Annunciation

Linocut. From the Jesus and the Goths series.  C. Ken Rookesannunciation sm

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Annunciation

Haiku of wonder

In these ancient tales
unexpected pregnancies
convey the wonder.

God, they assure us,
is at last doing something
to sort the world out.

An agéd woman
has managed to conceive, now
it’s her cousin’s turn.

The angel’s busy
conveying surprising news.
The girl is nonplussed.

Do not be afraid!
Easy to say, Gabriel;
it isn’t your womb!

You will bear a son.
You’ll call him Jesus. He will
do amazing things!

That, we know is true.
We will follow his story;
we will follow him.

Her fears overcome,
the girl agrees, allowing
events to proceed.

Only Luke gives us
these strange announcement stories,
stretching the waiting.

We’re left to ponder:
is wonder the same as truth;
and does it matter?

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

As the story goes

Haiku of unexpected life

As the story goes
Lazarus from Bethany
had been dead four days.

When Jesus arrived,
sister Martha did complain:
What kept you so long?

If you had been here!
I am the resurrection
and the life,
he said.

Yes, Lord, I believe
that you are the Messiah;
God’s Son, in the world.

Mary fell weeping
at Jesus’ feet. Lord, she said,
If you had been here!

Had you come sooner
my brother would not have died.
Take me to his tomb.

Jesus also wept.
They removed the entrance stone
to see life triumph.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017

A wondrous yarn

Haiku of an often told story.

 

There are no records
of the birth of the Messiah;
just an old story.

An anxious couple
seeking a place of shelter.
The time is at hand.

In a crowded town,
a stable, strangely, becomes
maternity ward.

A baby is born,
this thing of joy and wonder.
Happens ev’ry day.

Shepherds tending sheep,
angels winging in the sky;
a fabulous yarn.

Go and check it out!
The baby in a manger,
with his mum and dad.

The infant is found;
it was as the angel said.
They are all amazed.

The shepherds return
singing, “Glory!” praising God,
They tell ev’ryone.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

Found to be with child

Haiku of mysterious birth

The birth of Jesus,
as befits a Messiah,
was less than routine.

Matthew’s birth stories
are designed to assure us:
things are in order.

Prophet Isaiah
provides a girl giving birth
as a sign of hope.

Found to be with child!
One way of looking at it;
the girl was pregnant.

With child, and engaged
to a man not the father.
It’s complicated.

Her husband, Joseph
is a good man. He still cares,
does not want her shamed.

Dreams can be useful
to spark possibilities
and provide answers.

The angel appears,
reassures the sleeping man:
somehow God is here.

Do not be afraid,
take the girl to be your wife;
the child is from God,

When the man awoke
he took the angel’s advice;
brought her to his home.

When the day arrived
the girl delivered her son.
They named him Jesus.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016

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

 

Martha and Mary

Four Haiku

Martha and Mary
once had Jesus to dinner.
They made him welcome.

In the kitchen’s heat
Martha worked hard, worrying;
all must be perfect.

Mary, listening,
sits at Jesus’ feet, eager,
dining on his words.

Jesus loves them both;
but, called upon, says Mary
made the better choice.

 

© Ken Rookes 2016