MOST RECENT POSTS

In this column you will find the most recent posts unless you have selected a specific poem, meditation or collection/index in which case that single item will appear here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

A Temple Trader’s Rant


The pivotal point of Holy week (according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke) imagined from an unusual angle. I suspect the anger of the Temple traders would have been expressed far more colourfully - but this was written to be used as a mini-sermon and even then, I sensed that, when delivered last week, the final line did give rise to a certain amount of mild shock!

'I've always loathed those Galileans:
Rough lot from up north.
Uncouth, stroppy. Ought to stay in their own territory.
And this one: well, he came from Nazareth.
Nazareth! I ask you. Anything good ever come out of there?
You could tell by his accent.
Not pure like those brung up in Jerusalem.
Yes! Even us temple traders talk nicer than that.'

'It was trouble from the moment he appeared.
He sort of strode in
With a glint in his eye and his jaw set.
Came determined to make trouble if you ask me.'

'Now, we the Jerusalem Shekelovers have been Temple traders for generations.
Father, his father and his father before him
And maybe even before that.
Each of us handing on the pitch from father to son
And each of us building up the contacts with the animal breeders 
So we knew, and still know, we sell the very purest
Of animals for sacrifice.
Not a single blemish on our animals!
A bit pricey but as perfect as you'd find
anywhere in the Temple courtyards.
So we've built up our reputation over the years - ain't we?
And so - got a right to be there, we have
And I’d fight anyone who says we ‘aven’t.'

'So there we are, me and my brother
On one of the best-likely trading days of the year.
Passover only days away and the wealthy ones
streaming in anxious to buy the best possible sacrifice.
Well, yes! Granted we had pushed the prices up a bit:
Ok, maybe - a big bit
But who wouldn't. Common sense ain't it?
'Cos it's not like this all year round
So we have to make the money to provide against leaner times.
And here we were, looking forward to a really profitable day.'

'Then, as I said, in he strides
With a whip in his hands. Rough sort of weapon really
Looked as if he'd made it himself.
And blow me
He starts to thrash the cattle and the sheep -
All our beautiful stock.
Can you imagine the chaos?
The bleating, the bellowing - and the muck.
Terrified animals everywhere.
In no time, the floor as slippery as you can imagine
The cows slithered, the sheep crashed into each other.
I got in the way of an enraged cow
and that damnable Nazarene's whip.
Just kept laying about the animals - and us if we got in the way.'

'Bit of a nutter, I reckon - and he certainly made us mad
And the din. Shouting all round; obscenities, oaths -
Not quite the language of the temple.
Then above the racket
His strange Galilean voice rang out
'You have dared to make my Father's house a den of thieves’.'

'The very idea. Us. Thieves.
I’d have liked to have smashed his head
against one of the Temple pillars.
But he was wild, wild, wild
So I wasn't going to tangle with him
And anyway, I needed to get out and find the animals he'd driven away.'

'Personally, I blame the temple authorities, we pay ‘em enough.
Should have their guards at the porches
More alert to spotting troublemakers
Although in truth, I'm not sure anyone could have held him down.
Manic!'

'Lost four beautiful lambs
And two totally unblemished calves that day.
It'll take weeks to recover that money.
Just thinking about it makes me mad again.
That blaspheming so-and-so. Deserves to be damned-well crucified.'   

More Holy Week and Easter material at The Cross and Cosmos Lent, Holy Week and Easter collection





Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe

Ten thousand billion suns - A scintilla of God’s Universe
It is currently thought that the Universe has at least 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars! Hence the use of the word ‘scintilla’ for a mere ten thousand billion.

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)

Cross and Particle Accelerator (CGI)
Cross and Particle Accelerator. The words of 'A Prayer for Understanding' can be viewed by clicking on this image

Nebula (Embroidery)

Nebula (Embroidery)
Nebula (Embroidery) to accompany the poem 'Invitation' which can be found by clicking on the image.

Orange Galaxy

Orange Galaxy
'Orange Galaxy' posted to accompany 'Bounded and Boundless'. Go to the poem by clicking on the image.

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower

Cosmic Icon 7 Summerflower
Cosmic Icon 7 - Summerflower Nebula (Acrylic)

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth

Cosmic Ikon 8 Moth
Cosmic Ikon 8: Moth Nebula(imagined-acrylic) The Gold field of deep space is intended to convey the Lordship of Christ over the whole of the Cosmos

Surprise garden rose (Photo)

Surprise garden rose (Photo)
This beautiful head of roses in our garden, which are giving off a delightful perfume in the morning sun, seems a fitting picture to link to the sonnet 'Evolution and Beauty'. Let the picture take you there. It is a surprise because it is growing high on a bush of otherwise pure yellow roses: amazing!

Cross and Vortex

Cross and Vortex
'Cross and Vortex' to accompany 'Stars and Planets Sing Your Glory'. Click on the image to go to the poem/hymn.

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)

Gaseous Cosmic Threads (Mixed media)
Gaseous Cosmic Threads: Mixed media - acrylics and painted threads

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)

St Francis’ Sky (Photo)
Warm Umbrian Hills: Click image to take you to the poem St Francis' Sky

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)

Cosmic Labyrinth (CGI)
'Cosmic Labyrinth' - This icon is a symbol of the path through the near reaches of the Cosmos with its 'Havens' where current advances in science (2012/13) are celebrated. By clicking on the picture you will be taken to the latest version of the poem of the same name.

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)

Cross of Autumn Leaves (cropped Photo)
Time, perhaps to consider a restorative break before the approach of Advent/ Christmas. Let this image take you to 'On Drawing Apart'.

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)

IONA: The Marble Quarry (Photo)
On the South shore of Iona is a bay which shows the industrial scarring of a beautiful place. Read of it by clicking on the picture

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)

Butterfly Nebula (CGI)
The Imaginary Butterfly Nebula . Anything like this would be a real Curiosity! The image will link you to the reflection titled 'Curiosity' which is actually a celebration of the achievement of landing the Mars Rover of that name

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)

Light of the World amidst stars (CGI)
'Light of the world' posted to accompany 'To Light'. Find the poem by clicking on the image.

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)

Iona from Fionnphort (Watercolour)
Iona from Fionnphort. At this point of the Isle of Mull, the end of a pilgrimage or trip to Iona is in sight. Click on this picture to take you to the poem 'IONA - The Pilgrim Way'

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)

Cross and simple Prayer rope (Photo)
Cross and simple prayer rope: make one like this to use as an aid to using ‘The Jesus Prayer'