Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Manna Born

In the Old Testament book of Exodus, there is the story of manna, the miraculous food from heaven which sustained the Israelites in the wilderness.

It has entered the English language to mean any unexpected gift or windfall. It is also the sweet substance obtained from ash trees (fraxinus ornus – flowering ash or manna) of Southern Europe used as a laxative.

In Exodus, Moses and his people had successfully fled Egypt and were wandering the desert in search of the Promised Land. God was clearly on his side because he agreed to rain bread from heaven for him.

Each morning as the dew raised from the ground, the Israelites saw a small round thing which they called 'manna' (the Hebrew word for man).

Moses had to explain to his suspicious kinfolks it was edible bread.

There were specific instructions. They were to gather it, an omer each to a man. An omer is one tenth of a Hebrew ephah which is approximate to a bushel or 33 litres in total. That makes an omer about 3.3 litres. That's a lot of bread.

Manna was to be found on the ground six days out of every day. Even God’s gardeners rest on the Sabbath.

The Israelities lived on manna for a full forty years until they blundered into Canaan, Israel – the land of milk and honey. Manna had outlived its usefulness. For that matter, so had Moses. He died having never set foot in the promised land.

semi conscious, unsure
The other half is there bathed in wan kitchen light
The silent tide is neapwalking
And the blood on the pot is beating out
Grotesque in gigahertz
Struck down by Sundays
Lesser slumpenproletariat
Sheriffprompt and houseproud
Detectives of ruby and earls
Turning ugly by the gasloads
Fierce and financial
Physical forceloads
Kinetic commentary
Stranded skyharbours
Suspicions in peanut demeanour
Raising the not-halves of the north
Demi-derriere sansculottes
Nipped in the buddha by a nervous notary
Counting down the power of the hours
Impounding warlock warrants
Scouring sterling beliefs
Odds against the evening
Long dead drunk
Crapulence in crepuscule
Clumsy treachery
Mirror obsidian
Secretly set on fire by
Saintly architecture
Simon stylite’s stylistic skylight
Stubborn styx and stonehenge
Watery Neolithic victims of
Zen, a phobia of
Johnny forensic
King of the Kitchen pershing
Soiled by the undertaker of the
Reverse paternity typist
Overlapping dromedary
Miracle of the mass serpent
El gran senor, por favor
Phillipic filibuster
Alma matter of fact
With a deafening degree of difficulty
Sentenced to secular suicide
In the tomb of the templar
Lies the sin of the superficial
Diaspora of the dynamite
Liquid to the limit
Largely unspeaking in original syndicate
Slim adds fat to the flavour of
A hemisemidemiquaver
Thalydomide rabies
Rintintinpot touch of scabies
Volumetric imperialist
High density water living
Fit for wanderpigeons
Chalky shit on Will the concrete-eater
Lotus override on a parkinson meter
Chancellor’s chin with the bill
Round trip to Mars via the mill.
Boardwalk boulevards of broken bollywood
In with the given, and I aint mistaking
Among things seep within us
Are blisters of mercy
In torchlight touch tennis
ghetto vendetta inhaling
knives out, priced and impaling
leaves lobsters, willing tasman on the floor
goer for the leaves and the door

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