Jonah: a poem

Jonah: a poem

We're going through the book of Jonah in our small groups. Evan has written a poem to capture some of what he learned in chapter 1 last week.

Jonah 1:4-16



The seas, they twist and turn;

Their waves burn around

The cradle of this cargo hold

That barely holds me as I sleep.


Rough-rocked by breaking decks,

I drift away, half at rest

In the slum-dwelling of a mind

That dares to slumber

As the skies fall in

And my whole world shipwrecks.


Each one cries out to his own god;

To the god of his own neighbourhood,

The good and the bad,

To the deist diety of data and ambivalent reason,

To the unreason of luck

To coastguard demigods on far-off shores,

And to the misplaced Messiah of self.


Each one cries out to his own god,

Each one, except for me,

And so when no god answers back,

They cry at me instead.


“I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and Earth”

I say with puppeteer lips and Pinnochio’s tongue;

For I am running away.


Half-way to Tarshish though Ninevah calls

“But better,” says my drunken mind, “to rest

In sunken halls, shark-mauled with fish-picked bones.

I will not go to Ninevah.”


So, praying to my God though I do not

They listen to me and throw me overboard.


And only then, when an ocean in perpetual motion

Ceases to let me drown,

And the animals around me give way to Him,

Can I bring myself to ask for His forgiveness and say

“Take me, my God, to Ninevah.”