If We’re Going to Occupy A Promised Land, There’d Better be Grapes – A poem for parsha Sh’lach

June 27, 2019


All of them were men of distinction;
they were the heads of the children of Israel.

Not all men of distinction are worthy of their title.
Just ask the woman who recalls being raped by
the President of the United States twenty three years ago
in a department store. No security footage,
No police report – just a fear of his two hundred lawyers
and a memory of how large a man of distinction he was.


You shall see what [kind of] land it is, and the people who
inhabit it; are they strong or weak?

The sub-text here is can we take them?
Is this land they live on, which has been promised to us

take-able. Do they live in tents or fortresses?
We want to know if this is going to be difficult

redeeming this promise, and also, our spies
are asked to see if there are any trees.

Because if we do take this land
this promised land

If we kill the people there
If we tear down their tents

and seize their fortresses
will we have anything to eat for our efforts?

It is the season where grapes first
begin to ripen

after all.

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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