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Aug 2015
Oliver Sacks passed away today, August 30, 2015
He asked the best questions
and never stopped seeking ever better answers.
Perhaps now, richer, he has them,
but this world is surely a poorer place indeed.

"And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest."

Oliver Sacks

I hope you read the entire essay at the URL below.

humble humble,
mine own own muse~jester
self-mocking, calling me out,
giving oneself the *******,
who you?

you, the greater fool,
utilizing, thriving on self-contemptuous thoughts,
you are no Oliver Sacks,
what are you doing
messing with his essaying?

go back to being
a standardized human,
spilling the detritus of thine mortal coil,
that employs you as a full time slave,
a scab-working seven day affair,
is that not sufficient?

in your sixth
forsook the ancient Sabbath long ago,
keeping it for ****** rest,
cheaply tired from the liturgy of
straitjacketing of do's and dont's
of excruciating detail,
that put only distance tween
you and your
essential spiritual oils

Sacks invades directly my eye's clouded storage,
now, two brains cross-wired,
his story, my story,
all too familiar,
almost indecently similar

here I am,
nearer my god than thee,
on this Sabbath day
of my ancestors,
(a hand-me-down gift to the world's conceptual heritage sites)
working hard,
as an everyday day laborer,
looking for work on street corners,
busy busy searching my conscience,
angel wrestling,
by questions -

when is
one’s work done,
and when,
when may one,
in good conscience,

this poetry writing, is it not work too?

a violation of the Sabbath commandment,^
even if it is of no great matter,
for by now,
this lifelong dialogue internal
this contradictory poetic dialectic
which has yet to justify the emotive words
final or finished,
is a seven days of the week affair,
undeserving of a day of rest


as I essay out this Sabbath working poem,
in a place of beauteous, natural calm,
it's so easy to agree with the
passing schooners,
all whispering,
via genteel southern breezes,

later, not sooner,

no need to decide, let it ride,
answers will come,
perhaps, all on their own,
perhaps, all on that day
when you're within
hailing distance,
in a flailing,
failing-voice-recognition way,
of the shores of the
Isle of Surcease

the answers will come
when you have leave to
exorcise from your calendar,
Siri's spouting, inexorable,
pop-up perpetual reminder
that today's first thing
on your
to do list is:

"live a life  of
good and worthwhile"

for then,
you will have all the answers
for the Oliver questions
that need perpetual asking


^ "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates."

Aug. 15, 2015
Shelter Island
for Ursula,
who I think of whenever
I read this
Written by
Nat Lipstadt  M/nyc
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