November 18, 2018

The Earth Does Shake – A Poem for Unetaneh Tokef by Rick Lupert

Let us speak of the awesomeness…

I – Fear and trembling

This is where we learn how we’ll go
Who by old age? Who before they’ve

had the opportunity to be old?
Before a single wrinkle comes to visit?

Who by failed election?
Who by blaming the other side?

Who by menage a-hurricane?
Who by the climate changing them

right off the Earth? Who by
freak paper-cut accident?

You never know. You never know
how you’ll go, until your gone

and then what can you
say about it?

II – God judges us

This is where we learn how we’ll go
Who by old age? Who before they’ve

had the opportunity to be old?
Before a single wrinkle comes to visit?

Who by failed election?
Who by blaming the other side?

Who by menage a-hurricane?
Who by the climate changing them

right off the Earth? Who by
freak paper-cut accident?

You never know. You never know
how you’ll go, until your gone

and then what can you
say about it?

III – We are helpless

In case you didn’t know
you are a walking, living,

breathing sack of dust.
You have always been this dust

and when you forget how to talk
you will dissipate in the wind.

So if you were wondering
when was the time to say you’re sorry

it is now, before the wind
takes your breath away.

IV – God is enduring

If we could say Your name
it’s all we would ever say.

It’s how we would order our coffee.
It’s the only command we’d tell

our Siris and Alexas. It’s the only
thing that could have the potential

to replace the word love. Or maybe
that’s been Your name this whole time.

Thank You for putting even one vowel
of Your name into ours.

It is the smallest glimpse
of eternity.


God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created 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 21 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “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.