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Jenna Pashley

Honorable Mention : 2008 Utmost Christian Poetry Contest $100

About this Christian Poet:
Jenna Pashley is a writer and poet from Spencer, Indiana. Currently residing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she is a missionary among the marginalized urban poor. Her love for writing began at an early age, and though she no longer climbs trees to write, she does find time to put poems together on buses, rainy afternoons, and the scattered index cards that litter her desk.

About this Poem:
My writing finds inspiration in small, apparently insignificant encounters and events. A split-second stereotyping of a stranger and meditations on different forms of classic Christian spirituality were the catalysts for this poem.

Portrait of a Kansas farmwife

Calico housewife, mother hen
pushes sweaty bangs away
with a fleshy hand. Those
heavy hips in
sensible shoes
rock children, bear burdens
shake cotton sheets to the wind.
She is a sturdy tower, Sunday School teacher
potluck supper staple,
this saint of cornfields and the practical.
Rarely complains.

But her soul is that of a Himalayan nomad,
the tent of her heart hung with multicolored
woven tapestries, exotic and unrestrained.
She leads her flock of
unanswered questions
on narrow paths above the tree line,
waits for God in the stillness of the tundra,
the knife edges of these heights
inducing prayers like vertigo.

Plainswoman, nomad, kitchen mystic,
beloved child of a mountainous god.
She carries her contradictions like icons,
kneads bread dough,
wrestles with the Divine.

Copyright ©2008 by Jenna Pashley