Minister of Business Affairs,
First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists
Pimpin and Spirituality
by Marvin X, Prime Minister of Poetry
I am not a pimp. I am a hustler, sometimes a trick. A hustler waits for no one to bring his money, he gets his own. It is beneath his dignity to wait or depend on a woman or anyone to get his hustle going. All he needs is product, almost anything will do, even a roll of toilet paper he can hustle. But the pimp's thing is women, he considers himself their manager and they consider him the same, usually by mutual agreement, often by torture, kidnapping and exploitation, including mind control, deprivation of sleep, food and isolation.
Having never been a pimp, I cannot speak with total authority, although I have been around pimps off and on my entire life, from growing up on 7th Street in Oakland to hanging with pimps in New York. My brother's claim to fame is pimping. He never desired anything else in life but pimping, as a result his life has been pimping and prison, nothing else. I have been deprived of his brotherly love because of his pimping and prison life.
Many of my friends were pimps, including some of my Muslim brothers who said they made their ho's make salat or prayer before they went out on the stroll. I was around Muslim pimps on the east coast who had their women selling bean pies and whoring to buy Crack.
More recently I had the pleasure of meeting several pimps-in-recovery at my theatre in San Francisco's Tenderloin district when we produced the Black Radical Book Fair in 2004. The pimps included Fillmore Slim, Gansta Brown, Jimmy Starr and Rosebud Bitterdose. They claim to have given up pimpin and have indeed written books and films on the gospel of the game.
In the case of Fillmore Slim, he is still greatly respected as the godfather of pimpin, especially on the West coast. He hooked up with me to see if I could help him get the message to young people that pimpin ain't easy and there's a price to be in the game. If you willing to pay the price, then go for it, but just know you are going to pay. Fillmore paid with several prison terms.
He says these young brothers call themselves pimpin but ain't hardly pimpin, ain't doing nothing but messin up the game. Don't have no style, no class. If you saw the BET awards last night, Prince was the only artist with class, the others looked like bums and derelicts, especially the hip hop brothers. As Fillmore said about young pimps, they don't know how to dress. And he said they most certainly don't know how to treat a lady. They want to beat women. He said they don't understand if they don't beat her, she might come back. They want to kill another nigguh if she runs off with him. This ain't part of the game. Don't be killing people, he said, like you own the woman. You don't own nobody. When she choose you, she with you, when she choose somebody else, let her go. Fillmore said these young nigguhs act like they in love. And keep a night job, he says, because pimpin ain't easy.
Young brothers so close up on the ho a trick can't get to her. And the nigguh look more like a woman than the woman. You don't know who to turn a date with, the pimp or the ho. He got earrings in both ears, blond hair and pants hangin off his behind, living at his mama's house, pimpin on a bicycle. Nigguh please.
Pimp like Bush. Get you a real ho like Condi Rice that can ho all over the world, that can serve presidents, prime ministers, generals. Dr. Bey used to say, "If you going to do something, do it in a big way." Some would say Dr. Bey did right and wrong in a big way (may he rest in peace). And my daddy said, "If you gonna be something, be the best."
The white man is the world's greatest pimp: he pimpin you and yo woman, but you don't have a clue. On BET last night he pimped some of our greatest artists, had them parading as nothing but naked whores.
Nigguh pimps got babies on the street, eleven, twelve and thirteen. What they know about ho'in? They don't know how to put a rubber on a nigguh, let alone give head. They need to be in school. Get their GED. And the pimp needs to go with them to get his. Imagine the social consequences of over a million children dropping out of school each year, over 50% of them. Society, including the school, the religious community and the politicians are responsible for children choosing the pimp life, especially when our nation needs scientists and engineers if we are to have a future beyond pimpin and whoring.
posted 29 June 2006
long way from home mama ,
I can’t see you anymore
boats chains whips ropes feet running flying over ground
never hold I down
chariots trains cadillac’s scrapers
64’s 2 & 4 dr.
wide body a-frame dual exhaust whistle tipped lifted on 26’s
automatic manually shifted space ships dreams of flying black & gifted searching upliftment
--Ayodele Nzinga, Senior Minister of Poetry and Theatre, First Poet's Church http://anzinga.wordpress.com/
Bishop Ernestine Reems,
Founder, Center of Hope Church
Prime Minister of Poetry,
First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists
Aries Jordan, Minister of Poetry and Intergenerational Affairs
On Sunday, the First Poet's Church ministers of poetry, Aries Jordan, Ptah Mitchell, and prime minister Marvin X, visited East Oakland's legenary Center of Hope, founded by Bishop Ernestine Reems. Rev. Brandon Reems is acting pastor. But have no illusion that the 82-year old Bishop Reems has lost her Holy Ghost spirit. At one point this International Day, with the congregation dressed in African attire and a Japanese choir in the house, Bishop Reems told her congregation they were Isrealites and needed to be killed for their iniquities. She told them, "Don't be looking at me crosseyed. Sometimes I want to kill you!"
The Queen Mother slipped off her shoes at one point in her sermon, then continued, "You got to see yourself as a winner. Think as a winner, knowing you are annoited to win." The Church choir gave an up tempo version of We Shall Overcome that fit in with the rapidly moving events around the world. It was the most powerful version of the Civil Rights classic Marvin X had ever heard. When her son, Bradon, took over the pulpit, he read from Second Chronicles, wherein we are told to be still and let the Lord fight our battles. Just be still. If you move you just mess things up when God is got the entire situation under control. Get out the way and let God fight this battle. You've done all you can do. This is why you are so frustrated and depressed, because you are fighting when you simply need to be still. Marvin X thought about the words of his mentor, now ancestor, John Douimbia, "Marvin you fought battles you didn't even need to fight."
Bishop Reems had made a similar point in her sermon. "You women worried about a no good man, just let God handle him. You just pray and see if God don't bring that no good man home and he won't even know why he's home. Yes, let the Holy Spirit bring him home. Just be still and prayerful."
Look at the motion in the ocean, in the mountains and hills, rivers and streams. Look at the motion in the people around the world standing up for righteousness. We see some of them simply stand still and refuse to move, and yet this is enough to make tyrants leave town.
When the First Poet's Church ministers were called, only Marvin X was supposed to read a poem, but he said a few opening remarks on the recent visit to juvenile hall, arranged by Rev. Brandon, and how he was overwhelmed with emotion seeing the babies locked up for serious crimes. Rev. Brandon told him later that the visit by the poets to juvenile hall is the talk of the town, that he hated to admit the youth said they wanted to hear from the poets rather than the Rev. Marvin X's classic Fable of the Black Bird has shaken the incarcerated youth.
Rather than read himself, Marvin X deferred to his associate ministers, Ptah and Aries Jordan. Ptah read a spiritual poem on having God inside yourself, rather than tripping on the outside, homicide, suicide, eastside, westside, northside, southside. When Aries discovered she had left her book of poems on the pew, she decided to sing a song from her church days. The two junior ministers of poetry rocked the church in the heart of East Oakland, next door to the infamous Castlemont High School. In her sermon, Bishop Reems had questioned why do we pay taxes but don't have the same quality schools as white areas of the Bay? Castlemont is one of the poorest schools in Oakland.
Bishop Reems was so estatic with the poets she invited us to return for a program featuring our group of poet/authors that will address youth issues. Before Marvin X stepped down with his ministers of poetry, he reminded Bishop Reems she had contacted him many years ago, 1977, when he worked with then Born Again Christian Eldridge Cleaver. At her request, Marvin encouraged Eldridge to make his first appearance at a black church, Center of Hope. Bishop Reems said she would be honored to help Marvin establish the First Poet's Church of the Latter Day Egyptian Revisionists.
--Marvin X, Prime Minister of Poetry, First Poet's Church
Biography of Bishop Ernestine Reems Gale Contemporary Black Biography:
Ernestine Cleveland Reems minister (clergy); founder; writer Personal Information Born Ernestine Cleveland, in 1932, in Oklamugee, OK; daughter of Bishop Elmer Elijah (E.E.) Cleveland and Matilda Cleveland; married Paul Reems (died 2000); children: Brondon and Brian.Education: Patton Bible College, Oakland, CA.Memberships: (Selected) Board of Directors, Monument International Church Assemblies, 2000; trustee, International Charismatic Bible Ministries; Board of Regents, Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, OK; Chairman of the Board, Hope Housing Corporation; Chairman of the Board, Hope Development Corporation. Career Center of Hope Community Church, Oakland, CA, founder, pastor, 1968-; E.C. Reems Women's International Ministries, Oakland, CA, founder, 1988-.
Pastor Ernestine Cleveland Reems has experienced pain, suffering, and hurt. She understands firsthand the troubles of poverty and rejection. And yet she is quick to admit that her life has indeed been, as she told Contemporary Black Biography, "beautiful." Brimming with positive energy, Reems has dedicated her life to serving Jesus Christ and, through His Word, has brought hope and promise into the lives of others. Ernestine Cleveland Reems was born in 1932, in Oklamugee, OK, a small town outside of Tulsa, the third of nine children born to Elmer Elijah (E.E.) and Matilda Cleveland. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Parker City, OK and then to Brooksville, OK, as E.E. Cleveland established himself as a traveling preacher. Reems remembers growing up in a loving household, even though her father was often preaching out of state for extended periods of time while her mother supported her father and tended to the family garden. The family lived in a one-room shack, and Reems still recalls the pot-bellied stove which graced it. In 1939, Pastor Cleveland's travels took him to California. Upon arrival, he vowed to bring his family to join him, for he believed that California held the promise of an improved quality of life. When Reems was just nine years old she moved with her family to Richmond, CA.
Her father could not afford train tickets for the entire family, so he found a ride for the already-engaging and outgoing Reems with a local principal and his wife. When Reems arrived in Los Angeles, CA, she initially lived with an acquaintance of her father's, Mrs. McKinney, whose family cared for Reems until she reunited with her family. Reems quickly witnessed how well her father had been received in California, for the deacons of the church where he preached built the Cleveland family a three-room home. Ambitious and creative, Matilda Cleveland then expanded upon the initial structure and converted the space into an eight-room house, adding bedrooms and a sun porch.
In Reems' mind, her family possessed one of the nicest African American houses in Richmond. The Clevelands not only instilled in their children the importance of hard work, but they also impressed upon them the value of resourcefulness. Reborn in Christ Reems's life took a dramatic turn when, at age 13, she was stricken with tuberculosis. Because the disease was highly contagious, she was forced to move to Wiemar, CA, where she spent a year, and returned home only to suffer a relapse. Once again found herself in Wiemar. After struggling for several years with no cure and no hope, Reems had a realization--it was not for her own purposes that she was created, but for God's. After she decided to devote her life to God, Reems recovered from her illness. That Reems should turn to her faith is not surprising. She was raised by parents who were intensely committed Christians and who, Reems told CBB, "loved, loved, loved God." Initially she did not consider herself a believer and instead, as Reems told CBB, wanted "to do it [her] way."
And yet, as she struggled to survive her bout with tuberculosis, she came to know God for herself. Reems felt that God allowed her to experience hardship so that her relationship with Him would grow and so that she would be prepared for her ultimate calling. In 1951, Reems began to travel to every major city in the country with her brother, Reverend Elmer Cleveland, Jr., in order to preach the Gospel. During this time she met Paul Reems, and they were married in 1958. Working together and starting with nothing, Ernestine and Paul built their life on the pillars of "commitment, consistency, and consecration."
Although she was unable to preach in the church of her childhood--women were not accepted as preachers but only as missionaries and teachers--Reems never lost sight of her priorities, her focus, and her desire to minister from her own pulpit. In 1968 she purchased an old shoe store in Oakland, CA, in a drug-infested neighborhood where people were frequently killed on the next corner. She then traveled across the country to evangelize and raise money to open a church on the property. With the funds she collected, Reems built a platform, purchased an organ and a piano, and laid some carpeting. From its initial congregation of four, membership in the Center of Hope Church exceeded 1,500 congregants by 2000. Fiercely committed to spreading the Word of Christ, Reems preaches with the charisma of one who is baptized in fire. According to a biography produced by her ministry, Reems's messages are "painfully clear and rich with poetic commentary, startling insights, and contemporary applications of the Bible's timeless message.
They usually expose the frailties of the heart of man and their need of a Savior." In response to her powerful words, the audience is driven to passionate praise, worship, and spontaneous dancing. Reems told CBB that her father was her mentor and her hero. Her father simply loved people, and this trait, she told CBB, embodies her inheritance from him. The hallmark of her ministry, then, is her particular calling to people in need. Non-judgmental in approach, she actively seeks those whom society has cast aside and helps them to re-assimilate. By sharing her compassion and her passion with drug addicts, prostitutes, prisoners, and the homeless, she offers, according a biography produced by her ministry, "both the hope of the Gospel message and the practical demonstration of it." In 1973, she received national attention for her work when the United States Army requested that Pastor Reems minister to the soldiers stationed in West Germany and honored with the rank of Five-Star General.
Founded Women's Ministry
While Reems is quick to note that she is not racist, she believes that women of color deserve and need a special forum of their own. As she explained to CBB, "I think I can address being poor better than someone else, being oppressed better than someone else, experiencing racism every day of my life." Reems also said, "We [African American women] can do beautiful things in our community because we know our culture, our people." Towards this end, in 1988, Reems founded the E.C. Reems Women's International Ministries (ECRWIM), headquartered in Oakland, CA. The goal of this ministry is to motivate, instruct, and challenge women to reach their maximum potential in Christ so as to enable them to meet the demands of the 21st century. According to the ECRWIM-Queens's/NY Chapter web site, "Its members are dedicated to promoting unity among women, community service, leadership development, and career enhancement through a series of regional conferences, publications, and audio-visual aids."
Ultimately, according to the web site, the ministry envisions itself not only as a resource for information and education, but "as a conduit for the development of positive role models in the rebuilding of intra/interpersonal relationships." Acting, then, as an advocate, the organization energizes women to become active in their communities and local churches. While global in her commitment to preach the Word of Christ, Reems' primary commitments remain within her own community.
In 1990, for instance, she opened a 56-unit senior housing complex, the E.E. Cleveland Manor. She also purchased a 17-unit facility to operate a transitional housing program for homeless single women with children. As she told Hunger News & Hope, a prostitute had posted herself in front of Reems' church, waiting for a customer and Reems quickly informed her, "Honey, you can't do that here--this is a church." The woman replied that she was hungry and needed to buy food. Reems told Hunger News & Hope that she felt the event was a message from God: "Open a transitional home for women in crisis." Combining federal and city funds with private donations, Reems purchased and remodeled a dilapidated motel and, in 1992, opened the home, which also offers programs in such areas as job-training and child-care. In 1998, she established the E.C. Reems Gardens, a 150-unit affordable housing complex. All told, by 2000, Reems managed more than $18 million for various social programs and had wholly transformed the neighborhood near her church.
Started a Charter School
Reems's reach into her community does not stop with her housing projects. Rather, in September of 1999, she inaugurated the Ernestine C. Reems Academy of Technology and Art Charter School in Oakland. According to the Academy's web site, the school promotes "a child-centered, community-learning environment dedicated to developing academic excellence in core subjects, leadership, and technological skills." The Academy also promotes appreciation for the arts, as well as community service. In particular, the academy, according to its web site, focuses on "raising academic achievement of all students, developing business and community partnerships, increasing parent and community involvement in school activities...and providing opportunities for students to serve through community activities."
The population of both staff and students at the school is diverse, reflecting the diverse population of Oakland itself, and the student body already exceeds 350. As Reems postulated during her interview with CBB, "public schools will fade out during the 21st century and charter and private schools will rise to the fore unless public schools make drastic changes." By actively engaging parents in the education of their children, Reems believes that her school will be successful, so successful, in fact, that she is already searching for more space to build a high school. Ministered to Young Women While certainly fulfilled by preaching from the pulpit, Reems makes it abundantly clear that the joy of her life is in ministering to the youth, and particularly to young women.
Reems realizes that this population is afflicted with problems stemming from low self-esteem. The younger girls in particular, Reems told CBB, have such low self-esteem that they do not like themselves. They do not like he way they look or the mistakes that they have made in their lives. Reems understands that, as she said in her interview with CBB, "senior women" must reach out to the younger generations, "take off their facade, and be real with them," because they share the same experiences. Reems told CBB that, in October of 2000, she brought 21 young women ages 21-31 to her home for brunch. She sat on the floor with them, answered their questions about sex, parenting, abortion, spirituality, and finances, and prayed with them.
These women were all struggling with some of life's most difficult issues: children out of wedlock, abortion, boyfriends who used drugs or were imprisoned. Through prayer and inspiration, through the retelling of her own miseries and pain as well as her triumphs, Reems told CBB, "God used me to minister to them to help their self-esteem, self-awareness, spirituality, and how to be a mother to their children. You make mistakes in life but you have to understand who you are and pick yourself up." Reems's spirit is contagious, and she has devoted her life to blessing any who will listen to her message. "I don't need affirmative action," she told CBB. "I affirm myself everyday." It is this message--a message reminding her listeners of what they have and can accomplish, of what they have contributed--that continues to draw people to her.
Selected Awards: Outstanding Service in Religion Award, Alameda-Contra Costa Innovators, 1984; Top 100 Black Business and Professional Women in America, Dollar and Sense Magazine, 1985; Outstanding Community Service Award, Hayward South Alameda County NAACP, 1986; Woman of the Year Award, State of California Legislature, 1987; Conferred, Doctor of Divinity, 1988, Trinity Hall Seminary, Springfield, IL; Christian Image Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles, CA, 1990; Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Leadership and Untiring Service to Mankind, 1990; Excellence in Urban Ministry, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA, 1993; Outstanding Community Service, City of Oakland, 1996; One of the Top Women Preachers in the United States, Ebony Magazine, 1997; Woman of the Year, Urban League, 2000; Rosa Parks Award, Outstanding Leadership and Service, Junior Flair Heritage Foundation, 2000; Conferred Bishop, Monument International Church Assemblies, 2000. Works Selected Writings Counting Everything as Joy! Through the Storm. Further Reading Periodicals Ebony, November 1997. Hunger News & Hope, spring 2000.Other Additional information was obtained from a personal interview with CBB, from the personal papers of Bishop Reems, and on-line at the Center of Hope Community Church web site, http://www2.cohcc.org/cohcc, the Ernestine C. Reems Academy of Technology and Arts web site, http://www.schoolfutures.org/schreems.html, and the E.C. Reems International Women's Ministries-Queen's/NY Chapter web site, http://www.angelfire.com/ny3/ecrwim/. — Lisa S. WeitzmanRead more: http://www.answers.com/topic/ernestine-cleveland-reems#ixzz1Hrwk69He
The Green Revolution
By Marvin X, Prime Minister of Poetry
The Green Revolution is not what you think, rather it is Nature in revolt against man, and man can do little when Nature is against him. He can try but the only solution is to correct himself otherwise Nature is going to consume him, yes, eat him alive, flooding the land by raising the sea level, drying up the water that will soon be more valuable than oil, polluting the food with bacteria making it inedible.
We see man trying to make changes in nature but not in himself, for he has no intention to give freedom and justice to the poor, but has come with an entirely new method of domination and exploitation called globalism that cares nothing about the welfare of nations, only profit. If people suffer, too bad, we must let free market forces play out, except when the exploitation is so blatant he will make minor adjustments as with the sub prime mortgage crisis. The government says it will help a few but most of the people, especially the poor who were the worse victims shall be homeless—once again, they have been robbed of their American dream.
But Nature shall not stop her fury until the white supremacy rulers and their running dogs have been removed from power, no matter what it takes—they have no weapons against nature, the sun, the moon and stars, the oceans, rivers and mountains, even the tress, animals and fish are against the Globalists and their lackeys.
The focus of the Green revolution should not be on Nature but on those who have polluted the earth with the blood and bones of the righteous people. They must be apprehended and brought to justice. Their greed and desire for cheap labor and cheap resources will bring about their doom and no amount of correcting the forces of Nature will suffice because Nature has done nothing but showered her blessings upon man, so why should we think nature needs to be cleaned up—no, it is man that must be cleaned or eliminated from the planet.
Mother Nature is angry and no amount of pacification will work because you are the problem, not Mother Nature. Again, you have no intention to clean up yourself, but to persist in your wickedness, spreading it throughout the earth. You have now turned the poor children of Iraq into prostitutes by killing their mothers and fathers, just as you have done in the ghettoes of America, wherein babies eleven, twelve and thirteen are whoring because many of them are abused, abandoned and homeless.
In Iraq, the young girls are discarding the Muslim dress for jeans with sparkles so they can get money for food, just as the ghetto girls are doing, whoring to pay their cell phone bill and by hair weave.
No, Mother Nature does not need correction; she knows how to heal herself without your assistance, for she has been around for billions of years while you have just arrived from the caves of Europe.
You need to forget about Mother Nature because she is coming after you and all those who behave like you, all who want to be robbers, pimps, thugs, gangstas and killers. See if you can fight Mother Nature when her earthquakes hit, hurricanes, and the tsunamis are on the way.
You must bow down and submit to Mother Nature, asking her forgiveness for destroying her people, robbing them and keeping them deaf, dumb, and blind. Otherwise, you and your cosmetic attempt to appease her will be to no avail. In the end, you shall be wiped from the face of the earth. Mother Nature has revealed this truth to me. I speak in the name of the fish, cows, birds, bees, ants, rivers, creeks, oceans, hills, mountains, the sun, moon and stars. I speak in the name of the corn, the wheat, the rice and all the crops Mother Nature has provided man for his pleasure.
I speak in the name of the poor who have been robbed of their labor and natural resources so devils can live in heaven while the poor suffer in hell. No, you need not bother with cleaning up anything but yourself, for it is highly doubtful you have the heart to do that, let alone tackle Mother Nature. Mother is well able to heal herself. Let’s see if you can heal your wickedness and injustice to her people.
The Eloquent Peasant is an Ancient Egyptian story about a peasant, Khun-Anup, who stumbles upon the property of the noble Rensi son of Meru, guarded by its harsh overseer, Nemtynakht. It is set in the Ninth/Tenth dynasty around Herakleopolis.
The story begins with a peasant, Khun-anup, and his donkey stumbling on to the lands of the noble Rensi son of Meru. Nemtynakht, the overseer of a noble's lands, was renowned for his misdeeds and tricked Khun-anup into causing damage to his master Meritensa's property by spreading a sheet across the road beside the farm, forcing Khun-anup and his donkey to trample over the crops. The donkey then began to eat the grain, whereupon Nemtynakht took custody of the donkey and started to beat Khun-anup, knowing that Rensi would believe the word of his overseer rather than any allegations of trickery and theft from Khun-anup.
Khun-anup searched for Rensi and found him near the riverside of the city. He addressed him with praises. Rensi and his judges heard his case and replied that witnesses to Nemtynakht's so called crime were needed for the case to continue. Khun-anup could find none, but the magnificent speech of the eloquent peasant convinced Rensi to continue to consider his case. Rensi brought the case before Pharaoh and told him of Khun-anup's rhetorical powers. The king was impressed, but ordered the peasant not be given justice just yet and his petitions to be put in writing.
For nine days Khun-anup complimented the high steward Rensi and begged for justice. After sensing that he was being ignored, Khun-anup insulted him and was punished with a beating. After one last speech, the discouraged peasant left, but Rensi sent for him and ordered him to return. But rather than being punished for his insolence, the peasant was given justice. Amenemhat, after reading Khun-anup's last speech, was impressed and ordered the donkey to be returned to Khun-anup and the peasant to be compensated with all the property of Nemtynakht, including his job, making Nemtynakht as poor as Khun-anup had been.
There was a man, Hunanup by name, a peasant of Sechet-hemat, and he had a wife, ////// by name. Then said this peasant to his wife: "Behold, I am going down to Egypt to bring back bread for my children. Go in and measure the grain that we still have in our storehouse, ////////// bushel." Then he measured for her eight bushels of grain. Then this peasant said to his wife: "Behold, two bushels of grain shall be left for bread for you and the children. But make for me the six bushels into bread and beer for each of the days that I shall be on the road." Then this peasant went down to Egypt after he had loaded his asses with all the good produce of Sechet-hemat.
This peasant set out and journeyed southward to Ehnas (Herakleopolis). He came to a point opposite Per-fefi, north of Medenit, and found there a man standing on the bank, Dehuti-necht by name, who was the son of a man named Iseri, who was one of the serfs of the chief steward, Meruitensi.
Then said this Dehuti-necht, when he saw the asses of this peasant which appealed to his covetousness: "Oh that some good god would help me to rob this peasant of his goods!"
The house of Dehuti-necht stood close to the side of the path, which was narrow, not wide. It was about the width of a /////-cloth, and upon one side of it was the water and upon the other side was growing grain. Then said Dehuti-necht to his servant: "Hasten and bring me a shawl from the house!" And it was brought at once. Then he spread this shawl upon the middle of the road, and it extended, one edge to the water, and the other to the grain.
The peasant came along the path which was the common highway. Then said Dehuti-necht: "Look out, peasant, do not trample on my clothes!" The peasant answered: "I will do as you wish; I will go in the right way!" As he was turning to the upper side, Dehuti-necht said: "Does my grain serve you as a road?" Then said the peasant: "I am going in the right way. The bank is steep and the path lies near the grain and you have stopped up the road ahead with your clothes. Will you, then, not let me go by?" Upon that one of the asses took a mouthful of grain. Then said Dehuti-necht: "See, I Will take away your ass because it has eaten my grain."
Then the peasant said: "I am going in the right way. As one side was made impassable I have led my ass along the other, and will you seize it because it has taken a mouthful of grain? But I know the lord of this property; it belongs to the chief steward, Meruitensi. It is he who punishes every robber in this whole land. Shall I, then, be robbed in his domain?"
Then said Dehuti-necht: "Is it not a proverb which the people employ: 'The name of the poor is only known on account of his lord?' It is I who speak to you, but the chief steward of whom you think." Then he took a rod from a green tamarisk and beat all his limbs with it, and seized his asses and drove them into his compound.
Thereupon the peasant wept loudly on account of the pain of what had been done to him. Dehuti-necht said to him: "Don't cry so loud, peasant, or you shall go to the city of the dead." The peasant said: "You beat me and steal my goods, and will you also take the wail away from my mouth? O Silence-maker! Give me my goods again! May I never cease to cry out, if you fear!"
The peasant consumed four days, during which he besought Dehuti-necht, but he did not grant him his rights. Then this peasant went to the south, to Ehnas to implore the chief steward, Meruitensi. He met him as he was coming out of the canal-door of his compound to embark in his boat. Thereupon the peasant said: "Oh let me lay before you this affair. Permit one of your trusted servants to come to me, that I may send him to you concerning it."
Then the steward Meruitensi, sent one of his servants to him, and he sent back by him an account of the whole affair. Then the chief steward, Meruitensi, laid the case of Dehuti-necht before his attendant officials, and they said to him: "Lord, it is presumably a case of one of your peasants who has gone against another peasant near him. Behold, it is customary with peasants to so conduct themselves toward others who are near them. Shall we beat Dehuti-necht for a little natron and a little salt? Command him to restore it and he will restore it."
The chief steward, Meruitensi, remained silent - he answered neither the officials nor the peasant. The peasant then came to entreat the chief steward Meruitensi, for the first time, and said: "Chief steward, my lord, you are greatest of the great, you are guide of all that which is not and which is. When you embark on the sea of truth, that you may go sailing upon it, then shall not the /////////// strip away your sail, then your ship shall not remain fast, then shall no misfortune happen to your mast then shall your spars not be broken, then shall you not be stranded - if you run fast aground, the waves shall not break upon you, then you shall not taste the impurities of the river, then you shall not behold the face of fear, the shy fish shall come to you, and you shall capture the fat birds. For you are the father of the orphan, the husband of the widow, the brother of the desolate, the garment of the motherless. Let me place your name in this land higher than all good laws: you guide without avarice, you great one free from meanness, who destroys deceit, who creates truthfulness. Throw the evil to the ground. I will speak hear me. Do justice, O you praised one, whom the praised ones praise. Remove my oppression: behold, I have a heavy weight to carry; behold, I am troubled of soul; examine me, I am in sorrow."
This peasant came to implore him for the eighth time, and said: "Chief steward, my lord, man falls on account of ///////////. Greed is absent from a good merchant. His good commerce is /////////. Your heart is greedy, it does not become you. You despoil: this is not praiseworthy for you ////////. Your daily rations are in your house; your body is well filled. The officers, who are set as a protection against injustice,---a curse to the shameless are these officers, who are set as a bulwark against lies. Fear of you has not deterred me from supplicating you; if you think so, you have not known my heart. The Silent one, who turns to report to you his difficulties, is not afraid to present them to you. Your real estate is in the country, your bread is on your estate, your food is in the storehouse. Your officials give to you and you take it. Are you, then, not a robber? They plow for you //////// for you to the plots of arable land. Do the truth for the sake of the Lord of Truth.You reed of a scribe, you roll of a book, you palette, you god Thoth, you ought to keep yourself far removed from injustice. You virtuous one, you should be virtuous, you virtuous one, you should be really virtuous. Further, truth is true to eternity. She goes with those who perform her to the region of the dead. He will be laid in the coffin and committed to the earth; - his name will not perish from the earth, but men will remember him on account of his property: so runs the right interpretation of the divine word.
"Does it then happen that the scales stand aslant? Or is it thinkable that the scales incline to one side? Behold, if I come not, if another comes, then you host opportunity to speak as one who answers, as one who addresses the silent, as one who responds to him who has not spoken to you. You have not been ///////; You have not been sick. You have not fled, you have not departed. But you have not yet granted me any reply to this beautiful word which comes from the mouth of the sun-god himself: "Speak the truth; do the truth: for it is great, it is mighty, it is everlasting. It will obtain for you merit, and will lead you to veneration.' For does the scale stand aslant? It is their scale-pans that bear the objects, and in just scales there is no /////// wanting."
Then the chief steward, Meruitensi, sent two servants to bring him back. Thereupon the peasant feared that he would suffer thirst, as a punishment imposed upon him for what he had said. Then the peasant said /////////.
Then said the chief steward, Meruitensi: "Fear not, peasant! See, you shall remain with me."
Then said the peasant: "I live because I eat of your bread and drink your beer forever."
Then said the chief steward, Meruitensi: "Come out here /////////."
Then he caused them to bring, written on a new roll, all the addresses of these days. The chief steward sent them to his majesty, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Neb-kau-re, the blessed, and they were more agreeable to the heart of his majesty than all that was in his land. His majesty said, "Pass sentence yourself, my beloved son!"
Then the chief steward, Meruitensi, caused two servants to go and bring a list of the household of Dehuti-necht from the government office, and his possessions were six persons, with a selection from his /////////, from his barley, from his spelt, from his asses, from his swine, from his /////////.
[Barton: From this point on only a few words of the tale can be made out, but it appears from these that the goods selected from the estate of Dehuti-necht were given to the peasant and he was sent home rejoicing.]
Something new 4,000 years ago
Only three fictional works from ancient Egypt remain in nearly full condition and they are all very different. "The Shipwrecked Sailor" is an adventure and fable. "The Tale
The narrative framework has to do with a peasant who is unjustly cheated out of his possessions by the serf of chief steward. The peasant takes his complaint to the steward, presenting his case quite eloquently. The steward who hears him reports to the king who is intrigued. The king asks the steward to ignore the peasant, requiring him to keep returning and making more of these wonderful pleas. The pleasant returns eight more times, each time imploring the rulers to adhere to Ma'at, an Egyptian concept variously translated as righteousness, order, justice or truth—not just in legalistic terms but as features of the universe. Each time he attacks the matter in a different way, delving deeper into the implications of this abstract concept. These parts of the story are usually translated into poetry. You may take them as precursors to the Greek dialogues, or to the moral sermons of the Bible: one passage, for instance, is rendered "Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do", nearly two millennia before Christ is reported to have delivered the Golden Rule.
In the end, the peasant gets justice and we see Ma'at restored from the top to the bottom of society. The story seems to work on several levels. It piques the interest of the common folks, showing someone at the lower-level of society who is able to use his golden tongue to outwit those who oppress him, while also demonstrating the wisdom of the king who recognizes the truth when he hears it. At the same time, we're quite aware that it's unlikely an ignorant peasant would have such a grasp of religious and philosophical principles, or of the language of such discourse. The monologues are really pitched to the educated classes, directing them to strive for the wise rule that would maintain the stability of their society and balance in the universe.
Something like that. I don't know enough about Egyptian society to understand the context completely. But I have been surprised to find the ruminations of the peasant interesting. The first reaction may be of disappointment—hey, where'd the story go? this is just speeches now—but once to accept this, you may see how profound this material must have been for the ancient Egyptians and for those who came after.
Two collections of ancient Egyptian works that include "The Eloquent Peasant" are The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Egyptian Poems, translated by R.B. Parkinson, and The Literature of Ancient Egypt, edited by William Kelly Simpson but with this story translated by Vincent A. Tobin. Parkinson's translation is the seminal translation that scholars seem to depend upon. Tobin's builds upon Parkinson's and is the easiest to read and understand in my experience. There are also several versions available for reading online but I find them too crude to get across the meaning of the peasant's monologues in any way that would impress a modern reader. Some of them also compress the story, leaving out most of the poetic speeches which are the heart of "The Eloquent Peasant".