November 16, 2018

Still in the Minor Leagues – A Poem for Haftarah Tzav by Rick Lupert

Passover is coming and
baseball season is nigh and
it is the Big Shabbat

and I’m not one to typically
reference baseball in anything
but the text tells me

Malakhi was a minor prophet
and for some reason I’m picturing
a group of them, who couldn’t

quite make it to the majors
but are still proud to put on
the uniform and shout the

words of the Lord, because
apparently, we haven’t been listening
to them, and the idea that

there’s anything divine is
starting to sound suspect, and
maybe if Malakhi does a

good job reminding us of
the consequences of our actions
or inactions, he’ll get to

play ball with the original
Brooklyn Dodgers (and how is it
that I know that the Dodgers

are originally from Brooklyn
when most of my knowledge of
baseball stops after the part

where I know how to spell the word)
or maybe Moses will sit him
down for a private luncheon

to feel him out and see if
he’s ready to join the big leagues
and put on the big prophet pants

or if he’s going to need to
keep hitting the streets, (or dirt
roads as it probably was back then,

reminding us that the time is now
and the oven is still burning like
an oven and pretty soon Elijah’s

going to walk in the open door
and drink from the cup set aside
just for him.

That’s all a minor prophet could want –
to be welcomed into a home where
a special beverage was

waiting for him this whole time.

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.