A Tribute to My Teacher

A few weeks ago my former eighth-grade English teacher, Ms. Wills, stopped by Guide headquarters here in Maryland. “It’s grate to see you,” I said, just to annoy her.

“It’s nice to see you too, Randy. Now, write “great” for me 100 times on that piece of paper there on your desk.”

I did actually learn a few things from Ms. Wills back there in junior high school. For example, I didn’t know what haiku was until she subjected us to this weird excuse for poetry in one of her classes. For those of you who didn’t have Ms. Wills for English, haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that uses a 5-7-5 syllabic pattern for each verse. At least, I think that’s what it is.

So here, in honor of Ms. Wills, and to share with Guide readers this absolutely crazy, I mean, creative literary style, I present a familiar Bible story in haiku form.

Down & Out
Jonah was a man (5)
Who lived a long time ago. (7)
He may have been nice. (5)

I really don’t know. 
Well, God told Jonah to go 
To bad Nineveh. 

“I will not go there!”
This is what Jonah told God.
Then he ran away.

Um, Jonah, not God,
Of course, is the one who ran.
Now we’ve got that straight.

Jonah saw a ship
That was going to Joppa,
So he got aboard.

Not a wooden board—
No, no! He got 
on the ship.
Now we’ve got 
that straight.

God was not happy.
He sent some wind and some rain.
The sailors were scared.
Yes, they really were.
Meanwhile, Jonah was asleep,

But not for too long.

The sailors found him.
He said, “Throw me overboard.”
That is what they did.

God had a big fish
Ready to swallow Jonah.
“Yum!” said the big fish.

Not really, of course.
You know the fish could not talk!
I was just kidding.

Jonah prayed to God,
“Please get me out of this fish!
I will do Your will!”

Burp! went the big fish.
(I am serious this time.)
Jonah came right out.
Off to Nineveh!
Jonah told them to repent.
They did as he said.

Jonah was upset.
But God was very happy!
Salvation is cool.

God said to Jonah,
“Please get over your pouting.”
(It was close to that.)

Space limitations
Force me to end this story.
I hope it was good.* †


* For the complete story of Jonah, see the Bible book bearing his name.

† Special thanks to Ms. Rhoda Wills for helping the author to become the person he is today, and better luck next time.

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A Tribute to My Teacher

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