where the wild things are

When we go to Monroe, we always visit Black Bayou, and it’s like walking in on somebody telling a secret – like everything comes to a great hush just as your engine clicks off.
We walk quietly on the boardwalk and wonder. What glides beneath the glass or frond waits to unfurl? What feeds on the hovering greenery, the floating bulbs, the down-reaching water roots? What mud covers cold teeth; what leather rests over silent prehistoric eyes? 
My mother-in-law has always imagined dinosaurs tromping up to their knees in that lake. I imagine that dinosaurs never stopped existing there. They’ve just become better hiders. 
The unknown, the fast flashing lights swishing in the sky, the tall angel in a purple-detailed robe Grandpa saw at the foot of his bed … get me a bag of popcorn, I could watch and listen to this kind of thing for days. 
I treat Black Bayou like I did Loch Ness, with my eyes peered in a hard skim over the water’s surface.  One day I’m going to see something amazing. This whole world is going to have the curtain pulled back, and right there, in real life – just on the other side of the veil, I’ll see a blazing machine rolling under the One and Only God, and I’ll hear angels’ choruses ring like mermaids through infinity.  
It makes me want to Wake Up  – notice what I can of Him now and appreciate what He appreciates, that one yellow flower in the long, twisted brown of marsh.


About me


Reply January 6, 2009

I like how your mind works. And how you use words to paint the picture in your mind's eye.

Rachel@just another day in paradise
Reply January 6, 2009

just wanted to stop by and say how much I enjoyed getting a chance to be a part of your Christmas present. I have loved reading everyone's letter and wish mine could have been so much better. . .
PS Your blog is great.

PPS What part of Arkansas are you in? (I'm in the northwest part.)

Reply January 6, 2009

Megan - I love you and your belly.

Rachel - I live in Fayetteville. So cool if you do, too!

Ann Kroeker
Reply January 6, 2009

Oooooo....great poetry here. Great images. Great rhythm and mystery.

I wanna go there and stare at the smooth, secret swamp and imagine dinosaurs, Loch Ness monsters, deep calling to deep, things I cannot see, and things I can see.

Lovely writing. Thanks for taking me somewhere I've never been.

Like you, I want to see the one yellow flower in the long, twisted brown of marsh.

Every day, in this murky world of ours, I want to see the splash of beauty.

I want eyes to see.

Reply January 6, 2009

Simply wonderful pictures this blog conjures up in my mind. Beautiful. I have seen the Bayou, and it IS unlike anywhere else!

That is my main goal this year--to see things more the way our Awesome God does, even with my finite mind.

I'm a new fan of your blog. It's been great having you back from your journeys abroad. Welcome home!

Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light
Reply January 6, 2009

Dang, girl....you can WRITE!!! I love reading your posts. They are so rich and full. God Bless You and your beautiful family!

Reply January 6, 2009

Black Bayou does look like it's holding on to a secret. That's a beautiful picture.

the hamster
Reply January 7, 2009

mrs. haines - i love when writers make the natural terrain a character in their story, or when they use nature as a way to progress the plot. i first noticed this ability while reading thomas hardy's TESS OF THE D'UBERVILLES (which is wretchedly dull, but still somehow lovely). hardy uses land and scenery to frame the emotions and thoughts of the characters. we know what tess is thinking of feeling by what she sees walking down the road and how she interprets the colors or shapes of the scenery. after reading hardy, i was more readily able to notice when writers used nature to convey more than their own pastoral poetics, and i always appreciate when a writer does so.

all that to say, in the words of one of your other faithful readers, that first line about walking up on the black bayou's secret - "like everything comes to a great hush just as your engine clicks off" - plum made me sweat. good stuff, my friend.

Reply January 7, 2009

Wait. i've got to find my socks. Y'all encouraged them right off.

Reply January 7, 2009

for reasons i don't understand exactly, i love tiny boxes. i think they make me feel like a kid and that they could be full of secrets and mysteries and maps to buried treasure. for christmas i got a tiny puzzle box with a secret compartment. it doesn't get any better than that. this post makes me feel the way tiny boxes do.

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