November 19, 2018

The Babylonia vs. Egypt Smackdown – A Poem for Haftarah Bo by Rick Lupert

Jeremiah (still not a bullfrog)
told by the Lord (maker of bullfrogs and
Jeremiah, and Egypt, and rivers, and
Babylonia, and Nebuchadnezzar, and
everything really)

that Egypt (former site of all
Israeli construction firms, still conducting
tests after the river turned red, still
working on a backup plan for when the
lights go out, still mourning the loss of
their first born)

is going down (down, as in the Babylonians
are coming down, and on the way they’ll
scoop up our folks for a little exile and
weeping, but when they get into the Sinai
they’re really going to make a nothing
out of everything you’ve got, Pharaoh.)

I don’t think the Babylonians had it
out for us (us, the bagel makers, the
land harvesters, the doers of what
we’re told by the Lord and the ones who
claim to be hearing from the Lord, lest
we get shipped off to Babylonia.)

It’s just that we were in the way (the way,
as in the big area of promised land between
where the Babylonians and Egyptians
separately hang out.) (Hang Out, as in
where they live their lives, conduct their
businesses, eat their food, and hosted their
former slaves or brand new exiles.)

Not to worry says the Lord to Jeremiah
(still, still not a bullfrog) and goes on to
confirm, oh yes, there will be weeping
by the rivers, but, pack light, we’ll be back
in a generation or so.

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.