In My Father’s House

Haiku of the Way

In my Father’s house
there are rooms for all of you;
put your trust in me.

I go on ahead
to prepare a place for you.
You will be with me.

Lord we do not know
where it is you’re going to;
What will be the way?

Friends, I am the way;
truth and life are found in me.
Come, meet my Father.

Show us the Father!
I’ve been with you all this time,
and you still don’t know?

Whoever sees me
sees the Father. My words and
works are from him.

Those who trust in me
will continue what I do,
even greater things!


© Ken Rookes 2020

He was in the world

Haiku of the Word

He was in the world;
he whose heartbeat resonates
with earth’s deep rhythms.

They did not know him;
his own people, not seeing
nor receiving him.

They are crying out,
yearning, aching. They will not
come, they will not hear.

He is in the world
at one with God, and with us;
listen to his words.

What will his words be?
Words that challenge and disturb,
turning upside down.

Some were listening,
taking his words deep within,
God’s faithful children.

And the Word became.
one of us, with flesh and blood,
with pain and dying.

Here, then, is wonder;
here is grace and here is truth,
for each one of us.

© Ken Rookes 2019


I wrote these a few months ago. With Time magazine naming Greta Thunberg as its person of the year, I think that this is a good time to post them

Haiku of outrage and defiance.

They rant, heap abuse
upon a clear-eyed school girl.
She frightens them.

Men of power, white
with rage, blind to what is real,
choosing ignorance.

She speaks with passion,
provokes foolish privilege
and deep denial.

They have been too long
captive to power and wealth.
Now they stand exposed.

She is not alone.
the old, the young and the wise
are standing with her.

If we truly love
our children, our grandchildren,
we must enact it.

The children rise up
alert to the truth. Perhaps
she is a prophet.


© Ken Rookes 2019

One and three.

Grappling haiku

They call it myst’ry
this trinity thing, holding
concepts in tension.

After all these years
still don’t really get it.
I don’t think God minds.

Think how Parent God,
with Jesus and the Spirit,
strangely coalesce.

One God, three persons,
traditional formula:
all else heresy!

Does our imagined
God monitor errant thoughts;
scoring our faith?

Perhaps I also
am heretic. Woe is me!
Or does it matter?

The truth that matters:
God somehow strangely present
in our loving deeds.

O Holy Spirit,
Divine Parent and His Son,
let me live in you.


© Ken Rookes 2019

So you are a king?

Haiku for a trial

The procurator
knew what the job demanded;
kept the lid on things.

Pontius Pilate
found the case most perplexing;
called him in again.

Let’s not mess around:
Are you the king of the Jews?
How will he reply?

Jesus answered him.
What do they say about me,
what makes you ask this?

Hey, I’m not a Jew!
Your own people turned on you;
what is it you’ve done?

It’s not from this world,
my kingdom. No, otherwise
we would be fighting.

My kingdom is found
in another realm, where peace,
love and justice rule.

So you are a king?
Pilate keeps on questioning,
cannot understand.

All earthly kingdoms
self-destruct, bring only pain
and futility.

This worldly kingdom,
wherein we dwell, is rooted
in greed, wealth and fear.

For this I have come,
to speak truth. Listen to me;
let me be your king.


© Ken Rookes 2018

This is the Spirit of Truth

Haiku of promise

Spirit, advocate,
mystery God at our side;
within and without.

Spirit of truth who
abides in each open heart;
gift from the Father.

Spirit of Jesus;
among us, unseen presence,
sharing risen life.

Divine indwelling;
the Son in the Father,
the Spirit in us.

It’s all about love;
thus the Spirit recalls us
to Jesus’ commands.

You who follow me
will prove it,
Jesus told them.
Love will be the sign.

I will be with you,
I will show myself to you;
we will dwell in love.


© Ken Rookes 2017

You have heard that it was said (1)

You have heard that it was said (1)
A haiku sequence,

Going beyond law.
You have heard that it was said;
but I say to you.

You shall not murder;
but anger with a brother
also is a sin.

Insult a sister
or call a brother “you fool,”
this will bring judgement.

Don’t attend worship
if you have caused an offence;
first be reconciled.

If you are accused
don’t wait ’til it gets to court,
sort it out before.

No adultery,
but even looking with lust
damages the heart.

If your hand or eye
leads you astray, discard it.
Live with truth and grace.

Do not swear falsely;
better still, don’t swear at all.
Stick with ‘yes’ and ‘no.’

He rewrote the law,
calling forth our better selves;
for the sake of love.


© Ken Rookes 2017