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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..., 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: 160
Comments: 66
Views: 124,996

In General Face of Death Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #40 New 01-13-2013 04:01 PM
Face of Death

In the face of death
We are speechless
Speechless with fear

But need we be?
The great unity of death
Binds us all

Yet death is simple
Perhaps it is life
That we fear?

The fear of failure
And disappointment
The pain and suffering

Of life and living
The difficult things
Expected of us

Before we die
Courage, strength,
Sacrifice, endurance

Perhaps the
Way of the Warrior
Or, maybe, better said as:

The Spirit of the Warrior --
Budo, is the answer
A way to live life

That prepares us for death
And at that final moment
Gives us a voice

Views: 570

In General Blade's Edge Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #39 New 01-06-2013 03:46 PM
Blade's Edge

The flowers blossom
In the spring
The leaves wither
In the fall

Balancing on
My sword's edge
The blade sharp
Clear and invisible

I navigate through
Ten thousand things
Without thought
Or movement

Views: 603

In General Shogatsu Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #38 New 12-30-2012 02:50 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: 552

In General A Martial Art Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #37 New 12-23-2012 03:35 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: 575

In General Soldiers Die First Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #36 New 12-16-2012 11:58 AM
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: 745

In General Vampire Aikido Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #35 New 12-09-2012 03:34 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: 883

In General Shadow Fall Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #34 New 12-02-2012 03:59 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: 669

In General Winter Winds Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #33 New 11-25-2012 04:36 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: 799

In General Ontological Vertigo Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #32 New 11-18-2012 02:59 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: 666

In General Shit and Bravado Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #31 New 11-11-2012 01:39 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: 815

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