We refine our praise until
It is not dark or weak,
An impostor or a fool,
Or a lustful antique,
But it stands within the circle
Demanded from within, demanded
By the scrubbed light of the soul
When she is free and candid.
That is the entire Torah, from
A to Z. And if the thorns
Are missing, if the handles are torn,
Then the color is drained from the hawthorns.
The mind floats up like
A weather balloon, it spreads
Its sensors, and we see
Patterns of weather in cumulus shreds.
Prayer begins from the smallest need.
When we fill it without measure
From the head of the river,
It rises to its source of pleasure.
Every day it is in the marmot,
Though hidden; in the human, revealed.
Its light bursts like asters
For souls in the field,
A light that shines so strongly
That no shadow remains,
But the soil and grass blaze
Across the hills and plains.
Yaacov David Shulman