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We Own Nothing – a Poem for Torah Portion Behar-Bechukotai

[additional-authors]
May 14, 2020

The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land belongs to Me,
for you are strangers and [temporary] residents with Me.

They say it’s a buyers market
but, truly, who can own anything
when the city can take it all away

when the federales can eminently
domain a highway through your koi pond
when strangers from a strange land can

manifest destiny you right into a genocide?
We build away the forests so people can
have tables and chairs and lawn furniture

on top of lawn decks, on top of
manicured lawns, on top of the earth
that was here long before anyone

conceived of zoning laws, and which
will be here long after we’ve
used up all the air.

Someday the plants will laugh
at what we’ve done. Until they evolve
and the cycle cycles again.

We own nothing despite our paperwork
telling us otherwise. So take no trespassing
signs with a grain of salt.

The One True Owner reminds us
we are nothing but dust. We are
so easily scattered.


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.

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