January 21, 2019

Lay Down Your Spears and Tweets – A Poem for Haftarah Vayishlach by Rick Lupert

Apparently it’s common Jewish knowledge that
the Roman empire descends from Isaac’s son Esau.
I just learned it today from the prophet Obadiah.

Not him personally, we’ve never met, but in
the book he wrote. He was a minimalist whose
entire book was one chapter, twenty-one verses.

As a fan of all things very short, I like his style.
I’d like him to take a crack at rewording some of
the more wordy portions of the Bible.

Though he does get a bit warny in the process.
All great empires will fall in deference to the liberators.
I’m paraphrasing but you don’t see

too many Roman Centurions building aqueducts
these days so I guess he was on to something.
Rome who destroyed the second Temple

who was descended from Edom, also known
as Esau, brother to Jacob, grandchildren of Abraham
parents to us all.

Can we trace every living person back to
one family? Does this make all earthly conflicts
nothing but family squabbles?

I think it’s time we lay down our spears and tweets
and tricky bowls of soup. I think it’s time we
got the family back together for a festive meal.

Here’s to tents without walls.
Here’s to earth without borders.
Here’s to identifying people with only
the words fellow human.

Here’s to Obadaiah.
We won’t hear from him again.

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 “A Poet’s Siddur: Shabbat Evening“,  “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.