November 17, 2018

Everybody Dies – A Poem for Haftarah Vayechi by Rick Lupert

Everybody dies and
here we are the poets
reminding you about

the finiteness of life.
(It’s in our job description.)
David, the King, was a poet

and he now only lives
in the hearts of our people.
Like his great to the power

of nine or ten grandfather
Jacob, who also died and
issued instructions and

blessings on the bed
of his death. This is how it is –
more rungs on the tree

All the people who
came before on the tree
linked to every leaf

yet to sprout.
And it turns out there
really is just one tree

although it feels like
everyone comes from
their own set of branches

just start climbing down
or up or over and you’ll find
you didn’t have to leave

the tree at all to
meet up with them.
Yes, everybody dies

and the twelve tribes
you’ve been watering
will take it from here

or maybe it’s just
the one Solomon.
In any case

keep the water flowing.
You may disappear but
this one tree won’t.

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.