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 Michael H. Levin: Poems and Prose  

SAMSON

His problem was women, the

rabbis wrote later: seduction, betrayal,

snaky worming towards secrets.

Women, and borders --

lands where dwelt Others

no man should pursue.


His loves all were Gentile, they noted: ripe thighs

of Timrath, of Gaza; the Philistine princess

they sought to derate. In service to morals they

bleached out his lameness, his vast overcomings, this

riddler and teaser whose rage masked belief. They

skirted his violence – made bland


ripping lions, killing hundreds with jawbones,

tumbling stone gates on assassins in wait. Judging

is quick, though justice moves slowly. His flaws were god

weapons: A hot-eyed playfulness. The fierce

roving glance that leaped every boundary,

reveled in vengeance.


Let scribes sheepskin their worst.

His tale roars liberating passion

not a poisoned female curse.

Version first published in The Raven's Perch (April 12, 2021)

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