Monday, February 6, 2012

31. Mesopotamia

A jewel between the rivers,
Shining through the dust and mud of the fertile plain.
The people were at the mercy of the gods Tigris and Euphrates.
They were cranky and unpredictable.
When they felt generous, they’d flood the land
The crops would be destroyed.
If they felt stingy, the land would dry out.
The crops would be destroyed.
In order to appease their gods
Ziggurats were built.
Temple towers
With stairs going up to the heavens.
“Dear gods,” the man said.
“I survived to the next year; the appointed time passed.”
“I turn around, but it is bad, very bad;”
“My ill luck increases and I cannot find what is right.”
With the rivers Tigris and Euphrates
Even the diviner with his divination could not make a prediction.
Since Sumerian gods didn’t create a better life it was up to them.
The gods didn’t care.
To them, man was to work and slave in the fields
Sumer begot Akkad which begot Assyria and finally Babylon.
The land begot Israel from father Abraham in Ur.
Babylon’s great kingdom and their great king
Saw to it that laws were written
So that order can be restored.
An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a tooth.
If a man has knocked out the eye of a patrician,
His eye shall be knocked out.
If a patrician has knocked out the tooth of a man that is his equal,
His tooth shall be knocked out.
And so it was,
Order was restored
In the land where gods didn’t care.

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