Phillip Medhurst

Wisdom from a Gnostic Sage

Tag: Jonah

32_66 Headpiece to Jonah by Sarah van Niekerk

Wood engraving by Sarah van Niekerk (British 1934-2018) in The Reader’s Digest Bible (illustrated edition) 1990



In the fish’s belly, I,

Crowned with slimy weed,

Feel odds and ends of recollects

Slide past, a monster’s brunch;

But no repast for me,

The bearer of bad luck.


Staring, dreading nought,

Disembodied eyes

And scales and teeth and bones

Swirl round and on and down

Through retribution’s maw,

To God knows what.


The storm outside abates.

His anger; is it spent? –

Repentance rolls perhaps from port

Unto metropolis.

The giant tail, now purposeful,

Flicks the new-stilled waves.


The sway of swerve round roots

Of mountains, through drowned valleys

Stops. Now patient, I await

A resurrecting belch,

Hoping that those Ninevites

Get just what they deserve.