Thursday, October 15, 2009

Upekkha (Equanimity)

Losing with good humor
—a skill at which I’d rather not become adept
By dint of earnest repetition

Alas, it seems this is the
Awkward grace I’m granted
Opportunity to practice

OK, then—get it right

The outward forms are not so hard
The smile, the bow, the hand that grasps
Transferring strength to victor from the vanquished

Grab the body cord and tug
Gently extract the splintered pride
That’s lodged beneath my nails

Neatly mark my name
Scribble without jabbing through the slip
That documents my every defect, touch by touch

Thank the ref no matter what
(drunk, hung over, deafened by his ear buds, generous with cards)
Neatly pack and stow my sodden gear

And turn to cheer my teammates
Ruthlessly suppressing jealousy
That flares with every lovely touch that is not mine

So this is my assignment:

Acceptance of abiding
In a world I can’t manipulate
To suit my ends

At this rate, there’s chance I’ll reach perfection
Then can I move on to study victory?

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