Keep yourself nice

Haiku for a polite and ordered world

Is righteous living
about keeping yourself nice?
Jesus says there’s more.

The holy people
observe the old tradition:
wash before you eat.

Always wash your hands
before you eat. Good practice,
enshrined in the law.

Other rules as well;
the washing of cups and pots
and kettles of bronze.

Pharisees object
to the careless disciples
and their defiled hands.

Isaiah knew it;
the faithless hypocrisy
behind your worship.

You care about rules
much more than you care about
what God is wanting.

It’s time to get real!
It’s the things you do and say
that make you defiled.

Always there is more
than the narrow, centred fears
of the self-righteous.

© Ken Rookes 2018


Things that defile

Haiku for a blameless life.

Those who are upright
offer many righteous rules
to keep us from sin.

Laws for cleanliness,
crucial for a blameless life!
Make sure you obey!

Forget about them!
When the blind guide each other
both fall in a pit.

Where do they come from,
all those evil intentions?
They come from the heart.

Not what we take in
that determines righteousness,
but what we put out.


© Ken Rookes 201

Let it be so for now

None of us knows
how the future will unfold.
Nor should we seek to.
The future is what happens;
it can be shaped and influenced
for good or for ill. We make our choices.

To be wise is to accept one’s place of beginning
but not be bound by it.

To be faithful
is to see the possibilities for living,
and, from that eclectic array,
select and implement those that create hope
and lead to life. Regardless
of the consequences.

To fulfil all righteousness
is to do the work of love.
Nothing more;
nothing less.

These are the things that produce divine pleasure
and joy among the angels.

Here, among these waters,
is a beginning,
and the first of many.

© Ken Rookes 2015

My apologies; this poem was written in response to Matthew’s account of the Baptism of Jesus, not that of Mark, as it should have been for Year B. I got lost in the lectionary.