He has a demon

Haiku for the family

Too busy to eat!
The crowd insist, make demands;
they press upon him.

His foes malign him.
They say he has a demon,
gone out of his mind.

His family, too,
are worried. They come to him,
try to take him home.

He gathers his friends,
laughs: a kingdom divided
surely cannot stand!

Take care what you say,
lest you blaspheme the Spirit
with your objections.

His mother arrives
with his brothers, calls him out.
He doesn’t respond.

Looking at the crowd
he asks, Who is my mother,
who are my brothers?

You are my mother
and my brothers, when you do
what God is asking!

 

© Ken Rookes. 2018

Advertisements

Prepare the way

Haiku of expectation

The brutal powers
wink smugly, worship Mammon,
plan their victory.

John the baptiser
stands tall and immovable,
prophet for us all.

Hear the earth weeping,
as she waits for her offspring
to remember love.

Something might happen
if we want it hard enough.
Make yourself ready.

The messenger comes
sent to speak God’s awkward truth,
to prepare the way.

One is soon to come.
He brings a word of hope, life,
not to mention love.

Far greater than I;
in him the heavens draw near
with the Spirit’s kiss.

We need more prophets;
women unafraid of truth,
men who make a stand.

They won’t be silenced.
Like the master they follow
they’re driven by love.

Make the pathways straight
for the one who brings true life,
who makes all things new.

 

© Ken Rookes 2017.

Hiding in the night

Haiku for the timid but curious.

Hiding in the night,
Nicodemus comes, seeking
answers from Jesus.

We have been impressed
by the things you’ve said and done;
God must be with you.

Truly I tell you,
if you would see the kingdom
you must be born anew.

Many years have passed
since I emerged from the womb;
can I repeat this?

Flesh gives birth to flesh.
You are spirit; from Spirit
your true life will come.

The Spirit-wind blows,
moving swift with mystery.
Be born of Spirit

You speak of wonders,
teacher. I don’t understand;
how can these things be?

Listen to my words
and receive them, they are life.
Lift your eyes, and see.

 

© Ken Rookes

How can these things be?

 

Mysteries and intimations;
things unseen,
unknown and unspoken.
The merest flicker of light
shining in darkness;
gleaming life amidst earth’s dust,
passing beyond birth’s waters
into realms of the spirit.
Places of healing, hope,
regions of truth;
mysteries.

The story-teller from provinces,
famous for his riddles
and tales with unexpected endings,
spoke often of wonders,
things half glimpsed among the shadows,
fleeting and never quite grasped.
No, you can’t grab hold of the wind.
His erudite nocturnal visitor
can only shake his head
and mumble unanswerable questions;
How can these things be?

The mysteries are many,
deep, disturbing and full of wonder:
life, labelled eternal,
generous love, called grace,
discipleship of the passionate kind,
and costly sacrifice.
 

© Ken Rookes 2015

We are grass

We are grass
and fading flowers.
Mortal. Once young,
setting out.
Beautiful (perhaps),
touched with energy,
anticipation, hope.

We grow old,
despite denials.
We resist, pretending.
We are grass, we are dust;
riding upon the spirit
breath/wind to a somewhere
guessed-at destination.

We soar; we sweep low.
We exult, we despair;
we stumble upon delight and joy.
Disappointment and pain
manage to find us.
We connect;
we disengage.

The grass withers
and the flowers fade.
In the breath/wind
spirit/word,
(which stands forever),
is our beginning;
and our end.

 

© Ken Rookes 2014

From that time on.

That day,
when he called us together
and gave us the talk,
changed everything;
our lives included.
No going back to the easy excitement
of those earlier times, halcyons,
when the message was new,
along with the company.

We move on.
The journey becomes more determined,
the actions more considered;
the serious stuff has begun.
It was never a light thing,
but now we talk openly
of the struggles,
the suffering,
the dying.

This chosen road passes
from light to darkness,
and back to light again.
It takes us into the shadowed places,
the dim corners of a world
that waits yearningly for a coming;
for those who might bear even a glimmer,
the smallest spark
of defiant hope.

From that time on
we began to be disciples.

© Ken Rookes 2014

Breath

The essential otherness,

named by many as God,

having been credited

with the creative endeavour, generosity and love

out of which the planet is born and renewed,

once breathed life into the nostrils

of a figure sculpted from earth’s dust;

or so the ancient story tells us.

A man called Jesus,

sometimes designated child of God

and touched wildly by the spirit,

once re-enacted that mythical event;

at least according to another,

slightly less-ancient, narrative.

Coming unexpectedly

among a group of frightened and uncertain friends, 

he pursed his lips and blew gently

upon their puzzled faces

with his spirit-breath invitation:

to live generously,

to love with passion, and,

drawing upon their reserves

of courage, grace and vulnerability,

to address the planet’s plaintive plea

for justice, hope and peace.

 

Or to at least make a start.

 

 

© Ken Rookes 2014