Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Path Humble Apr 4
”against your will were you created,
against your will were you born,
against your will do you live,
against your will will you die, and
against your will will you stand in judgment before the
King of kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.”

Rabbi Elazar HaKappar (C.170 - C.200 CE)
(Ha Kappar: the one who made and gave atonement)


in these, the years of my erosive declination,
when the noble prize, time for introspection,
once was a chore of delaying, now no longer can be off-put,
the certainties of Elazar, offer guidable satisfactions

the nighttime review, resurrecting my life, the gaps,
the untaken actions, those dream-schemes speak loudest,
memories of what should have been, are a litany of what ifs,
prosecutorial accusations of crass wastage

against my will, the charges brought,
against my will, plead guiltily my innocence,
against my will, knowingly, time’s erasure judgment,
secures my fate, all the granular cells causal dissipation

my warped willingness to be a coward,
it was my meditative, to natural be the lesser man,
choosing the safety premise, the road most oft trod,
the addition of my meager totality, willing given

Even if all these land mine/roadblocks
and summary judgements are against my will,
willingly do I confess, in all innocence, my guilt,
“if it be my will”
  Dec 2020 Path Humble
Nat Lipstadt
things she doesn’t ask...

are they things,
she doesn’t know to ask,
are they things
to which,
she does not want to know
the answers.

my not knowing the answer to this puzzle,
drives me to distraction, her Mona Lisa smile,
accompanied by her noncommittal “whatever,”
hiding the answer, nearly leads me over a blurting edge,
but for my inevitable retreat, for the true question,
has a  truer answer, that comes as well, 
in question form.  

Why do I,

or do I,

want to know?
winter 2020
  Dec 2020 Path Humble
Nat Lipstadt
just before never...

my last performance,
the words came original
and easy, unlike all its
predecessors; someone
drew me a map of my
life and times, cities,
countries, and roads
well travelled and a few,
not too. Mountains, each with
a woman’s name, who carried
care, until she couldn’t, didn’t, and
time’s weathering returned us
individually into hillocks, and then
rain eroded us back into old soil.

the broad highways and back roads,
always snaking away, fork-forcing
directional choices, usually taking the
wrong way, the easy and safe one,
and how I have come to hate those
words: easy and safe, for they
are the pill combo that leaves you
for dead, dulling the questioning
one inquires of oneself, late, reluctantly.

But there is always the unexpected.

Today I saw a sunset on the Hudson
River with a humpback whale blowing,
running beside a river ferry, plowing the
waters back and forth tween two states.

Lived by this river for s e v e n t y years,
and have seen the whales in many places,
but here, in my city, in the river of my youth,

and I got the sign, message received, there
are still sights and poems to behold, arms to
embrace, youngers to guide if they’ll permit it.

so this title, these two,
just before,
this day, poem, came to remind me, the
days map remains unfinished, there are lands
and voyages and poems still awaiting drawing,
and it is tomorrow, and just before tomorrow, that
recording insistent demands, and a map is just a
moment in time, until just before...never

5:28 AM Thu Dec 10
2020 (a year deserving
of its own line and ending)

Manhattan, between two rivers.
  Dec 2020 Path Humble
Nat Lipstadt
dedicated to Ashleigh Riddle,
who knows that forwards and backwards can both be the right way

Homework assignments, please pass them in!

Mmmm ok who didn't submit?

Stand up please!

Ah Mr. LIPSTADT, I should have known!
No poem?

Oh yes sir, I have a poem, even three!

But the dog et them, so if you want, I'll
Recite them please?

{general laughing and snorting in the classroom}

Oh really, Mr. Lipstadt,
why don't you come up to the front
And share with us but one of,
(big sneer on teach's face)
Your creativity!

Shuffle up to Buffalo, where hysteria breaks out,
For now the world is informed that I am wearing
One black and one brown shoe,
The din is attracting the notice of the class
next door, room 402.

Order! Order! Settle down.

Ok let us hear what you dint write!
(Dint, oh boy)

The Poem (the one the dog et):

A special day this quiet Tuesday,
For when I awoke, looked outside,
I saw what I saw,  quickly realized,
That this was the day to
break the norms.

Why must I wear two shoes of similar hues?
My can't my hair be color enhanced by the pink of you!

You just noticed my shirt and pants are  on backwards?
Perception in the eye of the beholder,
Beholder that be me, because,
Today, behold!
It is break the norms day!

Moon in the sky morning,
It knows the way, its place
When gravity, cycles, temporarily shelved,
On the break the norms day

Kissed my mom before I left for school,
My dad, my brother, my sis, too whoo hoo,
** **, you shoulda seen their faces,
When I sauntered out the door,
Humming, C'mon baby light my fire

The crossing guard gave me my usual,
A whistling hello,
Today, I whistled back,
The whistle of
Hey babe, looking good,
She blushed so hard,
The drivers thot the light was
Stuck on red!

This is how I spent my morn,
On the day of breaking the norms!

But even on break the norm day,
Somethings are constant, forever,
For instance, the path to the
School office, La Principal, unchanging,
Her grimaced visor in place,
Till she closes the door.

Then she says tell me honey child,
One of my unusual ones,
What trespasses have you committed today?

Well, the dog et my poetry,
But knew it well and true,
Offered to recite, not a riot incite,
May I please say one for you?

She said:
I know for a fact that you don't have
A dog, but nonetheless,
Sing to me, child,
Give me words
That justify
Giving most of
My lifetime to

So I gave her a listening
Of one I writ the week before, called,
"He taught them well."

She wept.
Ok, teary-eyed glistening,
She said, as punishment for class disrupting,
You will be suspended for the rest of the day,
You will have spend the rest of this diurnal,
Sitting next to me, thus,
We will break one more norm, together....

For Helen, "I have so many partial poems I'm thinking of just mashing them together and maybe the dog will eat them..."
In all poems, I swear there is always a kernel of

He cared enough,
So much so to
reason with them.
Never diminishing their simplest prose,
Even if it rhymed with rose....

He loved them in his way,
A teacher, once his student,
This year, then forever.

Their woes he read,
In every submission,
No threat treated idly,
He knew but one grade,

One rule strictly observed,
No touching,
In this sad age, a crime without
Any absolution.

Then came a day.
School arrived, pre-bell by ten minuets,
His customary arrival time.

This day different.

The long corridor to the classroom entree,
Lined like Noah's ark, two by two,
On each side,
His students past and present aligned,
They would not let him pass,
Till he hugged each and everyone.

Thus, they taught him well the meaning of
Just rewards,
For they were his,
Yes, they were his,
Not for the taking,
But for the giving.

His subject,
of course,

Creative writing!
  Aug 2020 Path Humble
Left Foot Poet
Cold beer,
a long necked bottle held to my forehead
and in my throat,
to my lips,
so relief comes both ways,
glad for it,
the double of the cool,
helps the day of troubled nothingness,
and the long necked bottle makes it
worth the extra second of anticipated tasty wait

can't drink in the river park,
don't cotton to brown paper bags,
do it anyway cause the East River
tides me over on its way
thru the Verrazano Narrows,
bound for the Atlantic with me low rider spirit in tow,
a devil may care attitude en contrôle

this troubadour opened the store at 700am
but not a one came looking for a song,
but the mail came reliable,
with dues due,
promises that need keeping,
and other items,
what the grownups call responsibilities

June Monday early eve and the Moran tugboats
ply their trade like reliable ****** to the sailors,
and their larger than bathtub size toys,
turning containers, freighters, into docile boys
who do as they are told on their way to ports far

there are stick figures outlined on the hexagon
paving stones that are so nyc for me,
here pedestrian! follow your designated path
here pedestrian, you must walk to be safe arrived

but I take to the railing,
where  Isaac-bound and mesmerized,
I imagine surfing the churning wakes on the surface
of the riveting tides and wonderous wanderlust for
where we are bound...

no voice heard from the heavens,
saying Abraham put down that knife,
because I have not passed the test of true belief,
perhaps the river's invitation is my test,
if I should sing another song here,
perhaps it will tale the end of this tell...
The Walls of Jericho came down tumbling,
they fell onto the ground,
they heaped up dust and rubble
all happened with a sound.
Standing, wrecked, solitaryobserving
as the ruins lay bare forlorn,
I felt my heart like old ways
irretrievably torn,
A new foundation is needed,
pile carefully brick on brick,
building firm on this foundation
because the old walls made me sick.
thank you path humble for sending me your poem You have taken my voice, it hurt me deep, it made me sad, and inspired me to write the above, I have been holding onto trauma a long time, I only realised it was there a year and a half ago, once I saw it I couldn't unsee, now to build a newer me, thanks I think I healed something today.
Path Humble Jul 2020
~for Dante Rocio, who shares visions~

-from where does inspiration come from?

intimacy with the inanimate,
the population of objects,
coarse, beauteous that provoke,
the museums, the gutter, the worn,
the just unrealized, imagined,
learning to speak hearts
to speak the heart language

from animated blood, eyes, taste buds,
when you pass thru the molecules of me,
by contact real or imagined,
desperation, satisfaction organic,

where do these questions arise,
the answers as well,
they are tangible, yet intangible,

a notion indistinct,
an untraceable path,
hidden routers,
deflecting reflecting,
even a current direct,
invisible to the naked

from where?

a fair question,
answers, unreliable,
for in the forming,
the froming
is always

June 2014
Next page