December 10, 2019

Haggling with God – A poem for Parsha Vayera

Perhaps the fifty righteous men will be missing five.
Will you destroy the entire city because of five?

Abraham was a God wrestler before
the term Israel existed. Like his unwritten
test at the idol shop, he passes this one
with flying pillars of salt.

I can’t help but think of Las Vegas
when the story of Sodom comes along.
City of sin in the desert – how many
righteous could be found in
a place where what happens there
can’t be spoken of elsewhere?
Other cities with less of a reputation
for debauchery are going down.

Just yesterday there were waves
in St. Mark’s Square as the rising
seas threaten to send Venice
the way of Atlantis.

Someday our best cities will
be only rumors in ancient texts
we are still writing down.

Every city needs an Abraham
a Sanders
an Ocasio-Cortez
a Thunberg
arguing with the destroyers
speaking up for those who
don’t deserve to be salt.

We’re drying up.
We’re flooding over.
There may not be enough
kind hearts among us
to make it stop.


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 23 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 “Hunka Hunka Howdee!” (Poems written in Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2019) 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.