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Nat Lipstadt Feb 19
Compare and Contrast (the foliage of the heart)


My work is loving the world.
 Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird - 
equal seekers of sweetness.
 Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
 Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
 Am I no longer young and still not half-perfect? Let me
 keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
 The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
 Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here,
Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
 a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
 to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
 telling them all, over and over,
how it is
 that we live forever.

This is the first poem in Mary Oliver's collection Thirst, titled,
“The Messenger."


Ruler of the Universe, grant me the ability to be alone; may it be my custom to go outdoors each day among the trees and grass among all growing things - and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer, to talk with the One to whom I belong.

May I express there everything in my heart, and may all the foliage of the field - all grasses, trees, and plants - awake at my coming, to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer so that my prayer and speech are made whole through the life and spirit of all growing things, which are made as one by their transcendent Source. May I then pour out the words of my heart before Your presence like water, O L-rd, and lift up my hands to You in worship, on my behalf, and that of my children!

-Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav


too early on a Sunday morning for a trick or treat question,
still bed-bound @ Nine AM, browsing the internet state of the world,
it’s pre-my-walk on First Ave., in my Manhattan
concrete habitat pasture, where it’s gray and grayer
reveals of raggedy grass, certainly no sheep, and the only flowers
arrayed will be those with price tags fronting the bodegas
that are busy preparing breakfast for thousands of New Yorkers

trick question?

indeed! there is NO contrast, save the compare the kinetic similitude
of three kinfolk prayers, amidst frightfully unchanging headlines of
the dreary state of the world - weather report prototypical,
war, death & destruction, whiny celebrities and sports “heroes,”
editorials preaching, a vast quietude of no one’s mind changed,

but, always the but…

my work is loving the world, the grimy solitary blades of grass, true survivors, hosted & sprouting in dirt cracks miraculously,
letting the foliage of my heart blossoming in early morn warmth within my body’s extremities, clothed coverings of wintery wool,
confess my facts (“no longer young and still not half perfect?”),
filling the styrofoam cups of begging, wretched yearning refuse,
planting sprigs of mint green dollars in blanched froze hands,
wondering to myself, which one is
the masked messiah?

these are the growing things in my fields, 70 years familiar,
the fruits and flowers of my life, are street crated>corners,
a panoply of vest corner garden-parks,
and the people!
people of every color and shade, what variety hath man wrought?

my eyes lack
not for anything, plenty the stimuli joyous within the astonishing spirit and life of all things blooming in hostile soil and you
may yet see the mark of
Abel joy upon my forehead, in my eyes, and see lips whispering this prayer~poem while being birthed, but in a word, a single word,
a pouring, best summarizing of a rebbe’s blessing
shouting out, anointing, appointing:


Sun Feb 19 2023 9:15 AM
Rickey Spence Mar 2022

You flipped on me like a coin
But to compare you to a currency
Would be to suggest that you actually
Could spend your time like it were money
Or that you would place value on our friendship

I held onto you like a rung on a ladder
But to compare you to such a useful tool
Would be to pose that I might have actually
Used you as if you were a piece of equipment
Or that I thought I could climb you to reach new heights

You left me like a turn signal
But to compare you to a direction
Would be to suggest that you actually
Had some purpose or mission or goal
Or that you had an inkling of the destination of your journey
Pr nandni Jun 2021
Never STOP yourself to WONDER how BEAUTIFUL you're ,,
Jealousy will cease you to RUN after more SUPERIOR than you..
Your beauty will not stop you, but your PRIDE on your beauty will LOCK your MOVE ..

OPEN your HEART every time you open your EYES..
Make your soul LIVELY and
as PLAYFUL as butterfly
Who spends their whole LIFE , flying across AESTIVATIONS ,,
Of singly coloured PETALS....
Holding the band of RAINBOW on their BACK...

If they stop , to CHERISH their beauty
It'll disturb the law..
UNAWARE of their BREATHTAKING beauty they're happy & BUSY..

So, if you're arrived for a JOURNEY
Never make SONGS of your MISERIES
Make your PAIN , a mole of CHEEK
Not an EXCUSE to hide your FACE
Never let your SHORTCOMINGS be the reason to RUN away from LIFE...

They call crawling caterpillars UGLY
But wishes to get KISSED from butterflies
They're nagging , criticizing judgemental
Can only PRAISE the Beauty...
Nobody is INTERESTED in anyone's journey
So BUSY to see transformation
But Ready to Compare & to make PERCEPTION ......
"Don't let the noise of other people's opinion drown out your own inner voice" ~ S.J.
Lydia Nov 2020
I can love myself so much better
comparison steals my ability to see my beauty
I spend so much time loathing
I don’t know what to compare myself to anymore
Nat Lipstadt Jun 2020
Preamble: Compare and Contrast

compare and contrast,
the teacher asks us to
do this,
on a mid-term
exam and I am
                                  struck-up by a resonance combo, a commandment
                                  compare and contrast, somewhere an ineffable has
                                  ordered me to love poetry, in all/only honesty,
                                  in that uncertain way. without surcease.

                 ­                    functional verbs that a button pushed,
                                            a non-rhyme that sang out somehow
                                                “this is the writing life, this way, yours.”
                                    live and last.
with that single directive,
compare and contrast.
without surcease,
                   and your poem then,        has no The End.
preambleto a poem yet unwritten
Daniel Pokorny Jun 2020
The nights are as young as we are,
The days, are as long as our nightmares,
Our dreams are short,
But long during,
To compare ourselves with others,
Is like comparing our nightmares,
They'll never be the same,
For one person's nightmares,
Are another's day dream.
Maja Jun 2020
The moon isn’t meant to be warm
it’s not meant to be bright,
the reason we see it,
is because of a reflection of the sun’s light.

The moon isn’t meant to be warm
The way it shines is cold
a silver light,
not fire and gold

You don’t compare,
night and noon
the sun is the sun
and the moon is the moon
Pizacas23 May 2020
That is until
you look at me
nothing else
could compare.
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