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The Exodus

Good people leave in hordes their troubled land
behind their homes and life built from the sand
a vengeful war is raging, death is rife
the killers have no care for human life.

A place that once belonged to family fare
husband with wife, child played without a care
a gift from God for everyone to dwell
evil has turned it to a living hell.

Innocent child sees torture, rape and more
beheaded man, blood, flesh and gore
it’s etched into their minds, seen night and day
when they should have it in their hearts to play.

But not for them, the joy has long since fled
they have not any home to rest their head
they trudge along through valley, field and road
most of them laden down with heavy load.

Sick and old, man and woman, girl and boy
babies being carried, no glint of joy
heavy burdens hauled to who knows where
No sign of hope just gloom and vacant stare.

One by one borders closing every day
the refugees arrive but turned away
left alone a spectacle to all of us
a desperate and lonely exodus.

© D Marsden 2018

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Oh Well

Someone told me there is no hell
I said there is,
They just said, …oh well!

They've never seen a shanty town
and all the faces-mostly frowns
nor have they seen the poverty and despair
and their tin shacks and vacant glare.

The children have no toys or games
they don't go dancing in the rain
they've never rode on swinging chair
just sit in the blazing sun and stare.

That wretched sun it is so hot
nowhere can I find a pleasant spot
I'll be home tomorrow among the leafy trees
and sit drinking in the English summer breeze.

I'll watch the children on the park
running around and singing like the lark
I'll see my wife and kids as happy as can be
we'll sit and dine and talk, then watch tv.

I'll gaze at the stars and ponder
why is this place I do wonder?

I told someone there is a hell
and he just said… oh well!

© D Marsden 2016
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Repentance

The young boy grew up, wanting much more
burning inside was a decadent fire
he did what he liked and liked what he did
but it wasn’t enough, wanted much higher.

The devil knew this, he offered a deal
I’ll fill your desires to exceed your goal
till your heart’s content, fun, take what you want
but a levy I’ll need, my price is your soul.

How long do I get to taste all life’s dreams?
will you grant me till I’m thirty years old?
the devil he grinned then laughed out so loud
such a large price for a fool to be sold.

Youth and the devil shook hands, the deal was struck
you go on your way, you go and have fun
the man strolled along with great joy and glee
he held his head high, thought life had begun.

The years quickly went, the man had indulged
he took all the pleasures the devil laid out
sat in his dim room with drink in his hand
thirty years, it’s midnight, the clock shouted out

A shadow appeared; a figure so black
a demon approached, I’ve come for your soul
the devil has sent me to collect his due
“please leave me alone, please let me grow old”

You made a pact, you had pleasures abound
you took all you could without much regard
the devil gave out his promise in full
a deal is a deal no matter how hard.

The man fell down on his knees and prayed fast
a frightened boy, his pride all in tatters
please take me away from this journey to hell
oh Lord save my soul, what really matters.

At that point, a bright light, an angel stood
Begone you demon of old, your powers are weak
I come in the devil’s name, the demon said
the man he repents, in God’s name I speak

The devil knows his errand is futile
he has been cheated, a wound to his mark
no torment to please, no suffer of soul
the demon backed off, formed into the dark.

All of the angels in heaven cry out
a chorus sang loud, the way has been paved
the glory of God, how brightly his light
a time to rejoice, a soul has been saved.

© D Marsden 2020

Our Ruby Wedding Anniversary

Our Ruby Wedding Anniversary

Sun was shining bright on that summer’s day
cruising along, wind in our hair
just you and I and an open top
So young and free, without a care.

Soon came the day, those wedding bells
that time when we declared ‘I do’
the old ways were left behind
a journey began to somewhere new.

The following year our first was born
a baby girl, a joy to our hearts
now we were three, a family of love
life was so good, nothing could part.

The years rolled along sweetly
then we became four
another girl to add to our joy
a family to cherish for evermore.

Kids soon grow up and parents become old
the years quickly took away prime
no strolling together through field and wood
with dog and kids towing the line.

And just when we thought life had slowed
a granddaughter had touched our lives
and then a grandson, we are well blessed
amazing what comes from husband and wife.

We’ve seen fair times, we’ve seen good
we’ve seen hard times like no-one should
but family hasn’t left, it has grown
we started this journey all on our own.

Happy anniversary Beryl
40 years today
We have something, no-one
can ever take away.

D Marsden ©

I wrote this for our anniversary last year (December 2019).

Hypocrites

Hypocrites

The country in lockdown
nice day for a ride
he’s exempt from it all
the staying inside
king of the castle
with nothing to hide.

Heed what he orders
stay home or you’ll fear
he’ll send you a postcard
“wish you were here”
no matter to him
he’ll shed no tear.

He needed a break
the scenery so nice
the sun shining bright
Oh those poor eyes
he calls the shots
we swallow his lies.

Working classes
stay in your place
he’s the leader
of the country’s race
right at the top
such a disgrace.

They all to his side
they have his back
integrity and truth
is what they all lack
but sod you all
we’re all right Jack.

Rome didn’t fall
not in a week
but it wasn’t run
by a goon and a geek
the party is crumbling
just as we speak.

The time is upon us
when Nero will play
pride and then fall
that’s what they say
will they survive
time’s fateful day?

D Marsden ©

COEY

Coey
You were taken from us
and our suffering carries on
we wait a while to reunite
a lifetime isn’t very long.

Your lasting peace brings us comfort
your suffering is no more
the unknown journey is revealed
a door opens for evermore.

We played in cobbled streets
the beginning of our time
it only seemed like yesterday
happiness filled your heart and mine.

We grew up fast we wanted much
teen years came knocking at the door
our machines were clean and fast
a new adventure all the more.

Then came the day to settle down
the years rolled on our families grew
they filled our hearts with love and joy
so proud we were of children new.

Before we blinked, we had grown old
but time is out of our control
there is no turn or going back
we only have an onward haul.

Until we meet again some day
goodbye my friend it’s time to part
I thank you for the times we had
I’ve kept them safe within my heart

D Marsden ©

A Beautiful Girl

A Beautiful Girl.

A beautiful girl died today
a conversationalist, rightly so
a modest girl, an intellectual
although she didn’t really know.

A joy to engage and converse
good times we had shooting the breeze
God blessed me with this Sister-in-Law
memories are made of times like these.

Her pain and suffering at an end
reunited with long past kin,
an endless time of peace and joy
helps us all find comfort within.

Death has no power over the soul
only the flesh grows weak and old
eternal life is what lies beyond
In the scriptures, stated so bold.

So many tears, a river cried
so many hearts stricken with pain
such a cruel fate for all to bare
Beautiful Girl, I know we’ll meet again.

D Marsden 2019©

lewis

LEWIS
The kingdom of heaven
we are told is within
your love was so great
for your friends and your kin.

A head full of pain
a heart full of joy
a lifetime of torment
too much for one boy.

No-one can help
a mind to set free
the pain and despair
only goodness we see.

But you gave out much love
you got lots in return
a place of joy you now dwell
the hearts left behind yearn.

One day you’ll re-unite
with family and friends
no suffering or pain
just joy without end.

The time is not yet
the world must turn more
but when the day comes
you’ll be there at the door.

Buddy

What a time
a time of grief
a life is taken
like a thief
fifteen years melt away
so quick in disbelief.

He could not stay
my loyal friend
we said goodbye
time now to mend
to heal and rest
pain at an end.

Endless walks, Clumber Park
a ten mile trip
to Hardwick Village
even with a damaged hip
didn’t bother him at all
he’d just run and skip.

Roamed through woods
in dim moonlight
or on the black
and darkest night
chasing rabbits
in full flight.

Chasing golf balls
just for fun
golfers scorned
and cursed him some
come on Buddy
time to run.

Roamed valleys and fields
tow paths, plains and woods
swam rivers, lakes, canals
and seas when he could
when waters were in recline
he’d wallow in the mud.

The country walks we’re his joy
The Lakes, Cornwall and more
Somerset, Yorkshire Moors and Dales
Norfolk Broads and Exmoor
put some mileage on those legs
before constant pain and sore.

His last few months
he couldn’t stand
about three barks
was his command
he knew we’d come
with helping hand.

The pain became too much
for Buddy to endure
his life ground to a halt
his joy became no more
but now he’s free to run
just as he did before.

A place on the lawn
his favourite spot
he’d lay in the sun
when the weather was hot
now we’ve named it
Buddy’s Plot.


D. Marsden ©

The ten lost tribes of Israel

This story goes back to the times when the Israelites were taken into captivity by Assyria in 721 BC. This relates to the 10 northern tribes who were taken off into captivity and settled in Halah and Habor (2 Kings 17:6).

Note: all bible quotes are from the kjv unless otherwise stated.

The Twelve Tribes of Israel

The twelve tribes were from the descendants of Abraham. In 1868 BC Abraham had a son named Isaac by his wife Sarah.  In 1807 BC Isaac and his wife Rebekah had twins, Esau and Jacob. Between 1723-1710 BC Jacob (whose name was later changed to Israel) had 12 sons. 11 of these sons, along with his son Joseph`s son, Ephraim, were appointed land by Moses when Canaan was conquered and divided up. These became the 12 tribes of Israel. Ephraim, who was adopted by Jacob became one of the 12 tribes. Ephraim became a powerful leader and head of the northern tribes which later led to the name Ephraim being adopted as representation of the northern tribes.

Now that makes 13 tribes in all, but the Levites didn`t acquire a portion of land, they were appointed the priesthood of the tribes.

The Levites were given cities. They lived among all the tribes of Israel and they were given the city of Jerusalem also and authority over the holy temple.

The southern kingdom (known of as the House of Judah), consisted of Judah and Benjamin and part of the Levites, but always noted as the two tribes of Judah, or just Judah.

The northern kingdom (known as The House of Israel or Ephraim) consisted of the tribes of: Reuben, Simeon, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Issachar, Asher, Zebulun, Joseph and Levi.

They separated into two nations after the death of king Solomon. Solomon`s son, Rehoboam became king and the northern tribes didn`t follow the harsh rule he imposed over them, this caused the nation to split into two separate states. Rehoboam, the king of Judah planned to war against the northern state to bring all the tribes back under a one king leadership, but God relayed a message to him not to fight and he backed off.

Here is how the bible describes the event:

ll Chronicles 11: 1-4

1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin and hundred and four score thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.

2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,

3 Speak unto Rehoboam the son of Solomon, King of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying,

4 Thus saith the LORD, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren: return every man to his house: for this thing is done of me, And they obeyed the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam.

 1 Kings 12:24

Thus saith the Lord, ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel: return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they hearkened unto the word of the Lord, and returned and went their way, according to the word of the Lord.

As we can see in the two passages above this was part of God`s plan.

The northern tribes are conquered

When Assyria conquered Israel in 721 BC Israel consisted of two nations, split into a nation of the ten-tribe house of Israel (Ephraim) and the two-tribe house of Judah.

The northern nation of Israel was taken into captivity and this became the separation that would last until today, when they were separated from Judah completely, later to be referred to as the lost tribes of Israel.

When the Assyrian kingdom fell into decline, the ten tribes then decided to migrate to better lands and started their long and arduous migration which took several hundred years. In the passage below we see that God told them to mark their way.

Jeremiah 31:21

Set thee up waymarks, make the guide-posts: set thine heart toward the high way. Even the way by which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to thee thy cities.

Archaeology can attest to the migration of the Israelites of this period through the landmarks and cultural artefacts unearthed and various forms of written stone records discovered relating to the period.

In Genesis 48 we see that Jacob tells Ephraim, the leader of the ten northern tribes, that he will become a nation that would consist of a series of nations whose people will be so vast that it would be difficult to number.

Genesis 48: 17-19

And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father`s hand, to remove it from Ephraim`s head unto Manasseh`s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put the right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: howbeit his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

So, we see in this passage that the ten lost tribes migrate and become many nations somewhere in the world. They have not disappeared from existence but grown into a mighty nation or group of nations closely related.

Babylon the new world empire

Some years later in 612 BC Babylon became the next world empire and in 597 BC the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, conquered Jerusalem, plundered and destroyed the temple and the Jews were carted off into Babylonian captivity.

After the house of Israel being taken into captivity by the Assyrians, the Israelite nation consisted of the House of Judea only, commonly referred to as the Jews.

The Persian Empire

In 538 BC Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians and the Persian Empire became the second great empire in the ancient world. During this period, Cyrus, the king of Persia, let the Jews go back to their homeland, to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem that the Babylonians destroyed previously. From the destruction to the start of rebuilding of the temple the period of exile was 70 years. (Jeremiah 29:10)

But the bible states that the returning exiled Jews consisted of only descendants of the southern tribes, the house of Judah. Nothing is mentioned of descendants of the ten northern tribes, the house of Israel. The returning Jews were of the house of Judah only. The number of the returnees was 42360. (See Ezra 2:64 and Nehemiah 7:66).

So, what became of the house of Israel?

Hosea gives some specific information on the matter.

Hosea 1: 6-11

6, She conceived again and bore a daughter. And the Lord said to him, call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, that should in any wise pardon them.

7, But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and I will not save them by bow nor by sword nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.

8, Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son.

9, And the Lord said, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God.

10, Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that, in the place where it was said unto them, ye are not my people, it shall be said unto them, ye are the sons of the living God.

11, And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

What does Ezekiel say about the northern kingdom?

Ezekiel chapter 37: 11, 16, 17, 21, 22, 26.

Verse 11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold they say, Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.

Verse 16 And thou, Son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions.

Verse 17 And join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thine hand.

Verse 21 And say unto them. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

Verse 22 And I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

Verse 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them: it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

Ezekiel is proof that the ten lost tribes of Israel exist by the fact that they will be reunited again at the end times. The dry bones represent the nation of Israel.

The two sticks clearly show that God is referring to the whole twelve tribes of Israel, the two divided nations that will again come together as one.

The children of Israel will be gathered from all the nations, meaning that they are scattered around the world, but they will be brought home to the holy land.

The house of Judah was brought back to the holy land in 1948, three years after the second world war had ended. In that year David Ben Gurion, the future prime minister of Israel, declared a new state of the house of Judah, it was named the state of Israel. (More information on this later).

The house of Israel (the ten lost tribes) is yet to come home and be reunited with the two southern tribes.

Sometime in the future this will happen and they will have one king, or one prime minister rule over them. As Ezekiel, verse 22 above states: they shall become one nation again and never be divided into two nations. This clearly refers to the end times by the fact that they shall become one nation again forever.

Another interesting point to make is that in verse 26 above, God says that he will set his sanctuary (temple) in the midst of the Jewish community forevermore. This indicates that the temple of Solomon will be built again, for a third time, in the holy city of Jerusalem.

God makes a new covenant.

Jeremiah 31: 31-34

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah is clearly speaking about the end times here when all the tribes of Israel will come together never to be separated again. There will be no need to preach about God anymore because this event will happen after the tribulation and the whole world will have witnessed proof of who God is. There will be no doubt.

Hebrews 8: 10-12

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

Here in Hebrews we see the same prophesy repeated. It’s understood that the apostle Paul wrote the book in AD 67, around 700 years after Jeremiah first prophesied. Paul was reiterating what was to come in future events. As this prophesy has not yet been fulfilled it relates to sometime in the future.

Where are the lost tribes now?

From 721 BC, when the northern tribes of Israel were taken into captivity by the Assyrians, until the present day (2020) there is a span of 2741 years.

So, where are they now? We know that they are still around because the scriptures tell us that they will be reunited again at some later time in history, a time not yet reached. The scriptures also tell us that they will have grown so vast that they are too many to number and that they will consist of many nations.

From the point of migration after the fall of Assyria it is suggested that they gradually moved West and settled in various countries, namely: Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, North Africa and other parts of western Europe.

As these nations grew, they in turn migrated to various places including America. As the British Commonwealth formed this expanded into Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries, correlating with the fact they would become many nations and difficult to number due to their masses.

Modern day Israel

On the 14th of May 1948, in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion declared a Jewish state to be known as the State of Israel.

Over the following years the Jews were gathered from around the world. The Jews that had kept their identity as being from the southern tribes, the nation of Judah.

There was much debate as to what name to use. Some suggested Judea instead of Israel but it was rejected because it referred to the territory that was not covered in the treaty. Even though Judea was the original birth place of the Jews and the name Jew was widely accepted as a recognizable name for the nation that survived as such, even when in exile.

They had formed a new state for the first time in nearly 2000 years and the State of Israel once again, jumped out of the history books and came into existence, even without the lost northern tribes. Maybe it was named Israel for future times when all tribes will be united again under one leader.

Gargoyles

Gargoyles

Gargoyles are architectural structures in the form of carved statues, usually made of stone, protruding from buildings and monuments of historical interest. They are constructed with a channel of some type formed into them along the top and through the head to divert rain water from the building, thus protecting the mortar joints and masonry from erosion.


Gargoyles protrude outwards to send the water spouting away from the face of the building, usually from the mouth of the mythical creature that the gargoyle represents.


The famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has many gargoyles protruding from the roof area, or at least it did have before it was ravaged by fire in 2019.

Medieval Churches


The medieval churches are the main residences of these stone artefacts. Much work went into these buildings in the form of their stone carvings of all depictions and the elaborate columns, pillars and lintels. The intricate shapes and aesthetics of the buildings were something to be appreciated and admired also, as were the wooden structures such as the vaulted ceilings and internal ornate corbels that the timber roof structure sat upon.The vaulted ceilings lay open and were structurally engineered to carry the heavy load and stresses. They also had to look pleasing to the eye also and incorporated much craftsmanship in their making and appearance. Take a look up inside any church and you’ll see the results.

Different Forms


Gargoyles have many variations. A lion’s head with its mouth open was a common feature. This varied from cathedral to cathedral and many took on a distorted form. Later gargoyles became a mix match of many creatures and forms. In medieval times their appearances morphed into many forms that always seemed to take on a sinister or terrifying look.

Chimera


Another form of gargoyle is the chimera. These were not for diverting water from the building but for ornamental purposes. They are commonly known as grotesques but are classed as gargoyles due to certain similarities.


The true form of a chimera can be seen taken from the description in Greek mythology as follows:
• Chimera: a monster from Greek mythology that is fire breathing, has a lions head, a goats body and a snakes tale.

In ancient Greek mythology, the chimera was feared as a bad omen when sighted. The term “chimera” has become to symbolise any mythical creature that has two or more mixed body parts taken from various animals.

Gargoyles quite often lent themselves to the chimera or variations of that form.

THe Church View

Not only were gargoyles used for diverting water away from buildings, they also had another purpose. Some say to ward off evil.
It’s strange to think that the image of such a grotesque figure could do this, when the figure itself seems to er on the side of evil, with its unusual shape and contortions, it’s unnatural hybrid configuration and it’s medieval demonic looks that some gargoyles portrayed. With so many despotic looking stone statuettes staring down at the congregation from high above their heads, it’s a wonder they didn’t refuse to enter the churches of that era.

The church hierarchy of the time sort various ways to coheres their flock into repenting of the wickedness of their ways. The church, as a building, offered spiritual security to the people of the middle ages that was willing to seek it. Outside the church was all the evil and sin to be tempted by. The church represented a sanctuary to the masses, a safe haven.
The gargoyles were to remind them of the evil in the outside world. The message they were saying was that it was better to be inside the sanctuary of the church than on the outside, where temptation, sin and wickedness lies. A form of converting the pagans to Christianity.
This was a ploy adopted by the Christian church in medieval times. One that put fear into the hearts of the people in the hope of them attending church en-mass.

Ancient Gargoyles


Gargoyles go back long before Christianity though.
In Olympus, in ancient Greece, The Temple of Zeus has many lion shaped water spouts and the ancient Egyptians build and carved many gargoyles in the form of lions.


The Temple of Zeus was built between 470 BC – 456 BC. Built mainly of limestone with much marble used also to incorporate the finer finishes. Many sculptures were of marble, including its 102 lion – headed gargoyles.


The ancient Egyptians preferred the lion form also, although other forms were constructed such as hooded snakes and demon types. The Egyptian gargoyles were mainly to keep their temples safe from Seth, a god of chaos, not for diverting rainwater from the buildings, which would have been less important in a desert climate.

Medieval Times

The more modern gargoyles, that we are accustomed to seeing on our churches and such, came into being round about the 12th century AD.


The noise of water rushing through the gargoyle is said to resemble a gargling sound.
The word gargoyle is from the French word gargouille, which means throat.
If we put the two together we get the image of someone with their head thrown back, their mouth in the shape of a funnel and blowing air from their lungs through a liquid at the back of their throat, to ease a sore throat usually. What they are said to be doing is gargling. Hence the word gargoyle.