Thursday, December 31, 2009


Fear less
Abandon being brave
And with entire heart
Impale myself upon your blade

With steady breath
Resisting my uncivil urge to
Nip the sluggish heels of time

To time before reality
Placed hobbles on my fun
And second thoughts gave pause

As many times as I fall short
Fall in, fall down, fall over. Accept that
All this is perfection

Be here
Right now, oblivious to future or the past
Attuned to my internal hum, your every telltale twitch
The throb and bustle of the competition

But most important (and if I can achieve but one, this one)
In hurtling myself o’er each new cliff to test my wings
In breathing, this pedestrian, miraculous act
In playing, wanton without thought of gain
In living in this moment balanced on the chiseled edge of time

Я посылаю свою любовь всем моим друзьям
- наилучшие пожелания в течение хорошего нового года

Friday, December 25, 2009

Season's Greetings

Midwinter! Celebrate
The periodic birth of hope
Promise of redemptive grace

Tread through the cleansing snow
Shaking from our feet the old year’s residue of
Imperfect thoughts and dirty deeds

We all need light to guide us through these darkest days
Whether embodied in a
Sacred babe or sacred flame

Not to minimize the yawning gap that lies between
Your faith and mine--yours, I think,
Encompasses a deity who cares about your fate

I take comfort in the universe’ indifferent gaze
Trusting it will be what it will be
Without regard for me and mine

When I despair I sit
Contemplating geologic time
Confident that it will erase all
Gaffes, embarrassments and outright epic fails
Mine, personally, and ours, collectively

Cruel and thoughtless words, sloppy work
Fallen cakes and faulty strategy;
Strip mines, ravished forests, foolish legislation
The random deadly detritus of war
The neighbor’s monstrous addition

On many sleepless nights it’s this thought grants me rest:
In the long term all that I regret will be
Buried in volcanic dust
Crushed by glaciers
Subducted under continental plate

But for this Mayfly life, I still welcome
This phoenix season, flame’s renewing bite
The swelling sun
Imperfections shrouded in a transitory veil of white
The temporary kindness of the world

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice, Joyous Junkanoo

Saturday, December 19, 2009


A step…is like a word

And like a word
Has endless shades of meaning,
And intent

It could be…

Sneaky, nonchalantly closing distance
As you prepare to strike

Teasing, daring me to think that
I can make my move

Slippery, making me
O’er shoot

As you segue to your lunge

So, you step
And I attend
Decoding which of all of these it signifies
Composing my reply

Whoops! Too late…
I’d better learn to speed up my translation

Friday, December 18, 2009


The puppy slept ‘til five this morn,
Not three

The coffee spills, but soaks the magazine
And not my book

My supervisor is too overwhelmed
To comment on my work

My riposte goes astray, but lands upon your bib
Negating your remise

The scar upon my tummy catches when I lift
Not when I lunge

My hamstring aches, but only after practice
Driving home

Each day another piece of me is weak, or torn or stressed
From half a century of use

And yet…they work

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Eighty Percent

Extremely odd sensation—I’m focused on my gut when
By all rights I should pay full attention to
Your imminent attack

One corner of my mind keeps watch upon the
Stiff and tender patch that marks
My weakest point

All my movements are a little bit restrained
Holding back, as if I’m not quite sure that on the lunge
My insides won’t pop out

Here’s the oddest thing of all—the outcome
Of this inward contemplation, enforced passivity
Is not half bad

Instead of battering myself against the solid wall of your defense
I watch a bit and wait, let myself accept
What random opportunities present

A simple tap, a gentle lunge into the open space beneath your arm
The grace of wiggling aside while you
Impale yourself upon my blade

The nature of this side effect? A lack of expectation
I feel fortunate to be upon the strip at all. No inner demon’s driving me to
Ratchet up the score

When I’m entirely reformed—insides zippered and secure
Will I retain this gratitude for taking up the blade
Regardless of results?

I’m fifty, after all. Soon every year will hold
Less strength, less speed
Progressive limitations

And so I practice with this gift I have received
A wound that pierces time, a glimpse of future states
A fractured wisdom

Hit me if you can—but we may both discover less is more

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Class Notes

This welt upon my chest
The bruise that marks your thumb—cuneiform notations
Shorthand for
Extended conversation about undiscovered worlds
Documenting gaps in understanding
That lie between your blade and mine

Inking random thoughts
Incidental to the main thrust of our arguments
Theories tested and discarded as
We work through possibilities

These transient records fade
The vellum healed, rewritten
Time on time on time
As our exchanges loop, progress, stall
Turn back upon themselves and
Finally leap forward
To enlightenment

A fresh bruise blossoms, introducing the next chapter
In our text