realm comes!

All old promises
will achieve their fulfilment
in the One who comes.

 

© Ken Rookes 2018

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

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