The Rebels Yell — A poem for Torah Portion Chukat

June 17, 2021

Now listen, you rebels, can we draw water
for you from this rock?
-Numbers 20:10

with apologies to Billy Idol

Last night a thirsty Israelite, came kvetching to a rock
Last night a tired leader, took his staff and gave it a knock
He said now listen, you rebels, I got a license to flow
His license expired with that and he prayed from above

In the wilderness, they wanted more, more, more
With a rebel yell, they demanded more, more more
Forty years in, they asked for more, more, more
These ungrateful rebels, just wanted more, more, more
more, more, more

They’re done with slavery, they want everything theirs.
They’re tired and want no more of these desert affairs
They forgot Who set them free and brought them this far
Their lips are parched, they’ve been following a star

Mid-day in the desert, they cried more, more, more
These hungry rebels demanded more, more, more
Decades from slavery they cried more, more, more
No-one hears when you yell more, more, more

They feel removed from any heaven
Collecting manna after haste and unleavened
Moses gets no sleep knowing what he’s done
He’ll only see the promised land from a distant mountain

He walked the desert for You, God
A thousand plagues, for You
A dried up rock for You, God
A million times for You

He gave his soul, to You, God
His crown lost, for You
Harsh words at a rock and now nothing
Just to have You here by him.

The time is now and they want more, more, more
These rebels yell for more, more, more
He’ll be left behind and they want more, more, more
Will they cross the river and still want more, more, more
more, more, more?

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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