Haiku of bedazzlement
Upon a mountain
a man with his closest friends,
seeking some answers.
A lighting display
worthy of the harbour bridge
on new year’s eve.
They gasp in wonder,
dazzled, those three companions;
what does it all mean?
Two guests from the past,
Elijah stands with Moses,
prophet stands with law.
Its all about light,
from above, in our darkness,
shining hope and love.
In the cloud of light,
the voice of affirmation;
he will be the one.
Fade to normal light.
They are alone, just Jesus
standing with his friends.
Once more to the plain
they descend with their master.
Tell no-one; for now!
© Ken Rookes 2018.
Haiku of fear and bewilderment
A small, select group
go hiking up a mountain
to admire the view.
A vision of light.
His face, it burns like the sun,
his clothes dazzle white.
Jesus shines, commands
his friends’ attention; as if
words were not enough.
Jesus greets Moses
and Elijah, consulting
The cloud of bright light
descends and immerses them
The cloud finds its voice:
This is my beloved son;
what he says is true.
The disciples quake,
with bewilderment and fear.
They fall to the ground.
They are left alone.
Jesus comes to them and speaks:
Do not be afraid.
Making their descent,
he instructs them: Tell no-one
’til death is conquered.
© Ken Rookes 2017
Other poems responding to the story of the transfiguration can be found here, here and here.
Come with me, he says
to Peter, James and John;
time to climb up high.
where earth and heaven come close;
connecting the two.
Wonder and light. Ah,
these things take away one’s breath;
eyes and hearts grow wide.
standing there, bleached and glowing;
The one they followed
also shines, shares the wonder.
Who can this man be?
A cloud, descending,
hides the light-washed ones from view;
then the voice thunders.
It speaks approval:
He is my Son, the chosen;
listen to his words.
The cloud is lifted.
The four remain in silence,
alone with their thoughts.
,© Ken Rookes 2016
With his introductory, Six days later,
Matthew follows Mark in sending us backwards
to his previous story;
with its talk of losing and finding one’s life.
A triumvirate of friends
accompanies their master up the mountain,
where the gentle swell of casual conversation
empties abruptly into a wave of light, awe and mystery.
Two glowing figures from their nation’s glorious past
emerge from among the rocks
to confer with the teacher,
while his companions look on, bewildered.
One of them, as clueless as his comrades,
feeling overwhelmed and useless,
offers his services in cubby-house construction,
before being rendered speechless,
as the luminous wave rolls into a cloud
of brightness that subsumes all other lights.
Not satisfied with dominating the visual realm
the cloud finds its voice
to declare the presence of a divine son,
and to command attention: Listen to him!
When he speaks of a discipleship
that deals with suffering, dying and rising,
and when he speaks of taking up crosses;
Listen to him!
© Ken Rookes 2014
Another poem for the Transfiguration can be found here.
Luke had barely begun his gospel,
having launched it in cosmic celebration
with angel choirs and shepherds;
before pointing us to the end.
On a mountain we overhear a dread-filled discussion
between a pair of ancient shining legends
and a third man glowing.
This latter one
has begun to attract some attention
and a following; maybe one day
he will be accorded similar hall of fame status.
They speak of endings,
and of Jerusalem’s long-reaching shadows.
This going-away talk
must have disturbed his three friends.
Along with the rest of the twelve,
and, presumably, the women and the others,
they struggled with notions of departure and death.
Caught up in a glorious adventure
and hoping it would never end,
they listened to his words but were unable to hear.
Perhaps not the women; power,
glory and immortality tend to be a male thing.
The dazzling lights are diminished,
overtaken by the darkness of a cloud
and the insistent shaded echo of a voice.
The four men take leave of the mountain
and journey towards an inevitable Jerusalem.
There will be set before them
other days of disturbing light;
and with them, many shadows.
© Ken Rookes 2013