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925 Silver Collection

Some Preliminary Notes to “An Attempt" Andy Brumer

Like so many, the horror of the events in the Middle East of these past two-plus weeks has shocked, enraged, and confused me to the point of needing to sort it out for the sake of preserving my sanity. To that end I found myself asking why, in such an ostensibly “religious” conflict, constructed and construed amongst essentially ethnic brothers and sisters, there has been no attempt that I’ve run across in the mainstream media to discuss this conflict within a religious context? After all, the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, all share the same God of the Hebrew Scripture, and Yahweh, as that text refers to “him" has ONE requirement and formula for happiness and peace on earth: follow his Commandments and Laws. Break any one of them, and this by now avowedly vindictive God would, without exception, kill any and all transgressors.

“An Attempt” references an exception, taken from Exodus 17. There, rather than killing Moses for disobeying God’s command that he speak to a rock to coax water out of it rather than strike it as he did to achieve the same end, creating the impression that the minor miracle was Moses’ doing, God forbade Moses from entering the Promised Land. This even though he had led the Israelites there after wandering through the desert for forty years. Today, perhaps, God is also punishing Jews and Muslims alike for their bad behavior. This is a poem, and poems are by their nature naive and unrealistic. But the anger, the despair, the frustration behind it is very real.

— Andy Brumer, Pasadena, CA, October, 2023

Pacecco de Rosa, “The Massacre of the Innocents,” ca. 1640, oil on canvas, 78 x 120 1/4”. Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Phildelphia.

An Attempt

This One God

     of three faiths


   half of them,


ok, let’s  say

       two thirds.

Might this

not be construed

   in any other

way than



Or is this Uni-God




everyone together

    into a

question he

can’t ask:

  “Aren’t they all

human beings?”

So from his

home of Cloud

   through the impossible thinking


frames it,

    God can’t

figure out

who doesn’t

  love him


or did something

      wrong enough

like Moses hitting a rock

    with a stick

that left him dying

   all alone


across the river


     the Promised land.

“Ah, I’ll kill

them all,” God

can’t seem to conclude


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