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lmnsinner Jun 2020
you haven’t written me a love poem in so long

around midnight,
two too together,
climb in to bed,
covers tucked,
up to their chins,
happy old souls
settling in 4 the evening...

suddenly followed,
by a furious
sixty seconds of
running and rubbing,
semi-serious sinning,
hands up ‘n down
any part, nearest, handy,
public or private, dandy,
maybe even a minute moaning,
a simple reassurance,
a kind of insurance,
covering bases,
first, second and third,
yeah, he/she to me, attracted...

exhausted, contorted,
exalted, these two fossils,
rising like a holy ghosts,
from the dust bin of
a jointed storied history,
begin to race, who will,
be first to sleep-snoring...


one of them thinking
in those waning moments,

you haven’t written me
a love poem in so long,

the other, thinking happily,

ha! finally learned to keep
poems, short and simple

and both of them
kaput, lights out darkened,
until coffee arrives by
seven thirty morn light,
handmade, by hand delivered...
clear conscience Jun 2020
oscillating between extremes

the seesaw tilts, slamming the body into hurtful,
no genteel daisy picking, nope, love me, love me not,
the mind playing warped ideologies, you, tossed about

I want her; all men do; the rapture is coming, her eyes,
preach to the converted and the soon-to-be; join her,
her semi-colon smile, represents a hell of near-completion!

discourse, pleadings, all for naught, she, teacher/grader,
A or F, frenzied thrown to the ground, her lips say oops,
but we know, a throwing intentional, a mastery of reminder!

barbs of  batting eyelids, whipping tongue tips reveal daggers,
woe is me, whoa I plead, there is no mercies extant, instead, we
oscillate up and down, tween extremes, I need her, can’t have her!

I hate her! and myself, for myself, I love her so, my hate for her is less
than our mutual mocking of me...


we oscillate between extremes, at least, we are together...
~for alison~

sun’s come out, yellow invitations issuing,
let’s walk, asking, my afternoon habitué, you’ll talk,
I’ll listen, maybe a poem, a tune, who knows,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

Nina Simone on the phone, called,
letting you know, she’s feeling good,
subtly pointing out you could too,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

Adele rang up, just in case,
you were undecided, to keep on
chasing pavements, even if,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

Elle King came by, shame she said,
what’s you need getting into is shame
‘n trouble, the kind that makes ya shake,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

Chris Stapleton, didn’t have no idea,
you knew him too, reminding you that
Tennessee Whiskey ain’t the answer neither,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

Amy W. stopped in, in case you needed a ride
in her BMW, just to say hi, you ain’t no p.o.w.,
stop cheating on yourself, it ain’t no good,
what will come of it, surely ain’t exactly clear

my woman, sat down next to me, demanding all
my devices, pad and phone, you’ve got memories,
roots, a home on the ground, no nighttime gypsy you,^
don’t need no sad other women music, surely what comes

of it is exactly clear.

^Alice Merton
Where Shelter May 2020
lest the best go to waste

~for the Grande Dame of Port Hardy~

this breathing fire, a coronating sense of mortality, internally
stronger than ever before, though unaffected, no visible signage,
his invisible labored breathing, the torn fabric of easy gone mentality,
yet so corrupted, his interiors polluted, his crying-out-loud goes

unheard, the sheltering alone in his head, which now is stretched,
way past the point of no return ever, this new strand of side-virus,
of dreary sameness, familiar but reimagined as an atmospheric cancer,
the urgency by which his olive oil words, from pitcher poured, astounds

no subterfuge, he’s made his Great-Escape, to the sheltering island,
his refuge, part redoubt, jagged coastlines a hardening shell, no access
until you declare fealty to the Ferry Captains, who let you board for a princely $2 bucks, if you meet their unstandards, upstanding, healthy?

to the old cottage where we have summered forty year more, The requested Crew assemblage by early dawn (no ****),  for animals unencumbered by time-stealing watches, animal mutual truce declared, mottled multiplying rabbits, squirrels who know not any fear, orange breasted robins, **** deer, mollusks, rainbow trout, osprey, cat-sized cawing crows, and the watchers, the sea-it-all gulls

even the Canadian geese send a scout, in the poet’s nook we are formed, nervous not for their safety, but worried for mine, a Memorial Day meeting very traditional, atmospheric condition cool-cloudy-overcast, party sunny a bold-faced forecasters lie-trick, for an island *******-bonding gloom, a glomming gray weight tamps the air down

Friends! My Audience for New Poets! (their honorific, now over-a-decade old): The Gods have tweeted, this year may not have a next, no Jerusalem for your human acquaintances, the luxurious slowdown of island life, infected by a new urgency, explaining the known and the unknowns facing the human interlopers

Where’s Shelter?**

a refrain, a greeting,  we have sung together, so many times, self-satisfied, fore we knew well, knew anew, we had the answer, here, here, though to life’s cycle we are not immunized, but now your human admirers face agents of death, by invisibility masked, giving us no pause, so we, all, write now, must forward on to:

live/write our best, lest, our partnership be for naught, always between us truce of mutual consent, a natural love of all living things
island poet May 2020
~for Honey~

upon arrival in May, 2020, at the sheltering island:

sparser, leaner, the overage of summer fullness lacking,
some of the presumptuous early blooms silly attempting
with no success, the deceiving of new arrivals, while the many
naked branches, leaf-less, trees, struggling be fully realized, needy
to join, volunteer, with the troops of advancing green recruits

this no poem, just descriptive, a viewpoint, my eyes awaken
to calm waterways, white boat dots trawling, looking
for new births, bounties of raw refreshment, sailing to an audience
of landed, gentrified emerald grasses, their chorale singing ‘thirsty!’

of me they ask, who be you, we’ve not seen nary a human trod
our land and seascape for months many, we have no recollection,
no issuing, of an invitation to any two legged slightly-familiar interlopers, reply simple, essence of essential, I’m being, being here!

your shores shore me in ways undefinable, that my
travels and travails don’t dare accompany or defy,
looking for old friends, natural ones, some likely passed,  all
whilst I sing Over the Rainbow, wishing wishes wonderful

already becoming truth, eyes daren’t deceive, my somewhere
here, where a winter’s rainbow made its landing, dreams truthful revealed, richly greeted, our presence yet welcomed, by sea salted
odiferous air, lapidaries of sapphiric waves, animals of the Kingdom

the poetry nook members, askance asking, why, what so long took,
we, your audience, waiting patiently for a coming, to pen our
woods and tales, long, short and tall, prophecies of storms,
lighting crashes, of a stilling peacefulness, heaven-bequeathed

the Adirondack thrones, four kings, wearied worn, beyond gray,
show their weathering rings pride of ‘another year, we’ve survived,’
saying now, we’ll speak to the world, through you-man-poet,
our minions too, deer, wolves, rabbits, starfish, osprey, sea trout, piping plover, all winter survivors, will enjoin your verses

much to tell, newly created, new spells, to trance your eyes,
you seeing only our surfaces, guessing at our depths, our inherency,
looking for recovered keys to unlock your own hardy boyish mysteries, but ours, are perpetual unsolvable which is why,
you humans, ne’er fail to return

your soft footfalls, children’s shrieks, jewels to adorn us,
our nature, needs adoration and adulation, our tree limbs
for swinging on lumber-cut swings, flying towards our blued skies, requires humans to summer-slum, breaching the winters remaining slumbering yet few ends to join you when you at last first chant,

                               that, that’s where
                               you will find me, 
                               think to myself,
                                                         ­ oh, what a wonderful world!
fearfulpoet May 2020
among the millions who have never served, or wore uniform,
thought about it, was discouraged, and luck of the lottery,
the only one I’ve ever won, was #359 in the Vietnam draft,
cause my birthday was October X, and thus, stayed alive

yet, when, every time, hearing Henry V recite his battle speech,
copious weep that I was not there, for the deep need in my soul,
I too well ken, that I ne’er had the opportunity to become one of
a company, a band of brothers, this stripe, missing from my arm

would I have served if called? do not be absurd, the war was idiocy,
but that would not have prevented me from the chance, the luck,
to have been beside men, who would forevermore be mine, be my
very own band brothers...perhaps you think me mad, perverse,
not so, the bonds that formed such, gentle men for ever better...

“From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition
^ Pride in past valor may be best expressed in the St. Crispin’s Day speech from “Henry V” (Act IV, Scene iii), delivered by the young king on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt.

By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then he will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names
Familiar in his mouth as household words:
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d,
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

fearfulpoet May 2020
she said:
you are a man knowing cruel, knowing hard,
with strangest soft skin, a funny way of talking,
lick my face with your words so I’ll learn,
to be tough and tender too, this I want, wanted

he replied:
life gave me splinters, broken from rough edges,
left under my exterior to fester, blister, and scar,
life licked my face, taught me mean, and the words
that came with that, were sand papered on my skin

she answered:
I’m not blind, I can feel, smell your contradictories,
want your antibodies in my blood, survival skills,
to be what I am not, and keep too, what I’ve got, to
be infected and protected, knowing words defensive

he listened:
what you desire, is the health that comes after,
after what you don’t understand, until you’ve
loved, lost, been beaten down so that getting up is
miraculous, this unteachable, this licking by words

she insisted:
your arrhythmic rhymes, skinflint perspectives,
this is what I ask, what I need, what you can give,
what is in your possess, what you need to unburden,
making me better for making you lessened

he wept:
and said nothing.

for nothing taught appreciating silence and that,
was the beginning,
of what she wanted,
of what he did not,
of what he gives reluctantly

Wed May 20
Isle of Mind
Nat Lipstadt Feb 2016
T'is a curious thing,
these verbal peddlers,
these tribal members,
famously well known to no one,
perhaps at best,
a kindred few, fellow-travelers.

Each a troop,
in the army of orphans,
bloodied, purple hearted,
anonymous unto each other,
yet all bonded intimates,
in solitary struggle united,
yet sea-parted by the very nature
of the solitude of composition.

All poets are Cain scar-marked,
purposed for everyone to see,
a warning to the rabbled boors,
the imagination suppressors!


cherish these flawed ones,
gentle these frail but gritty,
the Lord has tasked them
to be prophets in one tongue untied,
undo the strife of Babel's division.


Be the harpooners
of the unexamined life,
with unfettered rhapsody,
comfort caress us,
exhort the loopy
to light their illusionary candles,
turn the sad eyed lowlanders
into crinkly eye-lined smilers.

With clinical observation,
dense and demanding,
make us laugh at
the comedy of our situation,
teach us our free-to-see peep show,
reveal, unseal us
with **** empathy!

For who's who in poetry
is all of us!
saviors and failures,
recorders and decoders,
night writers of the oohs and aahs
of dreams and nightmares.

When this poet cannot,
no longer, anymore,
taste his poems upon your lips,
keep your poems within his heart,
then he breathes no more,
becoming one who was, yet still is,
because of you,

because of poetry.
abecedarian May 2020
~for r, just because~

put her in my mouth and she became my

put myself inside her and she became my
insides out.

spill good words on her belly, licked & laced us together, then came my 

on elbow, she claimed coauthor-ship, demanded her name above        

I smiled, answering most matter-of-factly,
surely they’re your creations, you-a-ruler, procreator, foremost, first,

the ABCedarian

the muse goddess of alphabets, all that is poetic divine mistress to

I’m mortal,
your transcriber, copyist, alphabetically seconded, merest mere,

the ABEcedarian

I’m rudimentary without you, lost midst the masses o’poets nameless.

She snorted, said
“sounds like poetic ******* to me”
but returned to her sleepy heaven,
mumbling most contentedly.
a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet.
a rudimentary beginner in any field of learning.
Where Shelter May 2020
the anonymous who keep us fed,
allowing us to stay in shelter, hide in bed,
while they masked and gloved,
go about keeping us safe and living

with no glory, the invisible,
the shelf stockers,
the wipe-downers,
of our collective spaces,
disinfecting when we
are home in our heads, while
their families worry~wait

we are the indebted,
so our collective can prosper,
no one calls them heroes,
but we would be at greatest, fatalist risk,
if not for the burdens they accept,
for they deliver

so I when I ask nowadays, where is shelter,
the answer is, it is on the way, it is in their hands,
being delivered!
in NYC we are able to survive only because of this army
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