Friday, December 4, 2015

Ayoola Goodyness Olanrewaju writes

Let’s Ponder a Little VI

I know how to smile 

To shame the taste of bile
I am dying to live
In the garment of humility and love to give.

I have heard of the true thirst help
It is in the purest of a water drip
Shot down in cloudy stringed bow
Showers of a divinely liquid arrow.

I have seen a dream fight
In a dark dread and fearful fright
The one ended in a glorious victory
And the young man's deadly story.

I know of the smell of shame
Strikingly richer than the fart's spreading fame
The disgrace of ridiculous jeers
Defeating sounds of the muddy smears.

I have heard the tale of the lover bird
From life she thought a human gird
She married a soul soldier
And she grew quite quiet and quick older.

I have seen myself amidst foes
Like a grain and a river of woes
Pelting silent daggers and darts
Friends without friendly hearts.

I know the pain of the rotten teeth
The painless penniless poison of death
The wan smile of a vicious villain
The heart and the countenance of Cain.

I have heard the amazement of the bud of maize
So be it for evil and good repays
The telltale of the Capricorn
And the mystery lodged in its beautiful horn.

I have seen Ajoke's skirts grow shorter
Maami eat bread without butter
Brother Chike earn money from blood
Again, Prophet Noah prays for the flood.



  1. Genesis 4:1–12 presents the story of Cain (Qayin), the first son of the first humans Adam and Eve. Cain became a farmer and his brother Abel (Hevel), a shepherd. (According to Midrashic tradition, Cain and Abel each had twin sisters whom they were to marry, but Abel's betrothed, Aclima, was more beautiful. Adam suggested that each son would offer a sacrifice, which would reveal the one God favored.) They made their offering, but God rejected Cain's and accepted Abel's. In response, Cain murdered his brother, and God rebuked him: "What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now [art] thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." (Holman Christian Standard Bible). The Book of Jubilees claims Cain murdered his brother with a stone (or, alternatively.with the first blade, a donkey's jaw sharpened to resemble a knife) and married his sister Awan, who bore his first son, Enoch. Because Cain could no longer farm the land, since the earth would not yield produce for him, he founded the world's first city, named after Enoch; eventually, Cain's house fell on him and he was crushed by its stones, the same instrument he used against Abel. Another tradition has it that Cain was killed by his great grandson, Lamech, who mistook him for a wild beast. Besides Enoch, he had three other sons and two daughters, and through them became the ancestor of tent-dwelling pastoralists, all lyre and pipe players, and all bronze and iron smiths. (Indeed, his name seems to be cognate to the mid-1st millennium BCE South Arabian word qyn, meaning "metalsmith," while Abel's is thought to derive from a reconstructed word meaning "herdsman.") Muslims follow the tradition that Abel's murder was incited by Cain's lust for Aclima (Aqlimia‍ '​ in Arabic): Abel offered the fattest of his sheep as an oblation to God, but Cain offered only a bunch of grass and some worthless seeds. In the ensuing quarrel, the devil killed an animal with a stone in Cain's sight to show him how to murder Abel. Afterwards, according to Ibn Abul-Hatim, 'the devil hurried to inform Eve of the deed..Eve, knowing nothing about death, asked the devil what murder is, and the devil replied: "He [Abel] does not eat. He does not drink. He does not move [That's what murder and death are]." In the Qur'an (Sura 5, ayas 27 to 31),:"God sent a raven to scratch up the ground and show him how to cover his brother's corpse and he said, 'Woe is me! Could I not have been like this raven and covered up my brother's body?' He became remorseful".(M. A. S. Abdel Haleem tr)

  2. Noah (Noé or Noach), was the son of Lamech.Genesis 6:5 inssists that God "saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually," and in verses 6:11-22, God judged "all flesh" for being corrupt and violent. So God gave Noah instructions to build a waterproof vessel ("ark') to save from destruction himself, his wife, his sons and their wives, seven pairs of every bird and clean animal, and one pair of every other animal. After Noah's charges boarded the ark, the fountains of the great deep and the floodgates, or windows, of the heavens were opened, causing rain to fall for 40 days; the entire world was flooded for 150 days, destroying all life on Earth, and the waters receded for another 220 days. During this time, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, where Noah sent out a raven and then a dove, but they could not find any resting place; a week later, he sent out the dove again, which returned with an olive branch. He tried again a week later, and at time the dove did not return, so Noah knew the ground was drying. Before the deluge, animals and humans had been herbivores, but in the flood's wake God gave mankind dominion over the animals and allowed them to be eaten, though men were forbidden to consume blood, and ordered that "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." (Genesis 9:6) Then God committed to sustain life on the planet and vowed never again to use a deluge against humanity. The covenant was sealed with the sign of a rainbow.. Muslims regard "Nuh" as one of their greatest prophets, but, unlike in the Jewish account, he tried to warn people about the coming wrath of God. He was reviled for being a mere human messenger rather than an angel, he was mocked and called him a liar; and when he finally stopped preaching he was accused of demonic possession. Even one of his sons rejected him and was drowned in the flood. An important Gnostic text, the Apocryphon of John, also held that Noah not only saved his family but also many others by hiding in a bright cloud (not an ark) to escape destruction.

  3. Medieval Christians came to regard Noah's sons as ancestors of the human "races": Europeans were descended from Japheth, Asians from Shem, and Africans from Ham. Noah himself became a husbandman; like Cain. (The medieval theologian Rashi even credited him with introducing the plow.) He discovered both wine and its effects and became inebriated; Ham told his brothers of their father's nakedness, and they covered him, but Noah cursed Ham's son Canaan for the transgression: "And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant".(Genesis 9:25-27). Even in ancient commentaries it was suggested that "seeing" someone's nakedness meant having sex with that person, while "uncovering a man's nakedness" implied having sex with his wife, leading to the notions that Ham either castrated his father or sodomized him, or that Canaan, as the product of this incest, was the object of the curse rather than Ham himself. Around 1100 Honorius Augustodunensis asserted that serfs were descended from Ham, nobles from Japheth, and free men from Shem, and in 1498 Annius of Viterbo presented a fraudulent translation of the Babylonian priest Berossus which said that Ham resumed the study of the evil arts that had been practiced before the flood, abandoned his wife (the ancestress of the Africans) in favor of his own sister, and became jealous of his brothers and antagonistic toward his father, causing him to sing a mocking incantation during Noah's drunkenness that rendered him temporarily sterile. Buttressed by these and other "learned" accounts, the suggestion that Africans, the "sons of Ham", were "blackened" by his sins, became increasingly common in the 18th and 19th centuries as an apologia for the slave trade..However, the textual weakness of the argument made it extremely vulnerable to scholarly criticism, so a separate Biblical justification for black slavery was invented -- the "mark" of Cain..The Hebrew word could mean variously sign, omen, warning, or remembrance, but in Cain's case it was specifically a promise of divine protection against his murder, a sign to others not to not commit the same offense. An Armenian Adam-book in the 5th or 6th century claimed God "beat Cain's face with hail, which blackened like coal, and thus he remained with a black face,".but this passage did not imply that Cain's entire body was thus changed, However, many American Protestant denominations began teaching that the mark of Cain was a dark skin tone. Some 19th- and 20th-century Southern Baptist ministers taught that there were two separate heavens; one for blacks, and one for whites (In 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention officially denounced racism and apologized for its past defense of slavery). Atb the same time, the Mormons' Book of Abraham suggested that Cain's bloodline was preserved through Ham's wife Egyptus, and the church's founder, Joseph Smith, produced his own translation of the Bible which included the following: "And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them." Smith and other early church leaders ordained African-American men, but his successor Brigham Young, in 1852 ruled that people of African descent were not eligible for priesthood, and several of his successors defended the ban as a result of the curse of Cain. (In 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints allowed all worthy male members of the church to receive the priesthood without regard to race or color).


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