Prophecy of Dominance – Robert Manaster

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph.

(Exodus 1:8)


At the fringes of the fertile valley, winds slog

Into a marsh.  Reeds are swarming

At its edges like mad thoughts inside a smile.

While immigrants within the valley prosper the fields,

Keeping word to themselves, you,

Who keep far off, see nothing good

Can come from stiff-necked

Resistance to your cultured gods.

You see nothing good will grow

Outside the Immigrants’ enclave.

Your close advisors add, They’ll last longer

And be stronger.  They’ll capture

The rest of our land and take over

Our homes while we’re away fighting.  They—

Those tribes— will grow and conquer…

They see scorched land, empty grain bins.

They think nothing good grows when not

Compelled to grow.  The heart

Hardens as the mind of winters

Grows untamed, about to burst:  Enslave

Them, enslave the vermin.

Fear becomes deafening; it grows

Until it’s not fear anymore.

Soon, it’ll be the way

Wheat flays wind off the field’s back,

The way acacia whips off

Seething heat with its arms,

As roots vein deeper into ground.

Soon, it’ll be the natural way

To beat unwanted elements

    And prosper.

Robert Manaster’s poems have appeared in journals including “Kerem,” “Poetica,” “European Judaism,” “Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion,” “Midstream,” and “The Literary Review.”  His co-translations of poetry have also appeared in various journals, such as “Virginia Quarterly Review,” “Zoland Poetry,” and “Hayden’s Ferry Review.”  

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