7 haiku for Torah Portion Pinchas by Rick Lupert (Is it Kosher if I tune my guitar?)


I
After the foibles
of the Midianites – time
to do some smitin’

II
Nothing stops us from
making babies – Over six
hundred thousand now

III
Plots are divided
We all get a piece of a
land we’ve never seen

IV
Moses, not long for
this world, endows Joshua
with a promotion

V
Summertime….and it’s
time to lean more about the
laws of sacrifice

VI
Don’t burn the fruit – Don’t
put the goat in the fruit bowl
So many details

VII
Is tuning guitars
considered mundane work ask
all the song leaders.


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 Haiku for Parsha Balak by Rick Lupert (Ohmygod a talking donkey!)


I
Meanwhile the king
of Moab tries to hire a
wizard to curse us

II
The wizard agrees
to go – but only nice words
will leap from his tongue

III
A talking donkey
scolds the wizard – You heard me
a talking donkey

IV
Balak thinks Balaam
doesn’t quite understand the
mission – Curse strike one

V
My family rises
like lions. Just try and curse
a lion – You can’t

VI
The curse turns into
words I say every morning –
or am supposed to

VII
Yeah but the world will
end says the failed curser who
wants to seem useful


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 haiku for Parsha Chukat (The Red Cow Cures All) by Rick Lupert


I
It just takes one dose
of perfectly red cow to
cure what ails you

II
Forty years go by –
What happened during those years
was not written down

III
You can understand
the hesitation when told
to speak to a rock

IV
Howdy neighbor – Mind
if we pass through? No problem –
We will go around

V
You have to admire
Storytellers who kill off
major characters

VI
This is where all God’s
water comes from – Spring up, oh
well – and sing to it

VII
I think we will pass
through after all – that Land is
forty years coming


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 haiku for Parsha Korach (my almond blossoms are bigger than yours) by Rick Lupert


I
Moses heard and fell
on his face, it says – It was
all very slapstick

II
The future will be
decided on the scent of
rebellious incense

III
Does killing all the
dissenters always have to
be the go to plan?

IV
It’s become clear I’ve
underestimated the
value of incense

V
Always men and our
contest of staffs – My almond
blossoms are biggest

VI
And the descendants
of Aaron shall forever
live in apartments

VII
Levites – Your temple’s
professional staff – Give them
the best from your vats


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 haiku for parsha Shelach (it’s our own personal fringe festival) by Rick Lupert


I
Spy instructions: Check
out the land we may invade –
Also, bring back fruit

II
Any excuse to
go back to Egypt – Life was
hard but familiar

III
Once again God is
talked out of killing us all
by a mere human

IV
Seize the day or you
could end up wandering the
desert forty years

V
A recipe to
serve bull to God is
here if you need it

VI
Even the Lord likes
the smell of homemade bread as
much as the next guy

VII
These hanging fringes
keep the light of the righteous
always by my side


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 haiku for parsha Beha’alotcha by Rick Lupert (Apparently you can have too much quail)


I
All the things in place.
Levites shaved head to toe. Time
to leave the mountain

II
Now the Levites are
hallowed, because the first born
built a golden calf

III
Oh good, there is a
second Passover in case
we need more Matzah

IV
A lifted cloud says
it’s time to go – Importance
of weather reports

V
Freedom has its one
year anniversary – Just
decades more to go

VI
Let the meat-centric
complaining begin – Not to
mention the tough walk

VII
She may have talked smack
but a sister is family –
Please God, heal her


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 haiku for parsha Naso by Rick Lupert (in which everyone brings the same gift to the party)


Bonus introductory Haiku

Kick back with some wine
unless you’re a Nazir – This
the longest Parsha

I
And so forever
the Gershonites will carry
the curtains around

II
Numbers from last week
spill into this week – I was
told there’d be no math

III
Our obligation
to vocalize our sins came
before Catholic booths

IV
This Priestly Blessing
from ancient desert to our
millennial hands

V
Everyone brought the
same gift to the party – Good
then – Awkward today

VI
Seven more people
showed up with identical
gifts – and no receipts

VII
Finding God proving
difficult – look for the voice
between two angels


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 Haiku for Parsha Tzav (where the priests learn to love meat) by Rick Lupert


I
Before anything
clean the ashes up from the
altar. Day begins.

II
Don’t forget to tip
your priest well. They can’t live on
all this meat alone.

III
In case I wasn’t
clear last week, do not eat blood.
It just ain’t Kosher.

IV
You know you’ve arrived
when your costume designer
is Moses himself.

V
Not a good day to
be a bull. Oh, how complex
to welcome our priests.

VI
Unleavened bread and
a ram’s thigh – recipe for
sanctification.

VII
Seven days covered
in oil. Both a fantasy
and mandate from God.


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 Haiku for Parsha Vayikra (in which your sin is dealt with) by Rick Lupert


I
Any good book starts
with a long discussion of
animal innards.

II
A fistful of fine
flour – we’ve come so far in
how we measure things.

III
Deep fried, gluten free,
and no honey – This is how
the Lord likes to eat.

IV
Reading this is like
going to medical school.
P.S. Don’t eat blood.

V
We use every part
of the disassembled bull
to atone for sin.

VI
Why do animals
have to pay for human sin?
He sprinkles the blood.

VII
Why do animals
have to pay for the ancient
sin of Jewish guilt?


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

7 Haiku for Parsha Tetzaveh by Rick Lupert


I
If you’ve seen Raiders
of the Lost Ark. A lot of
this is familiar.

II
Four rows of three stones
one for each tribe. Beware the
Breastplate of Judgement

III
If you do not like
to wear a uniform, then
don’t become a priest.

IV
If you put on the
uniform you should expect
a consecration.

V
If you, impending
priest, like sprinkles of blood you’ll
love this ritual.

VI
Burn the lamb, burn the
lamb. That’s twice a day. Do it
for the Holy One.

VII
All the incense they
used to build this place. It was
like Venice Boardwalk.


Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created a the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 20 collections of poetry, including “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Donut Famine” (Rothco Press, December 2016) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

Haikus for Jews


Zen Laughs

Don’t let the unfunny introduction to “Haikus for Jews” (Harmony Books, $11) fool you. The rest of this little book is pretty hilarious. All we know about New York-based writer David M. Bader is that, according to his bio, he is “not even distantly related to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, though he insists on referring to her as ‘Aunt Ruth.'”

Each haiku is a well-metered, 5-7-5 syllable bastardization of that ancient, less-is-more Japanese art form, and most hit home. Like this:

Hey! Get back indoors!

&’009;Whatever you were doing

&’009;&’009;could put an eye out.

Or this:

Today I am a

&’009;man. Tomorrow I return

&’009;&’009;to the seventh grade.

All we can say is:

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll

&’009;ask why such a small book costs

&’009;&’009;eleven dollars.