Their Ears are Dull of Hearing

In Church – A Composing Sermon by another anon, alas

Their Ears are Dull of Hearing

“And these are the garments that you shall craft –
A breastplate, an ephod, and broideried coat,
A mitre, and girdle of curious draft.”
And thus it was written, for thus they wrote.

And you shall take gold, and purple, and blue,
And scarlet, and fine twined linen and thread,
With much cunning work, and onyx stones two.”
And thus it was written, for thus they said.

“These are the garments most holy you’ll make
For priests, that they may minister me
In glory and beauty, and for my sake.”
And thus it was written, eternally.

Plans and measurements, timber and twill –
The Ark, the Altar, the Tabernacle.
Why do we need to remember these still ?
Haven’t we more pressing matters to tackle ?

“Ham begat Put begat Cush begat Nimrod,
And Lotan, and Shobal, and duke Zibeon,
And Shem begat Elam and Aram and Lud…”
And thus it was written, and on, and on.

“Seethe not the kid in the milk of his mother,
Now mine is the firstling from out of the womb,
And thou shalt not make of a slave of another…
No, let’s drop that last one – we’ve run out of room…”

These are the Beasts upon the Earth

Birds of the Bible by Catherine McClung

These are the Beasts upon the Earth

The Bible lumps the bats in with the birds,
And oh, how we sneer.
“A mammal is no more a fowl
Than a dragonfly is like an owl.”
But hang-on, none of those are Hebrew words,
So none of those appear
In the ancient texts – they’re our translations,
Sent back in time to new vocations.

Maybe what we think meant ‘bird’ to them
Meant simply ‘thing that flies’ –
And likewise whales are fish that swim,
And snakes are worms for lacking limbs.
It’s unscientific, so we condemn,
But that don’t mean it’s lies.
Their names did the job they were assigned –
So each to their own, hey, after their kind.

Balaam’s Asses

Balaam’s Ass by Gustave Doré

Balaam’s Asses

The Fundamentalists, they have it easy,
Claiming ev’ry King James word is true.
Of course the donkey spoke, if a little wheezy –
When God’s at hand, then that’s what donkey’s do.

But here in the good old C of E,
We never talk of the talking ass –
Like Balaam, we simply do not see,
And think the verse is lacking class.

Deep down, we know, you see, we know no donkey
Has the necessary lips, nor tongue, nor throat –
A quaint little fairytale, but quite the wrong key
For Sunday mornings – so not something we quote.

Now we’ve no problems with Holy Week
And the Resurrection – we’re all onboard –
But we just cannot accept that an ass can speak,
Not even for the Lord.

Neater by the Dozen

Neater by the Dozen

Disciples or Olympians,
They always come in dozens,
Keeping in the families
With brothers, sons, and cousins.
Add in Tribes of Israel,
And Knights about the table,
And clearly stories love their twelves
As various yet stable.
But always, there’s a glut of candidates
From which to choose,
And no two-tellings can agree
On which ones win or lose –
Oh sure, there’s half-a-dozen, maybe eight,
All guaranteed –
But for the rest, it’s anybody’s guess
Who will succeed…
They’re heroes of the second-tiers,
The extras at the feast,
Without a story of their own,
But name-checked still, at least.
A pool of six to eight will form
As random plot devices –
A few more names to fill the ranks
As redshirt sacrifices.
A handful get the nod this time,
The rest stay on the bench –
And of the lucky ones, we know
These men are strictly ‘hench’.
So two or three are left out in the cold,
Cos here’s the rub –
You’re clique is nothing special
If there’s fourteen in your club.

Purinoia

George Whitefield by an unknown artist

Purinoia

Vigilance Vance was a devil for the devils,
Finding them all over, in angles and in bevels –
He found them in his toolbox, he found them in his bed,
As they hollered in his bushes and they whispered in his head.
They dulled his steely razor, they sharpened all his wine,
They loosened-up his laces and they tangled-up his twine.
In ev’ry mouth of mutton and in ev’ry bite of apple,
They would choke him at the harvest, they tickled him in chapel.

Vigilance Vance was awash in filthy devils
From the Westmorland Lakes to the Summerset Levels
He found them in the woodshed, he found them in the dray,
Teasing him and taunting him and tempting him astray.
He always knew they watched him, he felt their beady eyes
On the bulging of his biceps and the firmness of his thighs –
Ev’rywhere he found them, ev’rywhere he’d grapple –
Fairies in the garden, gargoyles in the chapel.

The title is a reference to puritan paranoia.

There’s no ‘We’ in Corpus Christi

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There’s no ‘We’ in Corpus Christi

There once was a priest
Who thought he was a priest,
But who wasn’t in the Lord’s own eyes.
For, to be a priest
You must at very least
Have already been fully baptised.
And I am that priest,
Who thought his path was greased
Right into the body of the Church.
But my own parish priest
Who performed on me the piece
Messed up, and left me in the lurch.
For old Father East
Was a jovial priest
Who knew that my parents were stressing –
So to put them at their ease,
He thought it quite a wheeze
To fully loop them into the blessing –
“To the Lord God who frees us
And in the name of Jesus
We all here christen you, our cute little guy.”
But God had closed his ears
To the heartfelt font-side cheers –
For the priest had said that ‘We’ instead of ‘I’.
So when the truth was teased,
How the Church was less-than-pleased !
For I wasn’t then a priest to begin…
Each wedding vow ceased
To be valid in the least
As the couples fornicated in sin.
Ev’ry moral I policed,
Ev’ry absolution leased
Was a sham in its promise and its hope.
Their souls had been fleeced
And sold off to the Beast –
For this priest has gone on to be Pope.

Cruci-Fiction

don't be cross

Cruci-Fiction

“And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”
                                                                                        -Mark 15:33

An eclipse, right ?  It sounds so fine,
Especially when we learn of one,
A total seen in ’29.

Alas, we now can calculate
Down to the nearest minute
And the nearest mile its fate –

And this one was November,
And only nine-tenths partial there –
The dark was still a glowing ember.

The near-miss of ’29 –
The sky was dim, the air was chill,
But the Sun could still outshine.

An hour or so to noon,
And lasting just a hour or two,
So it was over far too soon.

And anyway, it just won’t do –
For Passover was always held
When the Moon was full, not new.

But what about a Lunar one ?
There’s one in April ’33,
At sunset too – job done !

Except…it’s partial, still quite bright,
And it didn’t last an hour in all,
And the only darkness comes with night.

Some suggest volcanic ash instead –
Though that would last for days, and stretch
Throughout the Eastern Med.

Maybe just a heavy storm ?
The legend doesn’t mention rain,
But thunderheads might fit the form.

And yet…is that the best that God
Can rustle up ?  A gloomy afternoon ?
His climax barely gets a nod.

We’re better off with desert dust –
When heavy in the atmosphere
It tints the Moon with rust.

But as the moon sails higher,
So the dust is less through which we peer –
So this one’s not a flyer.

And anyway, how come
There was no-one else wrote down the fact
Of what should strike them dumb ?

Three full hours of dark,
Before the sun had even set ?
Now that should leave its mark !

In our hearts, we know the score –
The sky did not go dark that day.
The world still turned, just as before.

I Want to Believe

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

I Want to Believe

Yes, I believed you when you told me
What you’d lately overheard –
The more bizarre, the more you sold me,
Gasping ev’ry neon word.

For you confirmed my long suspicion,
Secrets from the other side
That I now learned without permission
And which they had fought to hide.

But then, then you snatched away your proof,
In a manner so offhand-cruel
To this lonely seeker of the truth
With an oh-so-cheerful “April fool !”

My face went as red as my vision,
And my pride with my stammered denial
As I drowned on a wave of derision,
Spat on by my own inner bile.

But if you hadn’t blown the gaffe,
I’d still believe the stuff you’d spun
For what to you is just a laugh,
To me, for once, was a moment in the sun.

Sons of Milka

The First Discord by De Scott Evans – I’m showing Cain & Abel here because Uz & Buz are inexplicably much overlooked by painters

Sons of Milka

Uz and Buz were brothers,
Way back in the Bible-time,
Who rightly cursed their mother
For her blatant naming-crime.

Uz was older, but Buz was bigger –
“The whole of you is held in me,
Yet I am more than your slight figure,
For you shall never be my B.”

“Not so !” said Uz, “For in the lore
Of old King James, I’ve letters three –
I have an H that stands before,
So they dub me Huz in the KJV !”

So, Uzz and Buzz, or Ooze and Booze ?
Or maybe one of each, who knows ?
And in the end, they got to choose,
But never told us what they chose.

Abiblos

Alas, this is another mystery as to who is the painter

Abiblos

The Greeks never had a canon,
Their gods were not in chapter and verse –
Despite a level of literacy,
They didn’t take gods literally.
Oh sure, they all believed in them,
As unavoidable (or worse),
But ev’ry city-state would give
A local spin to ev’ry myth.

The Greeks never had a canon,
Their gods made do with epic tales –
All unofficial, without guards,
And retold not by priests, but bards.
They probably believed in them,
But stuck their thumbs upon the scales –
As fan-fictions running free
That no-one saw as heresy.

The Greeks never had a canon,
Their gods were merely one of many –
Fighting ev’ry deity
For prayers and popularity.
Oh sure, the Greeks believed in them,
Yet outright-worshipped hardly any –
And who they did would change with fashion –
Sacrifices on a ration.

The Greeks never had a canon,
Their gods were tricky to pin down –
They changed their shapes and names at will
To stay alert and hard to kill.
If folks no more believed in them,
They merged with newer-gods-in-town –
So the Jews think just one god is best ?
Well, toss him on the altar with the rest.