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First Boat


first boat off the island @ 5:40 am,
the sun, savvy and knowledgeable
makes sunrise @ 5:14 am for ‘late’ is
not an adjective extant in its stellar lexicon

a safety check, sunlight invades every crack,
pilings vested & secured, ferry engine hums a
warming, morning cranking tune, a sailors
favorite from the global ******’s hymnal

those early morning voyagers, who are exchanging,
one island for another, note their coffee steaming up
coordinates with haze, burning off, all to see the first
waves come to rock them voyagers to “all awaken”

sunlight then slow spreads its envision, from the Heights
over to Mashomack, rousing, disturbing, nudging the
remaining, for there is work, living aplenty, we who stay
to tend to the most appropriately named isle in the world


6/12/21
Silver Beach
Shelter Island, New York
Nat Lipstadt Apr 10
bless the parents

who grow their worry lines,
a slow etching upon their face,
every night, a fractional addition,
what will the future hold for the children,
wandering tween wondering and wonderful

I am among the parental plenitude, who
struck a deal with the authorities of life,
pleading, demanding, coercing, begging,
take my years excess, give it to the children,
and spare them famine, thirst, war, sickness...

give them children, and spare them too the worry,
ban those crinkled lines, provision only smooth faces,
never let them never wonder, the accursed how,
will they be alright, & let them read this poem,
and laughing ask the surrounding atmosphere

whatever made the old man write such nonsense?


April 10th 2021 @5:38 AM
Nat Lipstadt Apr 13
Ah you hate to see another tired man / Lay down his hand / Like he was giving up the holy game of poker
Leonard Cohen
<>
Will I remain within God's house at night as shadows drift through dimming my light?
written by Weeping Willow, gifted to me, by Edmund Black
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I,
in­stant understanding, perhaps in my experiential possess,
some answerings perhaps...product of late night, many, many
theological arguments over poker games, with coarse men,
tough women, and ethically-challenged Gods, all faithful regular attendees

With a little bit o’ luck from an occasional guardian angel, even
I possess an occasional winning hand.

now we all commence with a passionate uttered blessing,
for the good beer and salty pretzels, giving thanks for having
reached this act-exact moment of being, here and now, in God’s house at night, plus a holy add-on variation, a swear-to-god (we all snicker) promise solemn, no cheating, no absolutely divine peeking/spying in soulful futures, no fun in that, sanctified & sealed with hearty amens and ****** noises offered for emphasis.

hear you scratching you head, wondering what all this to do
with a whispered prayer of soulful, on-shore drilling deep,
product of a drill bit cutting the black quietude of interstellar voids internal, where there is no censorship, lying an impossibility, and the only questions are super hard, so some never return with an answer truthful

so, I remain in God’s House, playing poker, with deities who
jealous guard their moments as human facsimiles...cherishing humans who guard with care, an ability to see that they and gods differ little, when making honest truth a shared primacy

in the intimacy
of an overnight stay
in God’s house at night,
all our coming-led light dims,
when my/their need is greatest
!

(written sometime this year, Jan. 2021, Manhattan)



~~~~
^ https://hellopoetry.com/poem/4157753/winter/

^^ Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the
Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and
enabled us to reach this occasion.
Nat Lipstadt Apr 4
10,000 steps to a poem

<~>
walk to save my visions, my subterfuge-self, trying to
encapsulate the moments, seconds of nano-instances of a
tableau of histories, of actions becoming interactions,
a physical mitosis, ground into one human paste of word-cells
by a singular mortar and pestle that more than blends, but condenses

walk in Whitman’s footsteps, prowl old cobbled
streets seeing them anew, listening to the patois
of each skyward pathway, a commingling of
catechisms, Tefilot, Salah, Stuti Karana, into a stampede becoming a tornado funnel of a multivariate alphabets singularity - a prayer|poem returning to birth-mother

rush homeward desperate to retain the holy mess of verbal music,
before aged eyes release the visions, into a heavenly lost but found
depot of single lefty gloves, snatches and refrains, hymnals, phrases,
10,000 preservation band steps keeping but scraps, weeping
for the so much lost, yet blessing-uttering thankful for this one,
to a one


who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to
this moment, to this season.


4/4/21
1:50pm
~writ by night, daylight born~
Passover/ Easter Sunday
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~For Ayesha~

for simply put,
or
simply taken,
they’re a disguise...

eternal guards on duty,
alphabet soldiers that
grow more vigilant

standing reef,
a barrier,

a thousand years to erosion complete.

this is the right poem, but the wrong words. Mystified me, how
can this be? such a young person, whose words speak to me?

If we are not our words, what will we become?
Sep 10 2020
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
*But wrestle I do nonetheless,
                                    for the pleasure of this (non?) soluble
                problem that both creates
    queries & quenches
                             simultaneously, so I break off this
                             thinnest wafer to share with you,
          offering this notional



<~>

mine own words return, Halloween hauntingly,
every event adds layering failure to comprehend
and the frustrated anger dissipates into a thousand
swirls,
Oct 25 2020 Manhattan
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
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,
never.

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.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EovXVHyXcAAHXax?format=jpg&name=large
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
These are the endless days of endlessness
These are the days, when time is just present
There is a disbelieved past, a future unimaginable
Here is the only now, a permanent-present-tensing-participle

Faces smiling semi-graciously present, desperately seeking coaxing
The winter dark, living room occasional lit by one, mostly TV glow
Radiance lives inside only, but well remembered songs cause
Cry outs for who, the what, the needed, we’ve forcibly memorized

Observing winter’s river from kitchen window, it’s colored
*****-dusk-blue, like my eyes, add overlaying images of sparkles
But my magic not powerful, my love can’t see them
My bag-o-tricks can’t bring her sunshine, 2020 sorcerer’s gold

These are the days of endless dancing alone,
Longest walk from bed to kitchen, worn the weary wood shiny
True romancing still abounds, but so well hid, 99% invisible
Even when you ask without asking to be held oh-so-tight

These are the days, riverside, when slow flowing waters offer
No hinting of faraway treasures to be someday discovered
The magician vain struggles to find loving tricks to unlock
Her loving grace, her water-to-wine breathing demeanor*

These are the days, that forever need remembering, saving
No savoring, the absence of joyous everyone, everywhere
These are the days of absence+abstinence that lasted forever
You've got to hold them in your forever heart, lest we forget
5:00 ~ 7:00 AM Tues Dec 8 2020
By the East River
NYC

https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/2549079/Van+Morrison/These+Are+the+Days
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~for those who can’t sleep, and know why~

you say “how much is too far?” and I think yes, more scars,
a man surveys a lifetime of errors and cowardice,
my soles, scarred from nite-walking new york city sidewalks,
days of haven’t slept in years, weakness is my prejudice,
tally sums-ups as no forgiveness, the pavement paying is a
continuum of  paying on, there is no atonement for wasted life,
the concrete cracks wedded to my body, stepped on each one


marvel at the disastrous disappointment that I’ve engineered,
how creative in disguising a life of accumulated self bruising,
applaud my season’s greeting card, 2020, me meeting me,
in a laptop I am contained, global boundaries thus defined,
crumpled coffee cups, emptied wine glass, zoom loops of repetition,
still I wonder why, every day, how, so many missteps, wondering
not at the lackluster will that carried me;  every minute sorrowful


so much hidden begs for revelation, murdered souls, theft, jealousy,
but the punishment is brutal; a conscientious conscience continually
punishes my blackened hours and there is no retrieval, retrial,
just a grounded plot with neither headstone and grass,
for I’m marked by no marker, and the wounds inflicted are my
afflicted leavings, my bones+soul confined, and the hallelujah
word excised from my vocabulary, forbidden me, justifiably so






————————————-

Mr. Tambourine Man
Song by Bob Dylan

“Though I know that evening's empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand, but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me,
I'm branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street's too dead for dreaming...

And take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time
Far past the frozen leaves
The haunted frightened trees
Out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky
With one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea
Circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate
Driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow”
4:32 AM Sat Dec 5 2020
Nat Lipstadt Dec 2020
~dedicated to the old poets here~

the addictive pairing of certain words, a line,
a lyric, slap-snapping you to full attention,
unfailing decades of instant recognition,
an adrenaline + caffeine shot that powers

a chance, a tensile injection that causes

the lips to commence a new choreography,
the fingers to tap, a jumbled, hurried, embattled
disorderly mess that regenerates, reformulates,
concords into agreement, a harmonic consistency

a geometry of many differing angles that equate

a hard physical, a soft mentality in a singled work,
coexisting in a sacred state of singed confluence,
though imperfect, satisfies mathematical boundaries
of a random outpouring, crowning the stripe inspiring

the spark that finally satisfyingly silences an ignited

filament a-glowing for years, that holy happens
to cross your antennae, fulfilling the need to honor,
the sacred geometry of chance, the honor to need,
the joy of saying, at last, this unwritten debt, paid!


————————————————————————-
(1) a favorite of many years, a lyric from “The Shape of My Heart” by Sting

(2) Dec 3 2020 2:53pm  NYC
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