Monday, January 31, 2011


“What, again?”
(You roll your eyes)
“I tell you this repeatedly
I am not speaking English?
You do not understand?”

Oh yes, Я понимаю
But spin the tale once more

Tell me for the umpteenth time how
Clever disengage wins out o’er savage parry
And fearless straight attack triumphs
Against the evil squirm

Fill my head with glorious tales of
Canny strategy, ingenious machinations
Perfect form

These stories I will carry
Through my sleep, the nucleus of
Epic dreams,
In which (of course)
I play the hero’s role

Так, да, I understand,
рассказывают мне
историю снова!

Monday, January 24, 2011


I want to be a car

High performance
Complex piece of engineering
Chock-o-block with safety features
Tested to the nth degree

Subject, sure, to bumps and dings
Marked after not so many years
By dimpled fenders, scratches on the side
(Not so different from what I suffer now)

But, short of a total wreck
So easy to repair! A crumpled bumper—pfft, it’s no big deal
Let’s hear it for industry standard
Duplicative swap-out parts

A falter in the engine?
Pop the faulty spark plug out,
The new one in, and
Zoom! Back on the road

Broken strut? Power off the bolts
Give it a firm whack, detach
Snug a new, strong bar in place
Instant stability

No prolonged convalescence
No inching back up to speed
No reconditioning
Just damaged…and then whole

Skip the lavish packaging
The moon roof and the heated seats
Just nail the basics—a smoothly ticking engine
Four wheels on the road

After 200 thousand miles
I’ll be ready to be junked
But until then

I want to be a car…

Friday, January 21, 2011

Proper Practice

By not trying too hard to
Make the touch
You’ll make the touch

By being unconcerned with
How you look
You’ll garner admiration

So take it
Step by step
Don’t push too hard

Sure, you’ll lose at first
But with time, I promise
You’ll know why you lost

You’ll try a proper action
It will fail
So what? You’ll try again

Eventually you will
Gain ground
Point by patient point

By not attaching to
Results, you will
Go far

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing: Badger’s adaptation

Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in
Breathing out, I’m conscious that it’s

No small thing (given that it doesn’t always work). Prize the simple miracle of air, mindful of each hitch, catch, snag or ragged edge. Watch for the still point poised between the in and out
Breathing in a long breath, I know that I am breathing in a long breath
Breathing out, I

Purge the flotsam of a messy day
Breathing in a short breath, I know I breath a short breath
Breathing out I

Get to work
Breathing in, I’m aware of my body
Breathing out, I am aware of

Every injury I’ve ever had, an ever growing litany of use, somatic resumé
Breathing in, I calm my body
Breathing out, I

Breath through each bruise, ding, tear, stitch, scar and point of inflammation. Working like a barnacle to scrub all hurt and ill from out the endless sea
*now to the good stuff*

Breathing in I feel joy on the strip
Breathing out I feel

A welling eagerness for battle, curious to see, when pressed, what will spring out, a little bit of trepidation
Breathing in, I feel equanimity
Breathing out, I really try, but

This one’s hard—to be ok with any outcome, touch or touched, flow or choke, prince or foolish mammal
Breathing in, I am aware of my attachments and aversions
Breathing out, I recognize

Addiction to the colored lights, to victory, to bling, to all the self-aggrandizing myths I wrap around myself, embellishments of life; Antipathy to loss of face, dissention to my version of the truth, irritating people who won’t play the parts that I've assigned
Breathing in, I release attachments and aversions
Breathing out,

I tug at their barbed hooks, try to see them vanishing like mist
Breathing in, I’m aware of my mind
Breathing out, I am aware that my mind

Lurks, watching, endlessly engaged, meddler in the center of all acts, so clever and so maladroit
Breathing in, I make my mind happy
Breathing out, I try to strike a deal

You have a valued role! To notice and to name, suggest solutions and then (very important) step back and let the body be
Breathing in, I concentrate my mind
Breathing out, I try to concentrate, but

…Cereal or toast? Red boots or black? The cookies that I baked last night could use a little…ack! Begin again, again, again

Breathing in, I liberate my mind
Breathing out, I caste a net

Seining for the ping of distant cars, cats’ purr, ticking of the heat, the warm vanilla scent of wax, the itching of my foot.
Breathing in, I contemplate the transience of things
Breathing out I recognize

This sac of flesh and bone—all it is, and does, is just on loan and subject to recall. Each step I made today will be retraced, all progress lost with time. Everything I love—people, places, simple pleasures—will fade or break or morph into an unfamiliar form
Breathing in, I practice non-attachment
Breathing out, I figure that I

Might as well let go before it’s torn away
Breathing in, I practice letting go
Breathing out

Accept that, in the end, I can’t control my life, I open up my hands and wait for what drops in
Breathing in, I practice cessation
Breathing out,

I sit, a still point on the turning world, wheeling through the stars, fulcrum to a universe blissfully unaware of my attempts at meditation