Tuesday, June 30, 2015
This poem originally appeared in 2012 on the Bible People blog and in 2014 was included in the book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published by Kelsay Books.
Prose poem by Mary Harwell Sayler
Lot’s Wife Visits Genesis 19
No one bothered to name her, not even as an infant when the streets intersecting Sodom and Gomorrah gave birth to her and held on tight, bouncing her back on the bungee of an uncut umbilical cord. She married, made a home, and brought forth future generations in her girls. The older nameless ones wed and started families before the Angels came, announcing unnatural disasters, but what did Lot think he was doing, offering up the other two anonymous girls to get the single-minded Sodomites away from unclean thoughts?
His wife hardly had a warning – only orders to flee as an unidentified Angel grabbed her hand and told her to hurry, hurry, hurry. She felt so tired, so angry with Lot for saying he would sacrifice their two youngest girls to the mob, so confused by all the commotion, but hand in hand with an Angel, she ran. She ran. She ran, and no one knows why she stopped: To ask a question? To drop to her knees? To see what would happen to her children and grandchildren left behind?
As she lagged behind the Angel’s orders, no one dared to turn and see where she had gone. No one dared to turn and ask if she could make it to the mountain by herself. Later, when Lot and the two girls reached the little town of Zoar and saw salt outcroppings dashed across the plains, they noticed one shaped like The Wife, The Mother, but no one bothered to name her, not even then, not even as the pillar of her community, preserved in salt-dried tears.
© 2015, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. For more on prose poems, see "Do real poets read and write prose poems?” on the Poetry Editor & Poetry blog and "From Gospel to prose poem" posted In a Christian Writer's Life also by Mary Sayler.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Children Sulking in the Public Square
Matthew 11:16-19; Luke 7:31-35
And Jesus said:
To what shall I compare this generation?
You’re like kids, complaining to their playmates: “You don’t play right! When we played Wedding, you did not dance. When we played Funeral, you did not beat your chest and weep and wail and mourn.” Oh, grow up! When John the Baptist came playing Funeral, you said, “He has a demon!” And when The Son of Man came in like a Wedding, you said, “What a pig! He drinks too much wine and with such sinful people.” At least, that’s how it seems but seek some discernment and you’ll see some things differently – as Wisdom often does.
©2015, 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. The above prose poem first appeared in the book of Bible-based poems, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.
Monday, November 4, 2013
The Parable of the Sower
by Mary Harwell Sayler
Matthew 13:3-23; Mark 4:3-20; Luke 8:5-15
"A farmer went out to sow,"
and some say he was stupid or careless or wasteful with the seed, which he let fall all over the just and unjust. Some of the seeds clung like stick-tights – hitchhiker seeds that stuck tightly for centuries until inspiring Swiss naturalist George de Mestral to invent Velcro – sticky seeds that produced weeds like burdock known for medicinal purposes and sometimes purposely planted as a vegetable to be eaten or treated like the sunflower family to which burdock belongs.
"Some seed fell on hard ground" –
paths too often taken to be open to anything new. Some fell on stone, sliding off in rain or finding a crack to sink into then growing roots strong enough to split a rock, which is not easy. Some of the seeds settled into nestling soil so good for growing that thorns liked it, too, and rose up – tall, crowded, dense, and as overwhelming as fear or worry and as brightly colored as almost anything urgent. But some seeds found a fine place to light, take root, bear fruit, and feed you, me, the birds, and anyone else who’s hungry before sending out new seeds that the farmer went out to sow.
©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. Originally published in the Spring 2013 issue of Penwood Review, the poem also appears in Mary's book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.