Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Preacher Ought to Be Good Looking

This Pillow Book entry is inspired by The Pillow Book of Sei Shōnagon, translated and edited by Ivan Morris. Sei Shōnagon was a courtesan in 10th century Japan who kept a diary of the goings-on at court and concealed it in her wooden pillow. She made lists under various categories of specific, often quirky things.

Yes, this is actually an entry in Sei Shonagon's pillow book.  I was tickled by it, so let's give freewriting this topic a shot:

A preacher ought to be good looking because one has to keep eyes on him.  The first time I heard Mike deliver a sermon, I was overwhelmed by feelings of nervousness, excitement, pride, joy, but mostly nervousness.  It was his first sermon, delivered at a small country church in Nimrod, Arkansas.  The church that confirmed his call and presented him with his license.  It was a lovely place, a church family full of geniune Christian brothers and sisters.

Nimrod Baptist church was the first church Mike and I joined as husband and wife.  It was an hour drive from our home in Ferndale, AR.  It was a beauitiful drive up HWY 10, past Lake Maumelle, and through the Ouachita National Forest past Perryville. The sun would rise over Lake Maumelle on Sunday mornings giving us a spectacular reminder of God's power and grace. Later as we drove from Perryville to Nimrod, the road was lined by fields of yellow flowers, carpeting the ground as it rose to the tree line.

To Run Breathless

More cotton
than you care to see.
There used
to be time
for driving,
for singing
at the top
of our lungs,
running, screaming.
Our legs stopped
craving the feeling
of being stretched, pushed.
Running with mouths
wide open,
tiny yelps greeting
clouds of dust.
The field strewn
with yellow buds,
a blanket of sunshine.
Driving, we wish
we hadn’t forgotten
running breathless, to lay
in summer-bloomed shade
of trees, gulping air
like water.


  1. the imagery in this poem is magical. thank you so much for finally sharing some of your "stuff."

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Mike.


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