December 13, 2018

Poem: Got a Light?

1. This light’s for Hanukkah …
for a people who choose to begin
our best of days with light.
What special Jewish day
doesn’t start with an open flame?

2.  This light’s for the Dreidel…
for the great miracle that
happened there, unless
you happen to be there
where it’s changed to here
because we’re inclusive like that.

3. This light’s for latkes …
Potato pancakes
because everything good
begins and ends
with potatoes.

4. This light’s for Sufganiyot …
Jelly doughnuts. Not quite as popular
as latkes in all the official surveys
but, really, who can complain
when a doughnut comes along?

5. This light’s for oil …
Be careful, it’s flammable!
Bad for you in every way!
But fry anything in it and the
memory of that miracle
flies back into our hearts.

6. This light’s for Maccabees …
Judah and his whole crew.
When the not really elected leaders
started to pooh-pooh everything
they risked life and limb
for all these lights. Stand up
like a Judah, my friends.

7. This light’s for the shamash
Doesn’t take a night off.
Does the essential work that
lets the other eight shine.
Be the shamash you wish
to see in the world.

8. This light’s for miracles …
It doesn’t matter if a great miracle
happened here or there
just that you believe that one
could happen at all.
How many miracles are you missing?

Got a light?


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 “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.