Can You be Serious for a Moment, Dr. Jackson?

By Doug Jackson

It’s been a funny year. It’s a funny thing about the word funny. It can convey approval or suspicion, can mean “humorous,” or “off.” It’s been a funny year. An academic year, I mean. Unlike other people, teachers tend to pause at the end of May (not December) to look back nine months (not twelve) and think about what went on. And I think that what went on was that it was a funny year – take it either way because those who value fun often think they’re really funny when those who do not value fun think they’re only “funny.” And that’s when things get funny. I wrote a sonnet about it, perhaps to remind myself that the choice is always there.

Image by Esmie Fisher
Image by Esmie Fisher

Conversation with a Butterfly

“You know better than to expect a butterfly to know your name. All they know are songs and poetry, and anything else they hear. They mean well, but they can’t keep things straight. And why should they, they die so soon.”

The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

The butterfly flicked quick across my face.
(I jerked a hand to nab her but I missed.)
She pranced like flying incense in the space
Six inches from my eyes, a tie-dyed mist.
“I’m doing serious work!” (I made a grab.
My empty fist hissed past and whacked my nose.)
“You’re just a bug!” (I made another stab.)
A tricked-out insect decked out like a rose!”
She wavered, wafted off, and arced away,
Glanced off a dandelion and rebounded.
But I had things to do. I had to stay.
I had a deadline. Gown-ups must be grounded.
She flashed an angle on the lowered shade.
I’ve wondered since about the choice I made.


Doug Jackson is a preacher/professor/poet who after a quarter-century in the pastorate now teaches spiritual formation, pastoral ministry, and Greek for the Logsdon Seminary program at the South Texas School of Christian Studies in Corpus Christi. His collection of poetry, Nothing There is Not More, is available from Finishing Line Press.


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