Friday, September 29, 2006

Wordless voices

Something I've been working on during these Days of Awe:

The vois ov God-Seel sownz lusid.
     Porz us, a wine in fine kut kristel,
     A blu blak prizzem tu krimsen vilet.
     Opake in its deep tranzlusen.
We dreenk this wine
     And mezher the taest
     In shaedz ov sweetlee bitterz.

But the God wine krusht
Frum the robust God-Vine
Iz not reddee,
     Iz lak ov boddee
Till it lay in kask
     In its blak lase shrowd
     Waeten tu pass the gaetwayz
     Ov its kemmek tranzmigratenz.

Oenlee then the taest and the dizzy wunder...
Hu woud reveelen?
And hu woud beleeven?
The God-Werd, self-werd, fals-werd, un-werd

Monday, September 25, 2006

O Priesthood, O Prophets, will you not find your Voice?

Listening to the last instrumental strains of Hendrix at Woodstock, and I think of music in the higher worlds... with echos of flamenco, Spanish Castle Magic, and the trope for Lamentations...

Kinder, Prepare Yurselz

We hav lernd:
Thare wuz wuns a map that charted the suwwerz
Beneeth the ruwinz ov the Vorsaw getto.
     And thare wuz wuns a map that shoed the tunnelz
     Owt ov Yerushalliyim tu the Yavna Yesheva.
          And thare wuz wuns a text that charted the lojjek
          Frum the Vois on Sini tu the orel Torra.
But all that remaenz ar the nervwayz tu the braen
And haf remember dreemz in the twilite ov owwer day.

For yu fiend yurself in this loenlee way
And see my foutprints; how far will thay go?
Yu tuu will be marvel how faent ar the traelz
In the wilderness serrownding the ruwenz ov Ewrope.

So I inkwiyerd all the Sajen wut I kno,
     "Tell me, wut ar the sienz and wen will be vizhen?
     "Wut will be the See and ware will we immers?"
I loukt tu the see hu woud speek,
But all ternd awway , hoelding thaer silensez.
O Preesthoud, O Proffets, will yu not fiend yur Vois?

We ar lern
Eech persen seez akkording tu the powwer tu abzorb.
     Rabbi Sara bat Rute askt,
          "Wut ar the Bouks ov the Lor
          "Thar fallen thru owwer Sol, now loss?"
     And Rabbi Dillen ben Zimmerman askt,
          "Wut ar the Bouks ov the Lor
          "Wuns rote but now blowing in a wind?"
     And Rabbi Shlomo Karleebakh askt,
          "Wut ar the Werdz ov the Lor
          "Reveeld but nevver rekord?"
     And Zalmen ben Sha-uel,
          "Hu ar the Proffets that ar speken
          "In owwer dayz huze trueth is not yet emerj?"

But Rabbi Yosee sed,
     "Nuthing iz be loss,
     "But oenlee owwer powwer tu open owwer Iy.
     "Nuthing haz bin forgot, and nuthing remaenz unherd,
     "Oenlee waeting owwer klarefyd deziyer tu knowen."

Here I am, resseld aggenst this dreemen
Tu glimps a Moment, awake....

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The brooks prophesy...

Well, uh, maybe it's like this...

A Berd at Reb Ternerz Windo

I stumbel thru this narrel forres
Weeping, los, heer, enshrowden in addom.
     Wuns I stoud uppon a hi hill
     Louking over theze shaddowee vaelz.
The russelling leevz chant thaer lammentaten.
The brouks proffesy, a gergel in my eer.

I karee my noetbouk like a reffugee hiz trunk.
Am I wokking in serkelz? This Forres! Theze Voisez!
Till a lite braeks thru theze branchen, diffracten,
A thowzen pathwayz in the moment ov hope.
     A lite, a border in the vannetteez and vienz.

     A ragged begger noks on a dor.
     Branchez trembel az I peer akross,
     The begger appeering, disappeering, branch-born.
     The dor openz, a suffuzen in lite.

          "Kum in, my fren; I hav bin waeting.
          "Yu karee a messij within yur kloek.
          "If yu giv it tu me, I will take it ferther.
          "Let us bless bred and exchaenj mellodeez.

     Like a berd on a branch, I lissen at the windo:
          "The messij I karee, hav yu alreddee herd?
          "A hundred, a thowzen ar breenging it heer.
          "Iz it chans or perpos that yu heer it frum me?
          "Like a berd on a branch in a flok ov berdz,
          "Yu heer the mellodee az I am sing.
          "Iz it chans or perpos that the flock fillz a tree?
          "Perpos or chans that it floks awway?
          "And yu ar ammung annuther thowzen,
          "Yu, allone; reheers it in yur sellz.

Like blowing leevz Yur voisez russel.
Like a gergelling brouk Yu sing.
And I hu wonderz the forres, morning,
I, tuu, karee Yur vers tu the werl.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

3 Images for A Pilgrimmage to Mecca

School startup has kept me too busy to attend to this blog. Hopefully I’m back in the swing again.

In this post I have uploaded 3 sketches for my story A Pilgrimmage to Mecca, a story I wrote in 1977. I haven’t yet produced the completed manuscript. Ah well. What’s 30 years in the grand sweep of events?

Actually, this manuscript has a story behind the story. I was traveling with my wife thru Turkey in the summer of 1977, while she was doing preliminary research for her Ph.D. We were there a little over 2 months, well off the beaten paths. Actually, in those days, Turkey didn’t have too many beaten paths, and we often didn’t see any other Westerners for a week or more at a time. Like the rural districts of most countries, the interior of Turkey was deeply religious and pretty fundamentalist (tho the people were in no way hostile or unpleasant to us). In those days fundamentalism of any stripe was unusual, and I grappled to understand it and give it a context that made sense to me. The result was a little story, A Pilgrimmage to Mecca.

However, when I got back to the US, I dove into new work and totally forgot about the story. About 5 years later I was going thru my old notebooks, looking for earlier ideas and images for a new poem I was beginning to work on. I discovered A Pilgrimmage to Mecca, but strangely, had absolutely no recollection of writing it. It was like pure found art. Truly, I couldn’t believe I had written it and then forgotten about it. It was such a beautiful little gem. Only after months of thinking about it, was I able to reconstruct a memory of writing the story and the motivation behind it.

So here are three drawings of scenes near the end. But have no fears. The hero doesn’t die!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Repitition of Isaiah, to the Palestinians

Mishneh Yesheyawhu
               Shabbut Devarim,

I hav hezzettaten, o Lor, my Lor,
Long my refraen that woud speek with Yur Namen.

Tuu theengz ar see az I stand in Yur Tempel:
     The Preesthoud a marchen tu its Kubballut Shabbut**
               ** The reception of the Sabbath;
The greeting of the Divine Presence.
     And a suwasside pepel a rebellen at Yur Glorree.**

The Preesthoud will usher in the day a Shabbut,
Karrying the Teechingz in its arks ov lite;
Baring its arks thru the terratorreez
Ware the wield ass wunse brayd and kikkt,
     Hem hu ar run frum hem hart-serchen Master,
     Will be fownd a benden, bowwend tu a yoke.

Pallestinnee! How long will yu sin befor yur God?
The God Yisroyel haz reveelen tu yu?
Appall! A nashen that wunse knu Merseefill,
Now vommitting haetred, now a slither in awful,
Fallen bakwerd tu a pagan faeth.
          Yisroyel, louk! And be not prowd.
          Yu passt this way yursellz befor.

Wy ar yu beeten yet kontinnew tu rebell?
               Yesheyawhu 1:5

Yur land groez mor dessolate day by day.
Yur vinyerdz ar wither, yur sitteez dekayd.
Az a gardenner powndz a krakt pot intu rubbel,
Yu batter teenajerz intu suwasside merder
And baree yur yung wunz in liez and despaer.
Du yu kare nuthing that yu exteengwish yur fewcher?
Du yu not smell it, duz it not choke yu,
That yur suwassiedz ar a drawn owt gasp ov falure?
Yu herree, yu rase tu rezembel Siddoem.**
               ** Hebrew for "Sodom"
          Yisroyel Preesthoud, louk uppon theze theengz.
          See the ruwen, the evolvenz ov hate.

Wut ar yur sakrafishel merterz tu Me?
I am sik with yur offeringz ov kidz blud and kersez.
Vile ar yur offeringz and berning tiyerz
Az yu fowl my Kort, Yerushalliyemz streets.
          Yisroyel Preesthoud, see the ruwen,
          The rezult ov fals faeth and arrogans.

Fillisteya! Fallashteya! I weeree ov yu!
Klenz yursellz; remuve the evel ov yur deedz.
Yesheyawhu 1:16
Kum, let us debate the kase ov justis,
But if yu make a vilens I will be a devowwer!
          Yisroyel be not smug or hard-harten.

Insted ov Me, will yu tern tu Ejipt
     Hu starvd yu and kikt yu and krusht yu in Gozza,
     And kloezd its borderz entiyer tu yu?
Or tu Sereya and Libnon hu hav lokt yu in kamps**
               ** sum say "charnelz"
     Hu strip yu and wip yu and blame the Jewz?
Or tu Eron and Arrabeya hu stoke yu tu wor
     Wile safe and sinnikkel and saddistek thay gorj?
          Yisroyel, yu passt this way yursellz.
          Fast on Tisha Ba'Av, fast and remember.

But the oenlee wunz hu woud bild yu up,
Yu kers and vow tu drive intu the see.
Pallestinneyan! Louk how yu rase tu be exteenkt.
Shorlee this iz the Hand ov God!

Yisroyel Preesthoud, louk uppon theze theengz.
See the ruwen, the evolvenz ov hate,
The rezult ov fals faeth and arrogans.
Yisroyel, louk! And be not prowd.
Yu passt this way yursellz befor.Fast on Tisha Ba'Av, fast and remember.

Yisroyel be not smug or hard-harten.
The prufe ov the Preesthoud ar deedz ov pese,
Tollerraten the mennee Hullekhaz** tord the Wun.
               ** Laws; paths

Yisroyel will be a redeemer in justis;
Yerushalliyem in merseez owwer Eternez Plase.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Passing the Fox's Den

This is the opening poem to the 3-book series, Ammung the Ruwenz ov the Tempel, I Herd.....

Passing the Foxxez Den, Yerrushalliyem

Tu Yu I kall, hors and hopeless.
Yu I kall.
How mennee tiemz
Hav I stoud here befor, week and afraed?
Yu, Yu hu hav bin kwik tu anser,
Hu hav sed nuthing, and yet
The fors ov Yur Prezzens
Haz blone me akross oeshenz,
Haz exxield me frum my beluvved sittee,
Haz sent me seeking with my famlee
And all my broken thingz and saekred bouks.

Yu I kall aggen.
Now pray, I hav vencherd tu rekwest aggen,
Hu am but erth and ashez.
Dare I speek, the feer ov choking?
Dare I ask for mor than I hav?
How kan I kno
That I am werthee tu stand in this plase,
Yur Plase, tu heer Yur werdz,
And pass them on?