The Commentary on Living

A non Jewish individual comes to Hillel and asks, with the obvious intention of provoking him, to be taught the whole Torah while standing on one leg. Hillel answers, “That which is hateful to you, do not unto another: This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary — [and now] go study.”

–Hillel the Elder

Railroad

A Poem by Stephen Mead

You will recognize the sky,
a night one & no
true talismans
but for willful
scars & their remembrance
of the beaten drum,
the gourd & how even
the boogeyman would be frightened…..
Still, black sheep, why else
would roots be needed
if not to route
another heritage map, a map
of tracks, of trees in veins,
the veins which spread
the only cover a soul may have
when we all need biographies
to tell the truth, our truth
when History warns,
when landscapes are faith
& faith is afraid
to ask, to hope—–
Is this a new world
& can we be?