By: TwitterButtons.com
By TwitterButtons.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Here's to the Israelite Judges


I stumbled onto this great poem by Fr. Lawrence Farley, and because of ongoing Sunday School preparation the book of Judges is almost always on my mind.  I hope you enjoy, and make sure to add Fr. Lawrence to your blog reader, and check out his books as well.



Here’s to the Israelite judges:
lying facedown and forgotten, buried
in the backpages, doomed to molder, their very names
left unpronounced by all save German scholars
who sit in towers of Teutonic irrelevance,
scribbling unreadable tomes for the anaemic.
They deserved better.

Here’s to the Israelite judges:
not old men who sit heavily on British benches,
white wigs perched ridiculously on bald pates
consulting books, handing out sentences,
but young men, running furiously down foothills,
their hot blood intent on their cold swords,
shouting wildly to the wind about God and death and freedom,
young men whose arms hugged their women hard
and hoisted their children high,
and brandished their swords swiftly
so that their flashing could illumine the pagan darkness.

Here’s to the Israelite judges:  freedom fighters all
who died and defied their oppressors, using
an oxgoad and an ass’s jawbone to leave
their vandalizing mark
on Philistine apartheid
and Midianite swastika.

Here’s to the Israelite judges:  in our day (when
every man does whatever is right in his own eyes)
may they arise again from the Bible’s backpages, throwing off
their graveclothes of obscurity
and shout to us of freedom and courage and martyr’s blood.

Here’s to them!  Even now they are arising,
one after another, from their graves,
putting the dagger of daring in our trembling hands
and a shout of exultation in our too-long-silent throats.

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