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VCU Menorah Review Winter/Spring 2007
Number 66
For the Enrichment of Jewish Thought

A Collection by MR’s Poet Laureate

Richard E. Sherwin

                                I.
Finally it's done just as Gd wants
and Moses said and now we leave  it to
the priests to sing their barbecues
displace the price of sin and soul upon

the air the sizzling savor richly spiced
tickling the holy nostrils out of anger
sneezing up a whirlwind when Job likes
but keeping us alive and out of danger

if only Gd would settle on the ark
between the cherubim and speak the clouds
that tell us when to move and when to park
our tents our carcasses our goals our shrouds

instead of riding inside all our passions
flooding us with conscience priestly fashioned
1647
_______________________________

                                II.
watching jesus doing his best to force
authorities to hang him out to dry
then playing hide and seek until he's got
the crowd worked up enough to help him die

a pretty clumsy job and didnt do
that well until his students rewrote the script to screw
the Jews the Romans had already screwed--
no one left to tell a different truth

besides by then the kingdom he preached had come
satan and Constantine converted together
in the cross they conquered the world the flesh
and all else not nailed down or fun

it seems to me Im watching the same old game
rebels and tyrants merely changing names
___________________________________

                          III.
Well the Temple's built
and I owe Gd and priests more
herds at least by three
than Argentina's got or
getting given grim disease

and drought both here and
there and anyway Ive not
cash not now not then
to cover even minor
sins tho no one knows what's which

to reach for symbols
when realities collapse
and bankruptcy makes
no more hope than walking out
a high rise window does -- it's

time past time to write
the future histories that
lie me out of debts
and into credits even
Gd must honor otherwise

to put Him bluntly
what's He good for in this world
He made and dumped us
in imperfect calculus
our inescapable sin
____________________________

                         IV.
What's original
at all in Adam's sin or
Eve's or even the
serpent's?  We're made for hunger
curiosity and lies

Who ever needed
Christs or Jews to fix or tell
such tales of Eden
blaming everyone except
oneself including Gd who

clothes us kicks us out
to work the body into
carcass earth into
the grave precipitate that
Abel's sacrifice achieved

Better wander with
Cain protected thru the world
I'd say of wolves were
not humanity enough
Adam Jews and Christ enough
___________________________

                          V.
Time to let Gd go
back to sleep the hearing aid
turned off creation's
light bulb blown to smithereens
the big pop fragments slicing

thru dark stars so bent
no sound no silence escapes
and like an empire's
daymare's endless expansion
ridicules all gravity

and we're let off all
hooks of sin and virtue to
hang free and meaning
less as uncommanded love
Let Gd be Love and Done With
……………………………….
Richard E. Sherwin is a professor of English (retired) at Bar Ilan University, Israel.

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