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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: 152
Comments: 66
Views: 119,181

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: 643

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: 779

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: 866 | 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: 608

In General I Do Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #28 New 10-21-2012 04:06 PM
I Do

I stand in the center of the circle
Yes and no pursue each other
Around the circumference

Right and wrong, nage and uke
Technique and no-technique
From the still-point of the center

I see all possibilities
My whole being apprehending
Abandoning conscious intent

Mind free, thoughts gone
Moving from direct intuition
I do

Views: 531

In General The Zero Path Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #27 New 10-14-2012 05:48 PM
The Zero Path

Traveling down
Sunless, bleak pathways
Full of tears, pain
And eventual weakness
Holds no answers

In aikido
We try to enter
The place where
Nothing works
Where (e)motion is

Effortless and harmonious
Taking us to
A life path
That can function
In the world

All of life's obstacles
Splendid opportunities
Seeking wu-wei -- non-action
In acceptance of what
Life offers

The Zero Path
Where Nothing
Is Something
Empty yet substantial
At the same time

The Void where all reside
Crafting the quantum
Opportunities offered
That flow in and out
Of existence

Allowing us to navigate
Through myriad choices
Sometimes all too obscure
Clarifying a path
That allows us to see

Views: 638

In General Be the Technique Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #26 New 10-07-2012 04:48 PM
Be the Technique

Be the technique
So I was told
Many times
Over the years

Be the technique?
How the hell, I wondered
Am I supposed
To accomplish that?

Don't perform
The technique
Be the technique!
Oh, yeah, that helps…

Does that mean
When I drink my beer
I should be the beer?
Just wondering…

Views: 845 | Comments: 2

In General Hobo Kore Dojo Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #25 New 09-30-2012 02:31 PM
Hobo Kore Dojo

Your life is your dojo
Aikido beyond the mat
Where imbalance is rampant
Struggle and frustration
A way of life
Love and harmony
A constant effort
To strive for and achieve

But, if you can see it
Aikido is everywhere
Opportunities to blend
And flow and connect
A whole life
Of walls and barriers
To overcome or fall short

Falling down is not defeat
Take ukemi
And get back up
Falling down is natural
Not getting back up
Is defeat

Views: 948 | Comments: 4

In General Grunt Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #24 New 09-23-2012 03:41 PM

Grunting, groaning,
Sweating, complaining
Too much inner chatter!

Ah, it's too hot, too cold
My knees hurt
My feet are cramping
What, suwari waza, again!
Fuck, that nikkyo really hurt!
Damn, that break-fall nearly killed me!
Where's my breath?
What happened to flowing and effortless?
My ass…
What am I doing here?
Why won't he fall?
Why am I so tired?
How's my hair?
When will it end?

Second wind…
At some point it happens
Always forget when
Body humming, movement easier
Joyous discomfort
Gi and body, a sweaty union
Mindless delight
I sit in seiza
Complete in no-thought

Views: 967 | Comments: 2

In General Dojo Bell Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #23 New 09-16-2012 05:30 PM
Dojo Bell

The dojo bell
Off center

The third strike

Leaving the bell wildly
Looking for its
Two companions

Views: 593

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