Six

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‘The Mind Must Be Set Free.’

‘To reign in the mind tightly takes away its freedom. To keep our mind in close confines may be a necessary beginner’s habit, but doing so for our entire life prevents us rising to a new level, and will result in a life of unfulfilled potential.’

As Sensei Hazard says the simple is difficult

The difficult can be made simple by steps

Lown thocht* held light yet strong frees.

 

Like silk arrested internally for kamae*

A strike or block must suddenly be and power

From what was emptiness and calm

Be as lightning stretching across the Verdun summer sky.

 

(* Soft thought, Kamae-readiness, posture to begin)

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That Summer

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That year in NY State Summer Camp

There were some more man

Than I was

Taller in the wheelchair than I wis standing.

 

Vietnam had taken a spine, a leg;

Even the ridding of human waste

Given out to the European counsellor.

 

Still the broken spleens, backs and lives continue

War and want around the world.

 

Back in that precious summer

Learning human dignity is earned

Despite the despots, Gods and demons

Who trample those with weapons or not.

Christmas Shopper

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This piece appears today in The Herald (Glasgow, Scotland). Good to have a wheen of readers across the nation.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/books-poetry/poem-of-the-day/christmas-shopper.114860721

Level to my car carapace eye

Five robin body lengths away

The blackbird guzzles yellow jewels.

Stuck as the rush of bipeds with bags

Goes by this atavistic duel

He eyes me as shoppers pass, motors run.

A yellow ocular rim gives his stare power

Mine bigger, less focused, mindful of the other.

Swallowing the berry orbs offered

He yields not a bit.

Relents to the green interior

His adversary is moving:

A fawn-coloured Mini has muscled in

Into a queue fat with the unnatural fuming.

20

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20*

Only two digits

How many thoughts, loves and dreams?

Crushed, lost, some killed unlawfully-

Twenty men or women ‘lost’.

 

10 and 10

A simple sum disappeared:

The total of workforce deaths in Scotland

Most years.

 

Not fit for a nation, powers

To change this..to improve this.

 

Count 20 of your loved ones

Gone.

Only 20.

It’s easy.

*Comments to the new First Minister suggesting she should be happy with the powerful new scope of responsibilities for the Scottish Parliament; the ability to act on workforce deaths was one stripped from the proposed new powers.