While saying the Sh'ma (the most well-known of Jewish prayers, which we are enjoined to say morning and evening; it begins, "Listen, Israel!") the other night, these words passed thru my mind...
The poem is still rough, being only 2 days old. But here's what I have so far, first in metaEnglish (SteveTok), and after that a prose version in old (ie standard) English:
Wile Sayen the Sh’ma, I Wuz Herd...
Yur evver waer iz this Ruwakh werl
But hu knoez the Ruwakh tu see it?
Yu wuz spaken a roer
That ar seemen a silens,
Tho Yur Proffets say iz a wisper
Evver wun heerz
But hu ar lissenz? Evver wun
Stanz so klose but stil too far.
Wy shoud I beleev sech a theeng?
I, an annekdote uv yuez.
Yu sen Yur messajjerz.
I doen open my iyz.
Thay greet me but I am no respons.
Thay proffessiy in Yur werden.
A win uv hissez. A babbel a brouk.
An infant gergeld. Yu hu ar spoken.
Yur messajjerz shake me by the shoelderz.
I wake in sech a trembelz.
I pik up a pen in my emteenes.
I rite a werdz, nor an arid gust.
I kan fien no meen in this.
I kloze my Bouk, that rokkee gullee.
The letterz re-arraenj aerselz.
Yur messajjerz leev me.
Wut am I enneeway?
Jes a dreemles nite.
Later, I open the Bouk tu Yur paje.
Hu iz rit in theze siferz?
Misten vaperz, I wil dissappeer,
Foelden intu the porres aer.
Wut wuz nevver herd, in iz konstan spaken
Awl so foeld in the Ruwakh uv us.
Tho nutheeng iz chaenj,
Heer, I stan in 2 werlz.
Iy, the Ruwakh raze frum my Bouk.
Werdz laen like a pile a stane
Bekum a lenz on a werl a lite,
A stane glas pannel in a holee plase.
Misten vaperz, thay dissappeer,
Enfoelden intu the Addom uv us.
Thaer I stoud a braken leenk;
Heer, forrevver bown tu Yu.
Atternen heelenz that onee Yur Proffets notis.
Jes az Yu re-arraenj my werdz,
So Yu re-arraenjen us awl.
Such ar lissenz, Uddoniy ar God,
An such ar we heer, Uddoniy Ekhud.
Now the prose version:
While saying the Sh'ma, I Heard...
You are everywhere in this Ruakh world but who knows the Ruakh to see it?
You who spoke in a roar that seemed like a silence, tho Your Prophets say it is a whisper everyone hears, but who is listening? Every one stands so close but still too far.
Why should I believe such a thing? I, but an anecdote of you.
You send Your messengers. I don’t open my eyes. They greet me but I do not respond. They prophesy Your words. A wind of hisses. A babbling brook. An infant gurgles. You are speaking.
Your messengers shake me by the shoulders. I wake with such trembling. I pick up a pen in my emptiness. I write some words, just an arid gust. I can find no meaning in this. I close my Book, that rocky gully.
The letters re-arrange themselves.
Your messengers leave me. What am I anyway? Just a dreamless night. Later, I open the Book to Your page. Who has written these ciphers? Mist and vapors, I will disappear, folded into the porous air. What was never heard in its constant speaking, also is folded in the Ruakh of us.
Behold! Tho nothing has changed, I stand in 2 worlds. I, the Ruakh raised from my Book. Words lain like a pile of stone become a lens on a world of light, a stained glass panel in a holy place. Mist and vapors, they disappear, enfolded into the atom of us.
There I stood a broken link; here, forever bound to You. Eternal healings that only Your Prophets notice.
Just as You re-arrange my words, so You re-arrange us all.
Such, our listenings, Adonai our God, and such are we hear, Adonai Ekhad.