Shahriar Shahriari

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Poems - On God & Religion - Group 6
On the Myths of the Old Testament

 

  1. The Fall
  2. Noah
  3. Abraham & Isaac
  4. Jacob
  5. Golden Calf

 


The Fall

Every parent at some point has made a decision
To buy and bring home a color television,
Then make that TV set the living room's centerpiece
And use the magic box to bring knowledge, rest and ease,
And tell the children about the box's magic gifts
Of how this box teaches, entertains and uplifts,
And in the same sentence, the children will forbid
To watch certain programs, or else their privilege rid.

We take our children to shops that are filled with toys
And let them roam in Paradise with toys that bring them joys,
Yet forbid them from playing with guns and violent toys
That were made to train ruthless and vicious girls and boys.

Even our governments follow the same formation
They pass laws they call "Freedom of information"
Yet they all withhold certain secret information
For the sake of well being and security of the nation.

And we see in the garden of Eden, God gives Adam and Eve
A Paradise to live in, if only they'd believe.
In Eden they both find everything they'll ever need
Yet from eating the fruits of life and knowledge God forbid.

I guess we are not much different from our God, our creator
What God forbade our parents, we forbid our children and more.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 14, 1997


Noah

In the Old Testament we read, after the fall of man
The descendents of Adam, in a world where havoc ran
Lived long purposeless lives, while each of them begat
More children who lived and begat, like a breeding rat.
You can't really blame them, they had no television
Their only entertainment, begetting, their sole vision.
And then came the flood, where they all died and drowned
Except for Noah' Ark, which the waters adorned and crowned.

This Biblical story is of our modern times
Of our purposeless lives and our vicious crimes.
We live long purposeless lives, existing and begetting
And then descends our flood, while our progeny forgetting.
The only thing we leave behind, is children who beget
Yet more purposeless descendents, who their fathers forget.
Except for the lone Noah, whose life you can be sure
Will have a worthy purpose, for which he'd work and more.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 14, 1997


Abraham & Isaac

Abraham took Isaac to the mount
To sacrifice on God's account;
God told Abraham to free Isaac
Gave him a lamb to put on the block.
Abraham obeyed his God's command
With Isaac returned to his homeland.

We teach our children to go to war
For national pride to kill and scar
Instead of letting our children go
We give them guns, the rest you know.
We too obey our God's command
Blood of our children shed for homeland.

Abraham's God, loving, divine
Patriotic ours, vengeful, malign.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
July 12, 1997


Jacob

In the land of Egypt, in a dream the Pharaoh had seen
Seven cows that were well built, followed by seven lean.
The only one who could interpret Pharaoh's dream
Was the immigrant, Jacob, the wise one, it would seem,
He then told the Pharaoh that his dream would mean
Seven plentiful years, followed by seven lean
In the years of abundance, keep the surplus and more
For the seven lean years, they should put in a store.
And so the land of Egypt prospered in abundance
And in times of scarcity, kept its independence.

We take this old story as life long instruction,
For security we store in years of construction
We work hard when young, and save for our pension
As though this is not enough, insurance our invention.
But Jacob's story is not about insurance
There is no security, God our only assurance.
Jacob teaches the world of self-restraint, control
Else for greedy over-consumption, we will pay a toll.
In times of abundance, when mother earth yields much fruit
We over-eat, consume, we rampage, take our loot.
We burn our rainforests, in ozone make a hole
We pollute and over-fish, we're out of control,
And hope in the future, our earth someone will insure
Patch up the ozone hole, our livelihood secure.

The lesson we can learn from Pharaoh's prophetic dream
To exercise self-control, no matter how times may seem.
In times of abundance, from over-indulgence refrain
In times of scarcity, our livelihood retain;
Do away with insurance and pension's supporting rod
Exercise self-restraint, and put our trust in God.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 14, 1997


Golden Calf

With the Ten Commandments, descending from the mount,
Was furious and blunt, says the Biblical account;
He threw his tablets to crush the Golden Calf
His reaction was just, though it seemed so rough.
Israel's lack of faith, his major complaint
In spite of miracles performed by that saint,
Worship of other gods, greatest blasphemy,
Greatest Commandment says, "Worship none but me."
And now in modern times we scoff at Israel
Committing such sin at the foot of the Holy Hill.

Yet in our modern times, much like the times of old
Though we've left out the Calf, we still worship the gold.
Sacrifice all our lives to the rich god of weal
Thinking our bank accounts, supreme pains shall heal,
Believing riches and gold will bring much joy
We will buy expensive toys, and many servants employ,
We worship our idol with lustful sacrifice
We plan, scheme, deceive, we commit many a vice.

But this idol of gold with all its purity
Is simply not enough, we worship security.
God of security, we worship with much pride
Else our jobs will lose, our boss puts us aside;
Work hard and long, our future secure
Even at jobs we hate, our happiness ensure.
Yet job security is but one way we praise
Idol of security shrouded in illusive haze.
In our relationships we sacrifice love and joy
In emotional commerce, our trading skills deploy,
We settle for second best, our remedy, our cure
Nobody's perfect, settlement we must secure
To wait for the one we love, who on earth can insure
That a life of loneliness we need not endure?
Idol of security reigns with power and rage
Though we gave up the form, its essence rules our age.

But there are more idols in this, our modern age
Many more fearful gods are set upon the stage:
The god of normalcy urges us to follow
Every common trait, even if it rings hollow;
The god of constancy in times of drastic change
Forbids us to change the old, improve or rearrange.
In our modern pantheon these are but a few
Gods who in their power keep our lives in view.
Israel worshipped the Golden Calf, but it was only one
We don't have a single image, many gods our lives run.
This blasphemy we rid if we don't fear gods' power
Instead in God's love, bravely ourselves shower;
The idols that we fear, powerfully over us tower
But the wise loving God, in our hearts will flower.

The other Master in his Sermon on the Mount
Continues the same Biblical account
Said between God and Mammon you must choose
Service of one or the other you must refuse.
So in our times we have come to the point of decision
Between God and our idols we must make a clear division;
There is only one Master we can serve,
We must now choose which one we deserve:
To go with the many forms of our formless Golden Calf
Or to go with the Loving Wise, and at our many idols laugh.

Shahriar Shahriari
Vancouver, Canada
August 17, 1997


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