Sad Monarch Herod

Haiku of the powerful and the small

Sad monarch Herod
like his father before him,
achieved infamy.

Pathetic ruler
easy to manipulate,
a slave to his lusts.

John the baptiser
never could keep his mouth shut,
incurred royal wrath.

Herod’s vengeful wife,
Herodias, took offence
at his denouncements.

Cast into prison,
John was forced to bide his time.
Herod still feared him.

The stepdaughter danced
at Herod’s party. Sexy;
the men all lusted.

Whatever you want,
the king had said. Then give me
the Baptiser’s head.

The king grieves deeply,
not foreseeing this outcome,
but he has been caught.

A bloody triumph
on a platter. She, in turn,
gives it to mother.

John’s disciples hear,
and come to claim his body;
bury him with love.

© Ken Rookes 2018

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Tearing

On the day when Jesus
strolled down to the Jordan
to meet with John and to be baptised,
the heavens, it is said, were torn apart.
They’ve been tearing apart ever since,
not just with Jesus,
who was outrageous enough;
some of those who came after him
have ripped things up a bit, too.
They broke laws, defied the powers
and governments, and challenged
the fearful and loveless status quo.

Here are some of the outcomes;
divine fragments,
torn from the heavenly interface
like squares from yesterday’s newspaper
and layered with earth’s paste
as they are fashioned into something new
and surprising.
A papier-mâche new creation, disturbing,
defiant, and more than a little foolish;
it is flimsy and fragile,
a vulnerable reliquary
of sacred hope.
 

 

© Ken Rookes 2015

 

Crying in the wilderness

Crying in the wilderness,
weeping in the bush;
feeling some of the pain,
fear, despair and disappointment.

The prophets have been silenced;
only their tears remain,
dripping unseen from holy cheeks.

They say the Lord is coming.
Perhaps it is the tears,
the necessary tears,
by which our hearts are prepared.

Weeping in the wilderness,
crying in the bush.

© Ken Rookes 2013

Yes, I know the exegesis is dodgey, but it might just hold some truth, anyway.

Another poem for the second Sunday in Advent, year A, can be found here.