Jack Prepares to Preach
What word do you bear, Reverend Jack?
Reticent as you are under your hood
like we the congregants are not ready.
But you cannot hide from us.
You bear Moses’ staff and Elijah’s mantel.
You stand prepared amidst all this greenery.
For this moment we have waited.
Behold us, desperate for faith.
Thirsty for the verdant Word.
Stand tall. Your father anoints you.
From the pulpit, speak.
Let Shekhinah shine forth.
We are attuned to you
in this sacred forest,
O, most holy prophet.
One word we ask. Truth.
In Search Of
looking for . . . what?
I think they search
for something instinctive.
Water. Life. God.
Something in plant
and animal is in need
of finding and being found.
A place in their universe.
A place in mine.
The answer to the question:
Who am I?
We are joined together.
Brothers in arms.
One cell to another.
Who set this fire?
My eyes captured, the leaves shimmer
as if angels dance.
The spirit of the flame ignites in liturgy.
The cantors madly swing their thuribles.
I would gladly throw myself in the flame
and let my ashes smoke toward heaven
if I knew these trees were possessed.
Who brings this fire?
Within the river birch, Virginia pine,
dogwood, sweetgum, and scarlet oak,
each needle and leaf offers kindling.
It’s been this way a thousand years,
sun and moon combusting
in a radiant inferno.
With me, they share a spark.
Against this radiant reverence,
my hands are incendiary.
These poems and photographs are from Tim Pompey's and Jerry Whaley's collection, Light and Shadow: Reflections on Appalachia.
Tim Pompey is a writer, musician, and poet living along California's Central Coast. His previous art, photo, and poetry collaborations include Imaginaria and Photosynthesis.
Jerry Whaley is an East Tennessee writer and photographer with over forty years of experience photographing the Southern Appalachian Highlands region, which includes the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Ekphrastic Review
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