Tony Dawson

Moses Interprets the Ten Commandments

The Summons

Mount Sinai was Yahweh’s second home
where he always liked to roam
while keeping an eye on those below
so they knew that He was in the know.
He’d rescued the chosen from heathen Egypt,
and had to ensure that they stayed on script.
He’d always had Moses on speed dial, 
since he’d floated down the Nile.
Yahweh decided to give him a call
to get him up Sinai before nightfall.

Moses arrives on Sinai

When Moses arrived, he was utterly buggered
Yet Yahweh still chided him for being a sluggard.

“Christ! Where’s the fire?” asked Moses, knees creaking,
“I was having a beer. Why all the shrieking?”
“Take the name of my unborn in vain
and your future will go down the drain!
Remember ‘God the Father’, and the rest?
Well, it’s the Godfather bit that I like best!
You’re here to take down my new rules
to prevent the chosen ones acting like fools.”

Moses receives the commandments

He handed poor Moses two very large stones.
“You’re joking!” cried Moses amid moans and groans.
“Never heard of pen, paper and ink?
The Egyptians have got them. It makes you think
you’re behind the times, not up to snuff.
So come on, Yahweh, it’s not good enough!”
“Less of the lip and get down the mountain.
Cut the crap. It’s late and I’m counting
on you to spread the word and straighten them out.
Run along Moses, you’re meant to be devout.”

Moses breaks the tablets

The prophet fell on the way down and the tablets shattered.
“Shit!” he exploded, wondering if it mattered.
Yahweh did hear the oath and the stones break.
“You clumsy oaf! You make my balls ache!
Can’t you deliver what amounts to a letter?
Perhaps Aaron or Amazon would’ve done better.” 
A chastened Moses gathered up the bits,
muttering about Yahweh getting on his tits,
scrambled down the mountain and sat on the ground
where hundreds of the chosen were milling around.

Moses glosses commandments 1, 2 and 3

Moses got to his feet, as grumpy as hell,
and glared at the mob, while ringing his bell.
“Listen to me you lot. I bring rules from on high.”
The chosen ones heaved a collective sigh.
“Yahweh calls them the Ten Commandments, 
though I think they need a few enhancements.”
A voice in the crowd shouted, “What a damned cheek!
Come off it, Yahweh! You’re a control freak.”
“I’m inclined to agree with you,” muttered Moses,
wanting to come out of this smelling of roses.
“Take the first commandment: ‘no other gods but me’.
It doesn’t take a genius to immediately see 
that, followed by two, he’s just a Mafia boss
running a protection racket and doesn’t give a toss
about the rest of us. He’s invented the vendetta
until the fourth generation! And it gets better:
if you take his name in vain, like I’m doing here,
he threatens rather more than a word in your ear.”

Moses glosses commandments 5 and 6

“As a Mafia don, he’s all kith and kin.
If you step out of line, it’s a mortal sin.
So, look after your mother and father
and Yahweh won’t get in a lather.
Now six is a bummer, mostly for the Yankee
(and his armory of M16s) who’s liable to get cranky
when a shopping mall’s nearby—in fact, it sucks—
if he can’t slaughter women and kids like sitting ducks.
That would take the laughter out of the slaughter.
Yanks have to shoot people, come hell or high water! 
In a sinful world there are no innocent bystanders.
It’s no fun if you can’t fire your gun like military commanders.”

Moses glosses commandments 7, 8 and 9

“No killing? Then, how about killjoy number seven?
I say, ‘Have some adult fun rather than go to heaven!’
‘Being at sixes and sevens’, to reach the obvious conclusion,
was once about murdering and adultery, not confusion.
Eight says no stealing, so hands off the neighbor’s wife,
or Yahweh might just decide to take your life…
Nine bans false witness against your neighbor,
even if his wife’s pole-dancing with you as a favor.”

Moses glosses commandment 10

“Finally, no coveting the neighbor’s wife or his ass!
The wife’s ass, fair enough, but the neighbour’s? Seems crass
to me, unless He knows you’re someone inclined
to approach the people you fancy from behind.
After all, he’s a deity who made Adam out of clay.
Didn’t he know it’s more fun the other way?
Yahweh gives us a sex drive and then trusts to luck
we don’t covet the neighbor’s wife, for a sinful fuck!
Having sects is preferred to having sex in the US of A,
‘cos it brings in more money and is less risqué.”

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