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Nothing Works... Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-12-2012 04:29 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..., 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: 148
Comments: 66
Views: 116,671

In General Shogatsu Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #38 New 12-30-2012 03:50 PM

It is hard to miss
The toll of the bells
Though I gotta admit
I tend to lose count
Does this mean my prior
Year's sins are not forgiven?
Best I can do is not
Choke on my mochi
After all that sake
And sweet amazake
The night before on
Omisoka - New Year's Eve
Still my first sunrise --
Hatsuhinode, should be
Something, as should be
Hatsugeiko -- my first
Aikido practice later that day
Traditionally, we usually toss
Each other 108 times, though I
Tend to lose count here too
Guess I'm destined to carry
My sins forward, as usual

Views: 535

In General A Martial Art Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #37 New 12-23-2012 04:35 PM
A Martial Art

A martial art
Without the annoying
Martial part
Now there is an
Art that can
Be appreciated!
Still, it feels good
Not to call it
Just a dance
But, a martial art!

Love and harmony
Now that sounds splendid!
So, when the
Atemi comes
It comes as a surprise!
Shit, was that
Supposed to happen?
It hurt, damnit!

This martial aspect
Needs further review!

Views: 537

In General Soldiers Die First Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #36 New 12-16-2012 12:58 PM
Soldiers Die First

We all die
But soldiers die first
Intervening their bodies
Into harm's way
A conscious decision
Made freely
Rough men and women
Guarding the reaches
So that all others
Can sleep in peace
We all die
But soldiers die first
Failure not an option
Maintaining their duty
Their purpose
With their comrades
To keep the child safe
The child of Man
The child of civilization
The spark of freedom
We all die
But soldiers die first

(But sometimes...)

I wrote this poem the night before the tragedy in Conn. My focus was on our military safeguarding the outer borders of our country, including overseas duty, protecting our own, including our children. It just never occurred to me that such an incomprehensible thing could happen here at home, in America. The loss to the parents and families of all the victims is beyond me even to contemplate and fathom. Obviously, soldiers do not always die first, though I think that any one of them would do so to have prevented this. If there is any glimmer of light left here in all this blackness, let it provide some illumination and guidance.

Views: 709

In General Vampire Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #35 New 12-09-2012 04:34 PM
Vampire Aikido

You ever get
The idea
The thought
That most everyone
Doing aikido today
Sucks?! Bites?!
Just doing
Vampire Aikido!
Including yourself
Oh, sure, you see
An occasional "star"
But even them
In the Octagon?
On an actual battlefield?
Who knows?
Despite years of practice
And training
Slow choreographed kata
"Cooperative" ukes
And some attempts at
Martial realism...
But really....?
What is left?
Perhaps a little more
Applied aiki would help?

Views: 835

In General Shadow Fall Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #34 New 12-02-2012 04:59 PM
Shadow Fall

Running with my shadow
Always by my side
I stumble and fall

My shadow keeps on running
Only then do I realize
That I am the shadow

Views: 652

In General Winter Winds Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #33 New 11-25-2012 05:36 PM
Winter Winds

Winter winds
Blow early this year
Some trees already
Scoured bare of leaves
Stark skeletons
Reaching for cold light
Geese fly overhead
In formation, confused
Deciding on a direction
Time and season
Come and go

When I enter
The dojo is chilled
The air not yet warmed
By flying bodies
And the swish, slap, thud
And grunt of earnest effort
My bare feet cramp
On the cold mat
Heralding, probably
More discomfort to come
Presaging each practice

Bringing to mind
My recurring question
Why? Why am I here?
I think of my warm couch
Or, my hot latte (soon!)
But, here I am
Anxious to learn
What my body already knows
But has long forgotten
Lost, perhaps, long ago
On winter winds

Views: 766

In General Ontological Vertigo Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #32 New 11-18-2012 03:59 PM
Ontological Vertigo

Sitting in zazen
Facing the mirror
Lights off
A single candle
In the background
Slowly flickering
Creating warped shadows
Old companions

The deeper I look
The less I see
And understand
Unable to find
My source
Ontological vertigo
Comes in waves
Making me
Dizzy and lost

Within the darkness
I extend my senses
Inward and outward
Nothing - not even an echo
Only emptiness
Filled with blank confusion
My vertigo increases
Till I notice, slowly
That the candle flame
No longer burns alone

Views: 639

In General Shit and Bravado Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #31 New 11-11-2012 02:39 PM
Shit and Bravado

Shit and bravado
How long does that last
When there is nothing left?
Still, it is something
Perhaps more politely called
Esprit de corps
Pride, fellowship, and common loyalty
And perhaps devotion and love
To comrades-in-arms
To our brothers and sisters
To a cause

That is something to be feared
By would-be conquerors
A truth that lies between the lines
Of all the military training manuals

At Thermopylae, the Alamo,
At Camarón, at Dien Bien Phu,
Shiroyama, Pasir Panjang
Rorke's Drift, Bastogne
Mars Colony, Adrian's Star
What sustained such warriors
Cornered, trapped, outnumbered?
Except being full of
"Shit and bravado"
Backed up by bombs, bullets,
Blades, blood, and guts

Views: 771

In General I Stand Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #30 New 11-04-2012 05:20 PM
I Stand

I stand upon
The clear frozen lake

Waiting with
Infinite patience
As the stars expand
And the universe
Begins and begins
Unfolding out of
Its own past
An archeologist
Of the now
Seeking understanding
Each moment receding
From where I am
Yet carrying me
Along with it

What will happen, though
When the ice melts?

Views: 853 | Comments: 2

In General Eyes Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #29 New 10-28-2012 05:02 PM

As the old adage says:
If you can see the enemy,
the enemy can see you.

Good advice, if you have enemies
But who does not?
Lucky you

Still, the universe is
A hostile place
And the future unfolds
With unknown joy
And pain

Be prepared, why not?
Seek understanding
And your martial art
Of choice
Enough? We'll see
Sitting in zazen
I look into the Void
And see eyes
Looking back

Views: 603

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