The Biggest Things – A poem for Torah Portion Beshalach

January 28, 2021

“and the waters were to them as a wall
from their right and from their left.”
Exodus 14:22

I like to visit places that have the biggest things.
If a city has a wall, or a tower or a building with
an observation deck, if I can go up a funicular
or there’s a trip to a mountain available where
I can see things, previously only available in
the eyes of birds, then count me in.

A natural wonder, a person-made spectacle –
I get giddy looking at pictures of the Earth
from outer space, not to mention the infinity
of the other direction.

Have you been to Chicago, New York City,
Paris, the belfry in Brugges? They change
the names of the buildings sometimes,
but the views are the same – a seeming
forever in your eyes. It’s magic. It’s the Divine
possibility of the work of hands.

It’s two walls of water making
an impossible path possible.
They had seen it all by then –
Blood, frogs, death, maybe giraffes.
But this moment, our biggest moment
(we hadn’t seen the mountain yet)
when nature was upended to
rescue us from 430 years of building
someone else’s pyramids.

This is the moment we’d be talking about
This is the moment we’d be trying to recreate
This is why we climb the tallest buildings
gaze over the edges to the limits of our vision –
To capture the smallest glimpse of these
ancient walls of water, that took us away
from the narrow place.

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 25 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 “The Tokyo-Van Nuys Express” (Poems written in Japan – Ain’t Got No Press, August 2020) 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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