Home town Nazareth

Haiku for returning.

Across Galilee
Jesus spoke of God’s good news;
the people listened.

They liked what he said,
and praised him for his message;
his words gave them hope.

Home town Nazareth:
he went to the synagogue
and stood up to read.

They gave him the scroll.
Prophet Isaiah. He found
the words, read them out.

The Spirit of God
rests on me, I bring good news
to those who are poor.

I proclaim release,
the recovery of sight,
freedom and blessings.

And then he sat down.
Today, he said, this scripture
is being fulfilled.

Today? Yes today!
You who hear these words this day,
lift your hearts, rejoice!


© Ken Rookes 2019


Home town boy

Haiku for breaking out

Home town Nazareth,
the place where he went to school,
where they watched him grow.

Being the Sabbath
he entered the synagogue
and began to teach.

They were astounded.
Where did this man get all this;
where’s this wisdom from?

He’s the carpenter,
we know his mum and siblings!
And they took offence.

Prophets find honour
everywhere but at home.
He left with sadness.

So he departed,
on to other villages,
teaching God’s good news.

He sends out the twelve,
gives them his authority
for the task at hand.

You won’t need money,
just take a staff, no extras;
sandals are okay.

Enter their houses,
accept hospitality.
Don’t look for better.

So they went on out
called the people to repent;
doing Jesus’ work.


© Ken Rookes 2018


Haiku sequence: He stood up to read.

In Nazareth town
an ancient text is opened,
intriguing words read.

Isaiah’s promise
of good news, hope and freedom,
is spoken once more.

The parchment is rolled,
returned to the attendant;
the man sits back down.

Eyes are fixed on him.
They watch his moves, and listen;
what will he do next?

Touched by the Spirit ,
the carpenter-man proclaims:
the day has arrived.

The synagogue gasps
at his bold declaration
and foundations shake.

Jesus, local boy,
who do you think that you are
to make such a claim?

© Ken Rookes 2016

No-one special

The family lived at Nazareth,

his mother, sisters and brothers;

plus all the in-laws, nieces and nephews.

It was where he had been raised,

where he had been taught the law

with his schoolmates

at the feet of the local Rabbi.

They recalled how he had learned his trade

at his father’s workshop;

and everyone agreed he had done all right

with the mallet and saw.

Most people had liked him well enough;

his life had been quiet, uneventful.

He should have taken a wife, by now;

and more than one of the village girls

had eyed him off. And then,

without any apparent reason,

he had simply left town

to set up home in Capernaum.

What was he running from?

No-one had any answers,

and no sign of scandal had ever turned up.

Until now.

The reports from surrounding towns

of a miracle-working teacher

had not struck anyone as that unusual.

They were intrigued, and a little curious,

but there must have been thousands of men

by the same name, and it took a while

for them to realise that he was theirs.

He’d arrived back home affecting the teacher,

pretending to knowledge and understanding

way beyond his village-school education.

He had the gall to turn up at the synagogue

to regale his captive audience

with his feigned wisdom and insight.

They had to concede that he had spoken quite well,

but that was beside the point.

He might convince the uninformed

in any of a hundred other towns across Galilee,

but he wasn’t going to fool them.

They knew he was nobody special,

just like themselves, so they told him to go.


© Ken Rookes 2012