Poetry, Torah and your computer monitor

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

It was a remarkably quiet Shabat afternoon. I perused my bookshelves - my dusty, just-barely-bilingual bookshelves - and pondered, "What to read?" There stood the classic sefarim, those honorable and enduring Torah commentaries, with their gold lettering and burghundy bindings. Each sefer its own sphere of seering insight into the Torah: illuminating and imposing. This Shabbat, I needed something gentler than those intricate and fiery Hebrew ridddles. I wanted the ease of good poetic word cake. I wanted the freshness that only a poem holds, the startling twist of the final verse, the crisp rhyme, the well-kept time.
So I turned to the bookshelves'' sundry tomes of Dickinson, Rumi, Ginsburg, poetry anthologies of all sorts. But where was the Torah in all those thousand pages of posey? I wanted them both. Both the flowing letter-alchemy of poetry and the sharp-tongued Torah insights. The Jew in me and the poet in me wanted their worlds melded, melted, seamlessly assimilated. Natural, not imposed - something more than prose. Where poetry meets Torah meets me meeting the bookshelf on a Shabbat afternoon.
Hence I begin this blog, with a hope that some afternoon you, dear reader, will find these words edifying - satisfying some striving within you for the meeting of poetry and parshanut. With a hope that these poems offer up their own soul-mumbling prayer. Connecting us to the wordy God who likes to speak through black ink... and computer screens.

Tell me, if i were to place
a prayer upon this page
would you stare until
she turned away, ashen-faced
& embarrassed
for being so broken?

Or would you take her in
your arms and dance her
round the elm trees,
to the barn
and up the rafters
to the roof
where she could rise
a monarch of proof
that there is God
that rests between the teeth
and God awaits
our prayerful speech.

How together we could speak
a better being into things.
If i were to place a prayer
upon this screen -
would you stare
or would you start
to sing?