“The Peasants,” poem by Day Williams

The Peasants

The afternoon sun beat on the clods and the sticks,
Birds flew to the shade and rested, ignored,
While the peasants worked the field, a crew of four.

“We will take the wealth and pride from the rich,
Give their gold and silver to the sick and the poor,”
Boasted the peasants as they hoed the rows.

So they grabbed machetes and took from the rich,
And the neighbors and families had more, much more.
Crowed the peasants, “We’ve hit it in the core.”

“And we won’t invest and wait like the rich;
We will break the windows, raid the liquor stores,”
Vowed the peasants before they passed out on floors.

Prices rose like parrot screams to high pitch,
Not a man or woman worked anymore,
And the bosses burned down the house of the Lord.

The bosses took peasants from the floors and the ditches,
Strapped packs on their backs and gave them bright swords
And ordered them to march, march, march to war.

A few straggled back in tatters and stitches
To the crumbled village square, where they roared,
“We clobbered them in front, knocked them down before,

And left only a handful of rebels who twitched–
How the blood spattered their doors and their floors . . .
Our names will go down in this country’s lore.”

And a crippled child asked, “What of the rich?
Have they been destroyed, gone forevermore?
Do peasants control the whole country’s stores?”

A soldier chuckled and said, “What of the rich?
They backed both sides in our bloody war
And they control the whole country’s stores.”

And he hitched his pants and scratched an itch,
Picked up a hoe in the dust by the door
And hobbled toward fields to start on his chores.
~Day Williams

“Harvest” by Grigoriy Myasoyedov

Praise the Lord

(Psalm 7:17, Psalm 118:25)
Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord for
His righteousness;
Save us, O Lord,
Grant us success.




1 The Queen of Sheba heard how famous was

               Solomon, so her undertook a trip

               Up to Jerusalem to test him with

Hard questions, and she took along with her

               A number of officials, and she loaded

               Her camels with some gifts of spices, gold,

And jewels, then when she arrived, both she

               And Solomon talked of all subjects she

               Could think of. 2 He replied to every question,

No matter how demanding it was, 3-4 and

The Queen was stunned how wise he was. She was

               Breathless when she had seen his palace, food

Upon his table, his officials, all

               His servants in their uniforms, and what

               He offered for his sacrifices at

God’s temple. 5 She said: “Solomon, in my

               Own country I had heard about your wisdom

               And all you’ve done, 6 but I did not believe

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba

It ‘til I saw it with my own eyes! And

               There’s much I did not hear about. You are

               Greater than I was told. 7 Your people and

Officials are much favored to be here

               Where they can listen to the wise things

               You say. 8 I praise the Lord your God; he’s pleased

With you: He’s made you king of Israel.

               God loves the people of this country and

               Never will leave them, so he’s given them

A king to govern them with fairness and

               With honesty.” 9 The Queen of Sheba gave

               King Solomon not quite five tons of gold,

A large amount of jewels, and some spices–

               The best that anyone had ever seen,

               10–12 And in exchange, King Solomon gave her

All that she wanted—even more than she

               Had given him, then she and her officials

               Went back to their own country. Hiram’s and

Solomon’s sailors brought some juniper

               Wood, gold, and jewels from the land of Ophir.

               Solomon used the wood to make some steps

For both the temple and the palace, and

               Harps and the other stringed instruments

               For the musicians. Nothing like these had

Ever been made in Judah. 13 Solomon

               Received some gold–approximately twenty-

               Five tons each year, 14 not counting what the merchants

And traders brought him. Arab kings and leaders

               Of Israel gave gold and silver to

               Him, also. 15 Solomon constructed two

Hundred gold shields that weighed in at

               About seven and a half pounds each, 16 and

               He made three hundred smaller gold shields that

Weighed almost four pounds, and he put these shields

               Inside his palace in the Forest Hall.

               17 His throne was made of ivory and it

Was covered with pure gold; 18 attached to it

               Was a gold footstool and on every side

               Were armrests, and there was a statue of

A lion by the throne upon each side,

               19 And on each one of the six steps that led

               Up to the throne there were two lion statues.

No other throne in the whole world was like

               King Solomon’s. 20 His cups and dishes in

               The Forest Hall were made of pure gold, for

Silver was nearly worthless in those days.

               21 Solomon had seagoing ships–

               A lot of them, and every three years he

Sent them with Hiram’s ships to bring back gold,

               Silver, and ivory, as well as monkeys

               And peacocks. 22 Of all kings, King Solomon

Was wealthiest and wisest in the world.

               23–24 Year after year, the other kings came in

               To hear the wisdom God had given him,

And they brought gifts of gold and silver, and

               Clothes, weapons, spices, horses, and some mules.

               25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for his

Horses and chariots; he also owned

               Twelve thousand horses that he kept within

               Jerusalem and other towns. 26 He ruled

All nations from th’Euphrates River in

               The north down to Philistia’s land in

               The south, as far as Egypt’s border. 27 While

Solomon was the king, Jerusalem

               Had silver everywhere, and cedar was

               As common as the sycamore trees in

The western foothills, 28 and the horses of

               Solomon were brought in from other countries,

               Including Musri. 29 Everything else that

Solomon did while he was king is written

               In records of the prophet Nathan and

               Of Shiloh’s prophet named Ahijah, and

Iddo the prophet who had written of

               Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 30 After

               Solomon had ruled forty years out of

Jerusalem, 31 he died and he was buried

               Within the city of his father David.

               Son Rehoboam reigned then in his place.