Contests : War Poetry Contest : Past Winners : 2011 : Reuven Goldfarb
CHAMPIONS: HEBREWS 1, PHILISTINES 0
"And the Philistine cursed David by his god."
Goliath, by cursing David, denies David's God,
—First Book of Samuel, 17:43
intending by this to rattle him, for he's a heckler.
Yet he's also David's cousin, descended from Orpah,
the sister of Ruth, three generations back.
To the spectators, he's the Philistines'
big slugger, their clean-up hitter, their Mighty Casey.
David is the rookie pitcher, the phenom.
He's the fireballer, with his sling and stone.
Goliath is a primordial creature, armed with a sword,
a spear—long and heavy as a weaver's beam—
and a javelin of brass. He's like the Cyclops
whom Odysseus killed by burning out his single eye
with a sharpened, red-hot stick of olive wood.
David slings a stone into the center of Goliath's forehead
that stretches him out, face down in the dirt.
Yes, David beaned him. One pitch—lights out.
They played the game rougher in those days.
This poem won an Honorable Mention in the 2011 War Poetry Contest sponsored by Winning Writers. Author Reuven Goldfarb received a $100 award. Copyright is reserved to the author.
About Reuven Goldfarb
Reuven Goldfarb writes poetry, essays, fictionalized memoir and alternate reality fiction. He makes his home in Tzfat, a mountain village in northern Israel, where he hosts a monthly salon and convenes bi-weekly sessions of Poetry Immersion and Short Story Intensive. In a previous decade he was the founding editor and publisher of AGADA, the illustrated Jewish literary magazine (1981-88). Reuven's poems, stories, feature articles, profiles, reviews, opinion pieces, and Divrei Torah have appeared in dozens of newspapers, magazines, and anthologies and won several awards.
Photo by Andy Alpern