Tag Archives: Jonah

Sestina Baptism

My friend kneels as the water
Drips down her length, slipping into channels of love
The same irrigation system draws my tears-
The beauty of a baptised life
Washed into holiness and gently patted dry
Molecules of dirty dissent wiped out.

Peace. The stones have cried it out
Sleeping now, their salty water
Took an exiled age to dry
My friend rescued by love
From the Babylon shores of her life.
But I weep Babylon rivers of tears

My cracked life again springs leaky tears
I always swim far out
Beyond the buoys of a good life
Struggling in the dark water
Dumped back to beach by tsunami love
Like Jonah, high and dry.

My throat is rich-man burnt and dry
Waiting for the Jesus-wept tears
Waiting for extinguisher love
To put the fire out
Or just a drop of Lazarus water
To sprinkle life back to life.

It’s a woman-at-the-well life
Waiting for Jesus in the noontime dry
Drawing words, love and water
Forgetting the on-the-way tears
Singing all the way out
Of sitting-by-me love.

At the baptism lunch a few people love
My daughter’s ukulele strumming. Life
Is remarked on over fruit and cheese. Inside and out
Children fling their towels to dry
Over the fence. There are tears
As they compete for trampoline space and pool water.

Through trails of chlorine I’m happy to remain dry
I’m baptised by on-the-way tears
My spirit splashes happily in love’s water.

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Jesus sets his face to Jerusalem

When the palm leaves are shown the donkey is waved on through

Its hooves are slowed by the smashed green stickiness, everywhere underfoot

 Jesus, donkey, remember:  

                 Big fish

                 Rumbling darkness  

The gentle donkey lurches,

throws Jesus into the three-day deep. 


The big fish heaves Jonah from its pit.

Jonah sets his face to elsewhere,

away from the glare of mercy.                      


Jonah’s compassion is a withered plant,

sulking on the doorstep, outside the rain.

Choking down tender dewdrops

                                                come morning.


Three women set their faces to the dawn.

They clutch their fragrant grief to themselves.

Come, morning: 

                 Dazzle with your bright angel clothes

                 Frighten us with rising joy.

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Notes for a water poem

Some background research-
Prudent before jumping into the choppy waters
Of a water poem.

Noah told stories about pigs, scorpions,
Confined spaces, cubits and feeding time.
But the water has receded from his mind
He has his own grand design to complete now
And a lot of wood to recycle.

I waited for Moses and reviewed my notes:
Nile floater, sea divider.
They said he was on his way, just round the corner
Night fell, I couldn’t read my notes
A no-show.

Jonah- I expected a trembling, sarcastic man
But not the ocean’s calm, disturbed only by nose and cheekbones.
That fish, it took me as far away
From the temple, as I could ever go
That fish, it spewed me right onto the forecourt
Me and my prayers, neatly packed
Ready to go
I’ve gone. There’s so much happiness
In knowing your story has an end.

I cast the net, pulled it up
I’m still putting the words together.
Somebody let me know when I’m done.

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