A Good Shema


Adam, greedy man, you gravy-lover,

without a fig, you would be nobody!


A man who doesn’t know he’s nude,

won’t know enough to sew his seed!


No-one can be his true self inside

without a good thing on the outside!     


So snake, don’t stop your slithering,

you tempted Eve and her meandering


woke Adam from his sleep: I’m nude! he cried,

and realised that a fig leaf is undignified –


a good shemma, of fine Egyptian cotton,

that’s what a man requires to hang his hat on!   

(Written by Makonnen Wodajeneh;

Translated by Chris Beckett)