Saturday, April 23, 2016

Passover/Earth Day—Murfin Verse

What if painting the lentels were no protection?

Last night at sundown Passover began when Jews around the world gathered around a ritual table to remember and give thanks for the events that lead to the ultimate freedom of the Hebrew people and a Promise Land of their own.  That came at a terrible price for their oppressors—a pain they thank God for inflicting.  It is an uplifting night, a hopeful night, but also a terrible one.  This year it fell on the same day a much younger observanceEarth Day.
Regular readers of this Blog know what that means.  Nothing works more effectively as an Ex-Lax cocktail to get my creative bowls moving than the serendipity of such calendar coincidences.   And, although a goy, I have found the Passover story and ritual particularly compelling.  Two years ago when Passover coincided with a full eclipse of the moon I wrote Blood Moon/Egyptian Passover which can be found in this blog post.
In that poem I looked at the Passover story from the perspective of an Egyptian peasant.  

Epic sandstorm engulfs Johanisburg.
This year the connection to Earth Day at a time when the realities and projections for global ecological catastrophe have never been greater moved me to wonder—What if?

Passover/Earth Day
April 23, 2016

What if there were no Passover?
            What if no sacrificial blood
            smeared on the lintel
            offered any protection?

What if there were no Us and Them?
            What if the Pharaoh’s son
            and our sons fell alike
            from the same dark curse?

What if the Dark Angels were not Yahweh’s?
            What if they were our creation,
            evoked by our carelessness
            and fed by our greed?

What if there were no where to flee?
            What if no haven or Promise Land
            lay waiting even after wandering
            because we have laid waste to it too?

What if there were no Milk and Honey?
            What if our goats all starved,
            we killed the bees
            and parched the earth bare?

What if there were no Seder tables to lay?
            What if there were no progeny
            to ask what makes this night different,
            no generations ever again?

What if this is no mere nightmare?

—Patrick Murfin

Murfin reading.

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