The last day

Haiku of the passion

Lord, we are your friends;
You’re everything to us:
we’d never betray.

You’ll all desert me,
but don’t dwell on these failures.
There is always hope.

Even you, Peter,
so stop your protestations;
you will deny me.

Take my body-bread,
this wine, red like my bleeding;
my life, shared for you.

Facing his fears
while his weary friends sleep on;
praying all alone.

Jesus is betrayed,
arrested and put on trial.
There is one outcome.

Who are you, Jesus?
Are you the king that some claim,
the promised from God?

It has been settled.
He walks to the killing place
where his cross awaits.

They laugh and they mock,
they taunt him as he hangs there,
silent, accepting.

His work is complete.
He takes his final breath, sighs,
and lets it all go.


© Ken Rookes 2018



Haiku of commencement

Mark takes up his pen
to write upon the parchment:
Jesus makes a start.

Departs Nazareth,
leaves the family behind.
South to the Jordan.

Finds the Baptiser,
raises his hand, comes on down;
Baptise me too, John.

As he emerges
dripping wet from the water
the Spirit descends.

Does the voice boom loud,
or is it a mere whisper?
My beloved son.

The Spirit takes charge,
drives him into wilderness;
a place for testing.

A time for praying.
Forty days of questioning;
forty days of doubts.

The days pass. He comes,
back to his people, convinced,
now, of his calling.

The time is fulfilled,
God’s kingdom is drawing near.
Good news: trust in it.


© Ken Rookes 2018

Make him a wonder worker

Haiku for establishing credentials

Jesus the teacher
spoke of forgiveness and love;
the way to true life

Forget other stuff;
love and generosity
create peace and hope.

His words of promise
bring great joy to hungry hearts.
They make him welcome.

But words are one thing:
make him a wonder worker
to prove he is God.

In bed with fever,
Simon’s wife’s mother is ill;
Jesus makes her well.

They came that ev’ning,
the sick and the troubled ones;
all of the city.

Jesus had pity.
He looked on them with mercy,
healed and blessed them all.

On to other towns;
his words must be spread widely.
This is why he came.

Peace and grace abound;
God’s undistinguishing love
is for all people.

© Ken Rookes 2018.

What have you to do with us?

Haiku of authority

At Capernaum
he entered the synagogue,
and taught the people.

They were astounded.
He spoke with authority;
most unusual.

A man most troubled,
(an unclean spirit, they said),
cried out in anguish.

His question was good:
What have you to do with us?
We wonder the same.

He does not answer.
Speaks firmly, commands silence,
casts the spirit out.

Now they are amazed.
His word has authority;
what’s its origin?

From where has he come?
The speculations mount up;
his fame increases.


© Ken Rookes 2018.

Cast your nets with me

Haiku for risk takers

The time is fulfilled
and the kingdom has come near.

Turn your life around,
put your trust in the good news:
find life, hope and love!

Hear, fisherpeople,
and all who toil and struggle;
your labour bears fruit!

Cast your nets with me,
gather what is true and good.
In the name of love.

The kingdom awaits,
as do all the aching hearts.
Come, travel with me.

Leave your boats and nets.
Bring a heart that is open,
a soul that is true.

Which way will we go,
and where will we sleep at night?
He gives no answer.

He looks upon them,
repeats the invitation:
Come and follow me!

© Ken Rookes 2018.

I saw you

Haiku of surprising discovery

Hey, comrade Philip,
you’re the man I’m looking for:
come and follow me!

Having met Jesus,
Philip went to find his friend:
Come, meet the teacher!

Could he be the one
the prophets told us about;
the one sent from God?

Nazareth, you say?
How could the Messiah come
from that backwater?

Ah, Nathanael,
I’m very pleased to meet you;
such an honest man!

I’ve never met you,
Jesus, and yet you know me?
Very impressive!

I had a vision.
You sat beneath a fig tree
as Philip approached.

Rabbi, I’m seeing
God’s Son, and Israel’s King.
Teacher, you’re the man!

Give me your answer!
Come, join us on the journey;
you’ll find so much more.


© Ken Rookes 2018.

My name is John

Haiku for beginning

Give me camel’s hair,
leather belt around my waist;
feed me with locusts.

Give me a loud voice
enough to shake foundations.
Feed me wild honey

Find me at the creek
with the rocks and croaking frogs.
Water is my home.

Put away your sins;
the darkness in your living.
Let’s wash it away.

Come and be baptised.
Show that you are eager, keen
to begin anew.

One comes after me.
He will do much more than I.
He brings the Spirit.

. . . .

He came from up north
to meet John at the Jordan.
Baptise me, comrade.

The heavens opened
with the voice of approval.
The Spirit came down.


© Ken Rookes 2018.