Monday, August 17, 2009

Strategy Wheel

Starting simply
Straight lunge into four
Just 80 percent-a most convincing feint
Physical telepathy
A gentle probing of your
State of mind
Observe your twitch of blade
The shadow of your parry (duly noted)
Dictates my next act—a feint in four and disengage to six

And since it worked, why not? I try again
But having tweaked the dial
You select a suitable response—
Parry circle four, riposte

And so I shift in turn and add
A crafty circle disengage and end in six
and touch, again

Action follows act
Building the bout’s narrative
The story’s arc
A logical progression
Increasingly complex
Until the balance tips and I
Drop back
To the simplest of acts
And feint…

Break distance, breathe
The wheel begins again

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Guru (Dispelling Shadows)

Floundering about
In search of, what?
     A feeling of the world beneath my feet
     Shifting in predictable procession, not
     Seismic leaps
     Some faint perception of
     Habitual patterns
     The consequences of my acts
     For concentric circles of all living things
     Impinging on my world
     And (hardest of all) myself

Humph. Fifty years of going it alone and not much change

Books, and lectures, theories, books and books
At last, I’m driven to concede
Despite my dogged independence
I need a teacher

Not out in the world
But centered in my heart
Who knows my inner darkness, stratagems, evasions
Sees thru my feline pretense of “I meant it to come out that way”
Won’t let me glide past problems with my clever words
Gently merciless, relentless
Accepting no excuses
Believing that I give my best
And firmly asking more

And look,
Despite my lack of faith
The world sends me what I need

Be careful what you wish for….
Growing pains are hell

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Small Good Things

Tightening a grip
Carefully re-taping every blade
Working at the target, touch by patient touch
Footwork, up and down the strip

Cleaning out the pantry
Checking every bag for sign of moth or mouse
Scouring the pans
Washing down the counters

Cultivating contacts
Earnest curiosity that may or may not “pay off”
Giving shape to thoughts and posting to the blog
Checking off my tasks

Daunted by the prospect of attaining, what?
     A rating earned
     The perfect cake
     Stability in my career
I fall back on
Minor, necessary acts
Nothing monumental

Concentrate on each small step upon the path
Not the final destination
Trusting that the end will find itself

Comforting myself with small, good things

Monday, August 3, 2009

Muscle Memory

Encoded in the grain
By dint of endless repetition

The difference between
     Theory and practice
     Thought and execution

If I could do this thirty years ago—
The actions live within me still, correct?
Hidden by disuse
Atrophied, but waiting to awake
(If my aging body can support the strain)

Clumsily I mimic my much younger self
Working from imperfect recollection
Seeking some detail--
     Sound of blade on blade
     Scent of sweat and leather
A shock that will reverse the flow of time
Evoke the nerves’ potential

If the theory’s sound
If I’m not so changed by growth, experience and time
That what worked then is ill-fitting now
If so, what then?

Time to write new memories
Scrape the palimpsest and start again…