Graphic by Scott Kinder-Pyle

POEM: 40 Days More, and Nineveh is Overthrown

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By Scott Kinder-Pyle

“And the Lord said, ‘Is it right for you to be angry?’” —Jonah 4:4

 

I walked the aisle like Jonah walked Nineveh, but
proclaimed a sort of armistice on guilt-tripping.
 
President Trump stood where Ace is the Place,
and he told me to buy this axe for trimming down
 
each plant assigned by the Lord.  I was angry,
of course, and began to whale away at roots
 
as they would encroach upon a certain vantage point.
And then, it came as no surprise to sniff the vomit
 
with which I myself had been spewed on dry land.
The stench grew and grew like that of a fish out of
 
water, and I craved the affectionate Yahoos and
the Googling eyes of others; and thus I recoiled
 
as if bitten by ventilators, venting my shame.  Ashes!  
Ashes we all fall down!  The medieval ditty echoed
 
like the cries of oligarchic yodelers to the ends of
the discount rack.  It caromed around the shelves,
 
emptied of air-filters and tiki torches, and when I heard
each slogan reverberating back to me, the Exit sign
 
appeared, and the Lord said, “Do you see each hinge
allowing doors to open and close?”  And I replied,
 
“Not quite, Lord”— which kept the clientele entranced
at entering where the Entrance had been obvious and
 
well-lit… But oblivious, a silence breezed into the space
from the outside without wanting to buy or to sell a thing.
 
And by its breath I began to utter the manufacturer’s
name etched upon the stainless steel:  METANOIA—
 

 

About Scott Kinder-Pyle

Charles Scott Kinder-Pyle goes by Scott, and loiters amid the millennial generations along the Spokane River, where he teaches, as an adjunct professor, in the philosophy departments of Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University.
Here’s a little more biographical background on Pastor Scott.
In 1988, he graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA). His work has taken him through Washington state, to Ohio, Pennsylvania (where he grew up) and back to Washington. For 16 of those years, Scott has enjoyed the creativity and adventure of starting newly forming congregations who reach out to those who feel alienated from the more formal institutions of Christianity.
In 2008, he received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary and penned a dissertation, ‘Pastor as Struggling Poet: Exploring An Alternative Mode of Missional Church Leadership.’
Then, from 2011 through 2013, Scott studied with various poets and eventually received a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry and poetics from Eastern Washington University Center for Writers.
He’s been married to Sheryl, whom he met at Princeton, for nearly 30 years; they have two affectionate children (Ian and Philip), and two wondrous dogs (Pearl and Caesar).

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