Newmaker Notes

Herman de Jong


Sunday Morning

sit still!
how could I have sat still
when all the colours of the rainbow
quite unexpectedly began to
wiggle through the church?

good grief….my foot…
don’t build churches then
with stained-glass windows

my eyes moved
from elder jansen’s green head
to mrs. tjaarda’s blue face,
from mrs. jonker’s yellow hat
to mr. houweling's red beard.

as a good little protestant
i had pretended to listen
to the flow of weighty orthodoxy
which like the mixed odor
of eau-de-cologne and peppermints
wafted from pew to pew
in a never-ending stream
of three or four-syllable words.

but when the sun at intervals
peeked through dark dutch clouds
i shifted constantly
craning my neck
to miss nothing of the covenant colours
which the nodding elders
the pulpit-pounding dominee
the staring parishoners
didn't seem to notice.

until my mother pinched my arm
oh, so gently
(not at all like she pinched me
within the safe walls of our home)
and obediently i settled down
looking in the right direction
as a good little calvinist
seeing one colour only
on the balding head
of the preacher

this too
shapes religion
i think

Herman de Jong

About: Newmaker Notes - writings, photos and collections - by Henry J. de Jong. Newmaker is the spirit that drives a lifetime of creativity, and is a reflection of the Creator who continues to make all things new.