Nineteen

 

Do not forget the use or withdrawal of power, the extension or contraction of the    

body, the swift or leisurely application of technique.

 

Power

It lies in that space between process and intent

A heartbeat rocket fuelled cellular rake

Or in the steel-strong control of limb or body.

 

It is the power of self and sword,

Technique that is beyond sport.

 

Block with timing, hit with lightning.’*

 

An aphorism that hides the bone-breaking toil to master

What is the hideous complexity of the simplest Oizuki:

A

Simple

Basic

Stepping

Punch.

 

*As suggested by Sensei Dave Hazard pictured above.

Eighteen

十余り八つ

Eighteen

‘Keep kata as they are without embellishing them.’ Yasutsune Itosu. ‘..In actual combat, it will not do to be hampered by the rituals of kata. Instead, the practitioner should transcend kata, moving freely according to the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.’

Breathe, connect to loved ones

Seize the immediate air that may be the last

Commit utterly to destruction: combat.

 

As different as a tsunami

To the surface of a Scots pine forest pond-kata and combat.

 

Inner or outer audience for your kata

It is a beauty of being, a life

That begins and begins with a bow

January

A piece from Temples fae Creels (Kettionlia) slightly changed.

wave

Oor hoose on Shore Road

Wis aye spuckled in spray

Fae waves that ripped san

Aff protective rock skerries.

 

Reek trails fae the Lothian side

Wid hing aboot Cockenzie

The power station

Opposite Fife’s gowden beach mantle;

Ony windae wis guid.

 

January wis special-waves

Slammin intae the herbour waas

Muckle white flares hingin

Afore rainin doun lik lava:

January ragin.

 

robin

 

The Robin Kata

Often he spins up to be spider-bird

Watching vertically poised above his planet

A metre over me on the wall.

 

Be it Jitte or Jiin or washing perhaps Gis out for drying

The wee chest marks a wound of flight on fence or ground.

 

Like each performance of a Sochin or Empe

Different robins dance or move to a unique internal barometer.

 

Later reflect on the arrogance of the human

That it is nature that watches us, our dance our imperfections.

 

 

 

 

Dreams Die Then..

cnv00152cnv00133

In SA, N. Cape with Marcus-our school Principal, a friend and Marcus’ wife. In the fantastic open spaces in NC-loved the horizons.

 

Aw things appear or gang awa

lik the soond o an echo

the clouds in the lift

the muin on the watter

the fire-flaucht, the sea faem,

the trail o a bird as it flees

or the veesion o dwams efter walkin.

Taisen Deshimaru

 

 

Last Passenger

The last person left the Prison bus

Robben Island tour over Mandela’s cell visit ticked off.

 

How history’s stream flows beyond the temporal bones

Of the dead and living or the incontinent camera-laden

 

They leave the bus headed for the ferry

(Nae a wee dart tae Iona let it be said S.T.).

 

I stay and ask the Xhosa speaking Guide

‘Now?..’

Like the rocks Madiba ground down into dust

The dream, it seems, has gone.

The steel in the secular saint’s legacy dissipated.

 

All things are possible and the impostors can gain

Even the highest podium to plunder.

 

And other leaders, other faiths must be lost

Carved, bound then found or the young breathe

‘Betrayed.’

 

Seventeen

imagesQT4NIV87

十七

Seventeen

Kamae (ready stance) is for Beginners; later, one stands in Shizentai (natural stance).

 

Ay*, be ready in thocht an spirit,

Yet kennin there are many kamaes and none.

 

Constant renewal and re-sowing of technique

Honing the weapon so none be used

The true meaning of kamae.

 

In a time of strife, of greed

Funakoshi’s, our Senseis’

Lack o greed and lust fer siller.

 

Maks mair shine

A gowden polish on the hert and mind.

 

*Scots ay-yes, thocht-thought, kenning-knowing, mair-more, siller-money/riches, gowden-golden.

Private Gentle

The Smedum Test

(This piece is from the above. I have great admiration for the courage and determination of Mrs Gentle.)

 

Private Gentle

 

(Deed Iraq, June 2004)

 

At ower six fuit yer hert,

 

Micht hae beat in a pine tree,

 

Ye deed in Iraq blawn apairt,

 

Whiles Whitehaa mandarins socht WMD.

 

 

Somme, Goose Green an mair,

 

On mony a village or toun stane,

 

A nation still bottom o Europe’s eco-stair,

 

As yer mither is racked wi pain.

 

 

Nae chiel sent fae London toun,

 

A PM’s son sent tae fecht,

 

A litmus test niver pit doun,

 

Huid up tae harsh daylicht.

 

Lik the best pub stories his muckle nieve,

 

Lik the closest family ye went in peace,

 

Lik the emptiness thae cannae believe,

 

Lik thaim we want murderin tae cease.

 

 

Throw politics and history aside,

 

 

Excuse mere wirds intae a bleckwell,

 

 

Jist A wid honour yer son Gentle

 

And tell.

 

 

An illegal war, a Party that lost its soul, June 2016.

 

 

Nicht

TREE NIGHT

Sad to hear of another giant of literature and vision passing awa. I translatit his ‘Night’ some time ago. As a national figure presented a racist, Fascist poster recently I was reminded of Primo Levi’s words about a would-be tyrant and the beautiful words on his lips. Even if they were brought up in Scotland.

From Elie Wiesel, ‘Night’. 2006 Marion Wiesel translation in Penguin Paperbacks (2008): ‘Born into a Jewish family in Romania, Elie Wiesel was a teenager when he and his family were rounded up by the Nazis, corralled into trains, and transported first to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and then to Buchenwald..

Nicht-A Scots Translation

Niver wull A unnerstaun thon nicht, the

furst nicht in camp, thon turned ma

life intae ane lang nicht seeven times steekit.

Niver wull A forgit thon reek.

Niver wull A forgit the sma faces o the bairns whase bodies A Seen transformit

Intae reek unner a silent lift.

Niver wull A forgit thae flames that consumed ma faith foriver.

Niver wull A forgit the nocturnal seelence thon took fae me fer aw eternity o the desire tae live.

Niver wull A forgit thae moments thon murderit ma God an ma saul an turned ma dwams tae ashes.

Niver shall A forgit thae things, e’en wur A condemned tae live as lang as God

Himsel.

Niver.

Scots Translation o Elie Wiesel

 

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky. Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. Elie Wiesel

Even if only one free individual is left, he is proof that the dictator is powerless against freedom.