Jonah – a poem by Matthew King


When God regrets agreeing
to deals he made with devils
devised with dark designs
he appeals to sunken creatures
for whom he chose a flood
so that evils would survive
to be summoned from the seas
when he needs something to swallow
his own graven image.

And when he’s half-digested,
reformed with dovish graces,
the man’s regurgitated
on foreign shores for salvage.
He puts his ear to shells
he’s scavenged from the wreckage
and listens for his message
          in the waves

Matthew King used to teach philosophy at York University in Toronto, Canada; he now lives in what Al Purdy called “the country north of Belleville”, where he tries to grow things, counts birds, takes pictures of flowers with bugs on them, and walks a rope bridge between the neighbouring mountaintops of philosophy and poetry. He is on the web at, and on twitter @cincinnatus_c_.

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