Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Shunyata (Vacancy)

Fills me up like
Water, or like wine
Fingertip to bone
Omphalos to earlobe
Leaving not a
Niche, cranny, fold, corner, diverticulum
Open to receive
Blossoming of basic skills that hide within

I am
Too much cluttered with the
Hunger for perfection
Jealousy for bling
An attic of attachments

Puncture my pretentions, please
Just the smallest prick--
Let these longings seek their lowest level
Leaking from my toe-tips
Bleeding from my nails

Leaving me washed clean
Void of preconceptions
Filled with possibility

Room for improvement

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kaizen (改 善—Small Improvements)

Little steps, balanced forth
And back, keeping options open
Ready to explode

Feint and run away
Teasing you to push and charge
Hah! Counterattack

You can push, and push
Good! I pull distance, beat, deceive
Parry and riposte

You make touch against
Now I know what you will do
Here—try it again…

Incremental change
Subtle transformation, not

I can live with that--
Each instar a bit improved
It will be enough

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Equanimity (Trade-offs)

In breaking free of suffering
Following defeat,
For rare and precious victories
Must joy mute too?

Achieving non-attachment
Would I misplace
The slightly batty dedication
Needed for success?

I’m just as happy not to be
Swept up in rage and self-reproach
Embarrassed by my petty fulminations
A mini-diva stomping on the strip

Accepting the results
My breath and body, instincts, mind and soul
Produce this day, this hour
Feels right, feels good
(Certainly more civilized)
And yet…

I fear acceptance morphed into complacency
     Lingering in bed on lazy mornings
     Skimping on the weights
     Staying home from practice, now and then
Worst of all, not fighting tooth and nail for every touch

So here’s the goal, ok?
     A happy discontent
     Passionate detachment
     Restless cessation
Dynamic tension, keeping me in play

It’s not so hard—just smile, bow, accept the baser metal
Hang it on the wall
A drishti—point of meditation—
Fueling the alchemical pursuit of gold

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stalling for Time (A Veteran's Wiles)

Excuse me sir, my
Shoe has come untied, may I
Kneel, and bind it up?

Hair! Hair in the face
Hair in the mouth (ptooie)
Thanks, it’s better now

Halt halt halt! Pardon…
The stupid grip is loose, you see?
(Fumble for the wrench)

Damn you’re full of pep
Pesky teenage energy
Hah—point in line! (Wheeze)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Только дышать (Prana)

Just breathe…
This universal panacea
Cools my temper
Rallies my banked fire
Balances my moods

Ragged inbreath
Stable exhalation
     Stitch together
Body and mind
Hand and blade

Currents and subcurrents swirl and surge
Unclog knotted channels
Sweep out random, tangled thoughts
Open conduits of
Grace and concentration

Steadied by this insubstantial flow
     Wrist firms
     Gaze settles
     Heart calms
     Ego fades

Antagonists interlaced
In a dance of distance
This shared breath, molecular exchange
Our only intimate connection
Interweaving thoughts and aspirations

Inbreath, outbreath, inbreath
In between, the pause that brings time to a halt
Hollow to the core
Enveloping the world