Playing safe

Haiku for faithful stewards

Talents were immense
lumps of money, like a big
CEO payout.

The so-called experts
don’t agree, but a million
will get somewhere near.

Another story.
This time three slaves are summoned,
trusted with big bucks.

Their freehanded boss
is going on a journey.
Take care of my things.

You know how it goes:
Five talent man makes five more;
two talent man, too.

When the boss returns
he commends them. You’ve done well,
I’ll trust you with more.

The one talent man
got cold feet; panicked, anxious,
hid it in the ground.

Here we are! he said
when he came before the boss:
All safe and secure!

He is not impressed.
Security is worthless;
learn to take some risks!

Get out of my sight!
You cannot serve God’s kingdom
if you play it safe!


© Ken Rookes 2017


Making a Profit

Across the centuries many have hailed
the Parable of the Talents, so called,
as a divine endorsement of commercial enterprise.
The worshippers at mammon’s various temples:
the merchant bankers,
the stock brokers,
the importers, the exporters,
the buyers and traders,
the investors and actuaries;
must all love this yarn.

Central to the tale is buying and selling
and making a profit,
all of which become the means
by which the nerve, ingenuity and commitment
of three servants are tested by their master.
Sits a bit awkwardly, though,
with the “eye of a needle” line delivered elsewhere;
among the teacher’s more usual misgivings
about riches and possessions.

Unique among the yarns
recounted by the master story-teller,
this one assesses fruitfulness
in terms of astuteness and monetary gain;
more commonly it is gauged by acts of love,
forgiveness and peace-making.

Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong
with making a modest profit.
© Ken Rookes 2014

I got a week ahead of myself and posted another poem on this parable last week. You will find it here. It’s an oldie but a goodie.


I shall dig deep the hole
in which I hide my heart.
There it shall lie,
secure, safe,
and unscathed.

On the day that the master returns
I shall retrieve my heart
and present it before him,
intact, entire
and untarnished.

© Ken Rookes

Oops, I got a week ahead of myself. This poem is a reflection on the gospel for Sunday 16th November. I’m posting another for this coming Sunday 9th.