gershon hepner

gershon hepner Poems

Once you touch a butterfly
it often, flustered, fails to flutter,
and cannot soar into the sky
without a sputter and may splutter,

My language always is precise,
but I’m prepared to take advice
from people who can’t follow what
I’m saying. When I’m being hot,


Of almost bare, the derriere
of women wearing underwear
that covers little, I would sing,
and thongs that are designed to cling

The beauty of a ruin may be best
appreciated by a rank outsider,

Accentuate the positive, I said,
and minimize
the negative, and then lift up your head.
Look in my eyes,

Before the marriage can been framed
the canvas has to be unrolled,
and even if the artist is unnamed
make sure the story that he’s told

Doors I never close
cause millions of regrets,
like yesteryears whose snows
no melting heart forgets.

It’s a man’s man’s man’s man’s world,
but it’s really nothing if you haven’t got
a woman or a girl by whom you’re whirled
around, around, around. There are a lot

The generations of the earth
and heavens are this poem’s story:
how man was first to come to birth,
and woman then became his glory.

In Bethel he had seen the gate of heaven,
and by the sight had truly been beguiled:
the patriarch returned there with eleven
young sons, plus Rachel, who was big with child.

She climbs the mountains without shoes
and as she sees the summit
she sings a theme, afraid to lose
her way. She hears me hum it,

They said: “We must get rid of him.”
in jealousy and hate
they wished to tear him limb from limb,
but two of them said: “Wait! ”

One hundred fifty years for Madoff
are surely an untimely trade-off
for billions that he ripped off traders,
abetted by his trading aiders

You do not hold a grudge for long
if you are an agnostic,
and think that no one can be wrong,
with no need to be caustic

What’s absent in the picture counts
as much as what is present and portrayed.
Like unvoiced words we can’t pronounce,
its lasting after-image does not fade,

Accepting evil because God
moves in a most mysterious way
appears to me extremely odd.
More likely is: He’s gone away

Leaning into afternoons I cast
my nets into your eyes, because I wish
the feelings that I hold for you to last
far longer than the flavor of a fish.

'Will there be another holocaust? '
they asked the Rebbe of Lubavitch.
For an answer he was never lost.
“Of course there will be. Man is savage.”

If you want to build a mega-mansion,
try to spoil an area that’s exclusive,
it’s most American to flout expansion:
don’t hesitate because you are abusive

Wrapped in a gorgeous gown that clung
to parts of her that were primordial,
revealing halves of breasts that hung
suspended between chords that cordial

gershon hepner Biography

I am a physician who was educated in England and moved to the US in 1968 and to LA in 1976. In addition I am a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, and have written a book, Legal Friction: Law, Narrative and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel, published by Peter Lang Publishing in 2010. I am the father of four children who are all above average, and grandfather of nine exceptional grandchildren.)

The Best Poem Of gershon hepner

Once You Touch A Butterfly

Once you touch a butterfly
it often, flustered, fails to flutter,
and cannot soar into the sky
without a sputter and may splutter,
because for butterflies the touch
of humans, friend or enemy,
can be calamitous, the clutch
of humankind’s hegemony.

When touching those whom we befriend,
no less than those whom we betroth,
we must take care lest we offend,
for, whether butterfly or moth,
the ones for whom we care may find
it hard to soar if we should brush
the dust, though trying to be kind,
from wings that, having touched, we crush.


gershon hepner Comments

Paul Smith 24 March 2021

I find your statement that Moses Cushite wife was unfaithful to be unsupported in the Tanakh.

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Jeff Fleischer 05 November 2014

Gershon, How is it going? Jeff Fleischer

0 1 Reply
Jeff Fleischer 05 November 2014

Gershon, How is it going? Regards, Jeff Fleischer

1 1 Reply

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