Cymande – Dove

Cymande (pronounced Sah-mahn-day) was one of the first to merge African rhythms with rock, funk, reggae, and soul. Comprised of members who hailed from such exotic locales as Guyana, Jamaica, and St. Vincent, the nine-man lineup (who were all entirely self-taught) contained Steve Scipio (bass), Ray King (vocals, percussion), Derek Gibbs (alto/soprano), Pablo Gonsales (congas), Joey Dee (vocals, percussion), Peter Serreo (tenor), Sam Kelly (drums), Mike Rose (alto, flute, bongos), and Patrick Patterson (guitar). courtesy of AllMusic.com

The Temple Cleansed

The Temple Cleansed

Beware that ox, or else your side will sport
A gash in it that you could drive a cart
Through, sir. This is unusual: For sheep,
Oxen, bird cages, tables, to be strewn
Outside the temple when they all belong
Inside so that we merchants can conduct
Our business, as we do at Passover
And other feasts, the prosperous times for us.

What am I doing out here with my sheep
And doves? I’ll tell you if you’ll help me keep
These brutes together while I feed the birds.

We merchants minded our own business while
The money-changers sat at tables where
They changed the coins from foreigners, who had
To pay for sacrificial animals
With shekels–they’re the only coins we take.
My lambs and doves are highest quality,
The perfect specimens for sacrifice
According to the Law, and I will charge
No more than what the market will accept.

A man needs to make a living, sir, to feed
His family, the worker deserves a wage,
Don’t muzzle the oxen while they thresh the corn.
I give my tithes and offerings, take care
Of neighbors when they need some help, my wife—
I’m true to her, I’ve made a covenant
With my own eyes not to cast them upon
A maiden, or to covet animals
My neighbors owns, his wife, his servants, or
Anything else, and for my righteous acts
Jehovah has expanded my domain:
A bigger house, more pastureland, more sheep,
Though I am not as important as you are
As caretaker of God’s Word and a guide
To men like me who need the Lord to steer
Them through the traps and thorns that block the path
To One who made the heavens and the earth,
To One who sent the rain to flood the earth,
To One who with his brilliance made the face
Of Moses shine so brightly that he had
To wear a veil, the people were so scared.

This interloper comes from nowhere, town
Up north with ten or twelve inhabitants,
And he presumes to tell the Pharisees
And Sadducees that they don’t follow God.

We Jews, entrusted with God’s law, we know
The way to God and we don’t block a soul
From knowing him. Today that man took cords
And bound them like a whip, a whip that stung
And took its share of blood, look at my back,
If you will, see the wound and the dried blood,
Is there no balm in Gilead? That man
Should cleanse himself before he seeks to cleanse
The temple, which is what he claimed that he
Was doing, the pretentious Nazarene
Born outside marriage to a peasant girl.

He should be whipped himself; I’ll count on you
And other leaders of our faith to charge
Him with a crime, give him the lashes, teach
Him justice from the temple he’s so fond
Of, and he’ll crawl back to his tiny town,
His tail between his legs, and let us be.
This was to be my biggest day all year,
With shekels that would buy my wife and son
As many gifts and treats as they desire:
I’ll take my sheep and doves, and scrounge for coins
From foreigners devoted to the Lord.

You say that you’ll do even more than whip
The Great Pretender? He will take the curse,
Crucified like the criminal he is.
A satisfactory result, if you
Persuade the Romans to pound him with nails
And lift him up, as Moses raised the snake
So that our ancestors in wilderness
Would look at it and God would heal them. Go
And do your work, I’ll back you ‘til the end.

~Day Williams

Scriptures on Time

TIME

Making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
~Ephesians 5:16 ESV

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
~Psalm 90:12 ESV

JOSHUA CHAPTER EIGHT

JOSHUA CHAPTER EIGHT

1 The LORD then said to Joshua, “Don’t be scared;

            Don’t be dismayed. Take all the fighting men

            With you and go to Ai; it is yours

To conquer now. For I’ve delivered to

            Your power Ai’s king, his people and

            His city and his land. 2 You will do to

Ai and Ai’s king just as you did

            To Jericho and to its king, except

            That you may keep the loot and cattle for

Yourselves. Prepare an ambush in the back

            Of Ai.” 3 Joshua and the fighting men

            Set out to go to war on Ai. He

Selected thirty thousand of the best

            And sent them out at night 4 with these commands:

            “This is the plan. Behind the city you’re

To set an ambush. Don’t go very far

            From it. You must all be on the alert,

            5 For I and all those with me will advance

And strike the city, and when men come out

            Against us, as they did before, we’ll flee

            From them. 6 They will pursue us ‘til we’ve lured

Them from the city, for they’ll say, ‘They are

            Running away from us just as they did

            Before,’ 7 so when we flee from them, you are

To jump up from your ambush and go in

            The city, for the LORD your God will give

            The city to you. 8 When you’ve taken it,

Set it on fire, according to the LORD’s

            Command. You now have your instructions;” 9 so

            They left that night, and lay in ambush at

A place between the western side of Ai

            And Bethel–but that evening Joshua spent

            Among the people. 10 Joshua rose at dawn,

Gathered his men and started off toward Ai

            With Israel’s commanders. 11 The fighting men

            With him approached the city, and they stopped

In front of it; then to the north of Ai

            They set up camp. The valley was between

            The army and the city. 12 Joshua had

Taken about five thousand men and set

            An ambush off to Ai’s west, between

            Bethel and Ai. 13 They had soldiers take

Up their positions to the north of Ai

            And in the ambush to the west of it

            While Joshua went into the valley, where

He spent the night. 14 Now Ai’s king saw this

            And led the city’s men out early in

            The morning to attack the Israelites

Within the Plain of Arabah, but he

            Had no idea that an ambush was

            Prepared behind the city. 15 Joshua and

All Israel retreated from the men

            Of Ai, fleeing through the wilderness

            As though they had been badly beaten. 16 All

Of Ai’s men were called to chase them; they

            Pursued the Israelites and so were lured

            Away from Ai; 17 not a man remained

In Ai or Bethel who did not chase

            The Israelites. They left the city gates

            Wide open, 18 then the LORD told Joshua, “Point

Your javelin toward Ai;” 19 and when the men

            In ambush saw his signal, they jumped up,

            Ran forward into Ai and they set

The town on fire. 20 When Ai’s men looked back

            There rising to the sky was city smoke,

            But they could not escape, for Israelites

Who had been fleeing toward the wilderness

            Had turned back on the men pursuing them,

            21 Because when Joshua and the Israelites

Saw that the ambush had prevailed against

            The city, they turned round and charged against

            The men of Ai; 22 then the Israelites

Inside of Ai came and fought, so they

            Were caught within a trap, and all of them

            Were killed; not one survived or ran away

Except the king of Ai, 23 whom they caught

            And carried off alive to Joshua. 24 When

            The Israelites had finished slaughtering

All Ai’s men in fields and wilderness

            Where they had chased them, and when every one

            Of them had been wiped out, the Israelites

Returned to Ai, killing those who stayed.

            25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day,

            The total population of the town,

26 For Joshua kept his javelin held out

            Toward Ai ‘til he’d killed the last of them.

            27 Only the cattle and the loot were not

Destroyed, for these the Israelites kept for

            Themselves, because the LORD had said they could

            To Joshua, 28 and so Joshua burned up Ai,

And it became a heap of ruins, as

            It is today, 29 and Ai’s king he hung

            Upon a tree and left him there until

The evening. As the sun was going down,

            He took the body down and threw it down

            Beside the entrance to the city gate,

And they raised over it a giant heap

            Of stones, still there today; 30 then Joshua built

            An altar on Mount Ebal to the LORD,

Joshua hangs the King of Ai

The God of Israel, 31 as Moses had

            Commanded in his Book of Laws: “Make me

            An altar of large uncut stones on which

No iron tool has carved a mark.” On it

            They offered to the LORD burnt offerings

            And offerings of fellowship; 32 then as

The Israelites observed him, Joshua carved

            Upon the stones the law of Moses, which

            He’d written; 33 then the people who belonged

To Israel, the aliens as well

            As citizens, and with their elders, their

            Officials and their judges, split up in

Two groups. One half of them stood at the foot

            Of Mount Gerizim while the other half

            Stood at Mount Ebal’s foot. Between the groups

The priests stood with the Ark of Covenant,

            Prepared to bless the Israelites. All this

            Was done as Moses had commanded them.

34 Then Joshua read to them the blessings and

            The curses written in the law–the words

            That Moses wrote down in the Book of Law.

35 There was no word of all that Moses had

            Commanded that he did not read before

            The total congregation gathered there,

With women, children too–all Israelites,

            And aliens who helped them with their fights.