Monday, March 29, 2010

Vipassana (Clear Seeing)

Transitory flash
Of insight, precognition
I see your intent


Foot kicks forward hard
Arm hitches back, presenting

Into this small gap
I lunge with alacrity
Squirm, and close the line


Teasing you to strike
Too close for you, perfect for
Stubby badger paws

Baiting with my lunge
Drawing parry four, riposte
My second intent…


Rare and precious bout—
Next time will be different
Good in its own way

But not the same…

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dukkha (Suffering)

Towards the lesson’s end
“Just five more good touches, then a break”
Hah. I know you lie

Coming out of pools
Seeded lower
Than when I went in

Called onto the strip
First bout of direct elimination
Realizing that I badly need to pee

Sprinting for relief
Then seeing that the cold and smelly jacket
Has to go back on

Exhausted, reaching for my bag
Discovering that
I forgot my lunch

Finally headed home in dark and cold
Finding the directions
Don’t work in reverse

Soaking in the tub
Beer in hand, it’s over and done
Except, except
There’s video of all my bouts…which I know you know

Friday, March 19, 2010


Smooth glide entangling your blade
Forte to foible
High line to low
Certain of
The whereabouts of blade…
Perfect move for a control freak
Like me


Hours spent
Leaping back and forth
Wrestling with weights
Sprinting ‘til I gasp
All to build the base endurance that I need
To dance upon the strip
But now…
I’m too sore and tired
To actually fence

And now my lovely bind--
Hey, what’s with this?!
You pivot round my blade
Fulcrum into 2 and then riposte
Gah! Traitorous momentum turned back against itself


What might seem the obvious solution
Bull by the horns
The direct route
No prisoners
Has drawbacks

Strength engenders problems of its own
Countervailing force
Illusions of control


Better, maybe, sometimes to
Dodge and disengage
Sink to stillness
Rest, rejuvenate and

Let the right solution come
In its own time

Friday, March 12, 2010

Do Tell

Arm hitch
Off hand twitch
Shoulder tense
…Signals of offense

Blade whack
…Predicate attack

Foot stutter
Hand flutter
Sudden halt
…Prefacing assault

Ingrained moves
Well-worn grooves
Unconsciously betray
…Make you easy prey

Solution? Simple
Better execution
Hide, or better yet

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Flip Side

Any strength
Is weakness, too
Small, fierce, stubborn
Badgerly traits that stand me in good stead when
Chips are down, my opponent 6-foot-3
And half my age

But these attributes come back to
Bite me in the bum when
The bout demands a cooler head
A slower hand
More leisured pace

Sometimes my fierce and stubborn nature sends me
Plowing down the strip
Beating on your foil
Rat-a-tat-tat machine-gun mammal
Hurling myself upon your blade
Caught up in a suicidal quest to


Let’s try this again

Gently swing into the dance of
Back and forth (using both directions, note…)
Tease and tweak and run away
Don’t be so invested in the touch that
Failure is disaster, cataclysm
Give anything a try
And take delight if (by a miracle) it works
If not, then tally it as
One small piece of wisdom
Added to the store

Be a little bit less strong…
But less weak, too.