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Nothing Works... Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-12-2012 03:29 PM
James Sawers

This poem and others are available in my books, Nothing Works: Meditations on Aikido, Buddhism, the Tao, Zen, and other inconsequential things....and, Nothing Special, and Nothing Matters..., available thru Amazon.com, in print and Kindle editions and Barnes & Noble websites.....Also available as an e-book via Smashwords.com. Try this link: www.nothing-works.com for the full array of options.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 356
Comments: 68
Views: 501,713

In General The Other Side Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #16 New 07-29-2012 11:50 AM
The Other Side

The Way of Aikido
Is painful and arduous
The journey is long

Pleasure and difficulty
Are shared in abundance
In equal measures

After years of struggle and effort
What is the result?
What is on the other side

Of all this effort?
Can completion be conceived of?
Or even achieved?

We are told that the struggle
Is the Way, that the Way
Is the struggle

Still, is there something more?
Something else?
Each chosen Way

May eventually lead to that place
Beyond mere appearance
Beyond Illusion

If so,
What is on the other side
Of Aikido?

Views: 1114

In General Purple Cow Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #15 New 07-22-2012 04:28 PM
Purple Cow

Walking along
An obscure pathway
I saw a purple cow once
A purple cow?, I thought
How strange and different!

When I looked back
It was gone
Stranger and stranger, I thought
Circling the meadow
Till I disappeared

Views: 1575 | Comments: 2

In General In-Yo of Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #14 New 07-16-2012 05:14 PM
In-Yo of Aikido

Uke attacks
With a strong
Hard shomen-uchi
Striking to the head

Nage responds
With a soft tenkan
Turning and
Blending with uke

And creating
An in-yo gestalt
Restoring symmetry and
Harmony once more

Views: 1697 | Comments: 4

In General Battlefield Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #13 New 07-08-2012 02:22 PM

Daily life is the battlefield
Nature is my sensei
As the swaying tree gives
Form to the wind
The waving flag
Fluttering in the breeze

I am the form of that
Which cannot be seen
Arising effortlessly out of emptiness
Growing out of nothing
Form without technique
Technique without form

A Way without a path
I reach into the Void
Where there is no duality
Becoming one with everything
Including my opponent
How, then, can I strike myself?

Views: 1411 | Comments: 2

In General Boulder of Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #12 New 07-01-2012 02:21 PM
Boulder of Aikido

There is always a reason
Not to go
You're too sleepy, hurting, busy
The weather is too cold, too hot
It's raining, it's snowing
Something good is on TV
You finally got that date, at last!
Whatever -- there is
Always a reason not to train

Nevertheless, you go anyway
Your curiosity and need driving you
Knowing that you are chipping away
At the boulder of aikido
Gradually revealing and creating
Your own aikido-self

Of course, you never get there
It is a huge boulder, after all
And the chipping a seemingly
Sisyphean task
Still, you go anyway, chipping away
Knowing that the image
Slowly taking shape
Will never see completion

Views: 1203

In General Hadashi Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #11 New 06-24-2012 03:02 PM

Zori put aside
Barefoot I enter
The dojo silent

Still, echoes remain
(swish, slap, thud!)
Of years of dedicated
Diligent, sometimes
Painful practice

Rei -- I bow towards
The tokonoma
Willing my spirit
To quietness
Early morning practice

Views: 1189

In General Loving Brutality Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #10 New 06-17-2012 03:22 PM
Loving Brutality

I practice aikido
The years go by
I practice aikido

Loving brutality of keiko
Years of commitment
Gi, worn and threadbare
Hakama, patched and faded
All that remains

I practice aikido
The years go by
I practice aikido

Views: 1382

In General Farting Away Ki! Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #9 New 06-10-2012 04:51 PM
Farting Away Ki!

Picture this: A large auditorium
A sea of white gis
And dark hakama, thrown in
Summer Camp in San Diego
Many years ago

Probably over two hundred
Aikidoka In the room
Sitting seiza, sweat cooling
Listening to Chiba Sensei speak

We all listen attentively, of course
Leaning forward, trying to catch
And comprehend his words and meaning
His English sometimes hard to understand

Suddenly, in the now quiet hall
Someone lets out a loud fart!
Poor bastard, two hundred plus aikidoka
And Chiba Sensei and he (or she) loses it!

Chiba Sensei stops speaking and asks loudly:
Who can't control their anus?
This we somehow all understand
He grins and we all laugh - 'course
No one raises their hand!

Chiba Sensei's thought is that farting
Is one way for the body to lose ki
Still, if that last burrito with beans
Is still hanging around
What to do?

Views: 2003 | Comments: 3

In General Scotch & Sake Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #8 New 06-02-2012 12:24 PM
Scotch & Sake

Scotch and sake
A blending of
Different cultures
And traditions

Kilt and hakama
Claymore and katana
Dirk and tanto
Quarterstaff and jyo

Haggis and sushi
Well, maybe, not quite
My apologies
To sushi

I sit in seiza
Remembering my
Glasgow upbringing
Here now in America

Studying a Japanese art
Many streams lead
To the same great ocean
Aikido has room for all

Views: 2033 | Comments: 9

In General Misogi Under a Joshua Tree Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #7 New 05-24-2012 01:48 PM
Misogi Under a Joshua Tree

A small golden boy
Crouching under the shade
Of a large Joshua tree
His Razor scooter
Abandoned casually beside him
On the sand

A hot, harsh sun hammering
Down on the aikidoka
Practicing before the boy
On a large concrete court
A small, low fountain
Opposite the Joshua tree

Rolling desert all around
As the aikidoka practice
The 36 jyo basics
Kesa, tsuki, shomen-uchi
With some Sancho one
Thrown in to further confuse

Gis and hakamas moving
And flowing in the hot air
Shihan and shidoin
Watching and correcting
Bravely hiding their sorrow
As they watch us perform

Hats, sunglasses, sun screen
Not the usual attire
The sun and heat beating down
Sweat evaporating quickly
In the dry desert air
I wonder what the boy sees

As we strive for perfection
Achieving instead hot skin
Dry throats, stiff muscles, and
Occasionally, slammed hands and fingers
As we steadily narrow
That performance window

Closing in on the kill-strike
Risking injury and bruised egos
Perhaps this is true misogi
Moving and doing with intent
And focused minds
Honing the six elements

The five senses and the mind
Asking the desert kami
To wash away our sins
As we try to bring our
Bodies, spirits and centers
Into unification

Views: 1540

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