JONAH

God of Heaven, maker of all seas
sent the strongest of ocean winds, stirred
most violent, ship-battering storm.

All sailors yelled, each to his own god.
The captain woke Jonah: Call on your god!
The lot fell on Jonah: What have you done?

Fled God he said; you must throw me off.
No! they said; threw stuff off, rowed harder.
Storm got worse yet. They threw Jonah off.

God forgive! they prayed: You are in charge;
let us live though Jonah has to die
.
But a God-sent creature gulped Jonah.

From its belly in ocean’s deep heart
Jonah prayed three long-dark-night days, till
God’s sea creature puked him up on shore.

Then Jonah followed God’s directions,
accepted his suicide mission;
preached doom for the most wicked city.

But from king on down all repented
and God relented. But then! Jonah
pouted: Let me die if You love them!

A God-raised gourd vine shaded Jonah;
next day a God-sent worm ate the vine.
Sweating Jonah cried Just let me die!

Your measly ease, this private vine you
did not provide meant more to you than
thousands of my children’s lives, Jonah?

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