Gershon Hepner

Clash of civilizations, Jonah and Prigozhin

With prescience, he sang the about the clash

that faces our uncivil civilizations,

whose differences might lead to nuclear ash

descending from the skies on all the nations.


He wrote that peaceful plowshares would be turned

to swords because of differences between

religions whose intensity still burned,

destructively addictive as morphine,


far more intensely in the heart and mind

than ideologies that atrophied

like plants for which the prophet Jonah pined

when Ninevites accepted his new creed.


The clash that Samuel Huntington foresaw

materialized, we saw, on 9/11,

when we found out some people wish to soar

straight from earth’s kingdom to hubristic heaven,


and in autos da fe compound their error

by their rejection of reality, and try

to change the universe with acts of terror

performed the very moment that they die.


Sam Huntington may once have been a loner,

but since his views do not defy belief

we must now all acknowledge this late Jonah,

Greek chorus of aggression and great grief,


a grief I don’t feel learning of the death

of Prigozhin, who marched not against Putin

as Jonah did to Nineveh, wasting breath,

not clashing, unprophetically disputin’.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at