Sunday, May 6, 2012

5 fists from sally - as the saints come flowing in

from sally/for sally

in qigong after the meditation and before the dharma talk
in a shambly old church east of the "jesus is the light
of the world" sign in 70000 point font next to a rise of old doug fir

towards the end, the instructor tells us to make fists and 
be fierce like lions, punching out then scooping back

i can't make fists for the lion, though i still know how to growl
but fists are too much like fighting, like breaking both the bones in my 
arm when i threw the right hook like all the yelling

i lunge out with an open palm, fierce in my nonviolence
the palm up a kind of offering, a kind of maple leaf offered up to sky
sourced from earth, the strong dirt that made the leaf of my palm
zens me still

not that the earth can't be angry
it's just i've had enough ire for several generations
haven't we 

it's why some of us are committed
to not having human offspring
to not make more of what has so recently become
a plague of fists, a triumph of stomping

"when the saints come marching in"? they got it all wrong
when the wood nymphs come floating in
when the spirits of water come flowing in
when the great transformative fire tongues 
come licking in 
when the springs of air come zephyring in
even come earthquake even come tornado
there is no marching, never any marching
in the well order of things

my friend suggests to make a poem with 5 things. 
five in my tribe is the star of provisioning, the flow of 
ideas, inspiration, feelings, embodiment, and guidance
that weave into sinews into my being.

this 5 fold weave breathes me to life.

i come to this poem not with a fist but a maple leaf
newly birthed in spring spinning to summer
the green light flowing through
i uncurl my fingers and offer an open leaf up
5 fronds for luck
5 fronds for making
5 fronds for mercy
5 fronds for health
5 fronds for justice


  1. I really like this poem, how broadly it ranges--as so many of your poems do. I think the details of part a are very strong, and the transition in "d" really grooves me. Healing play.

  2. 5 bravos for sally ... bravo Scooter

  3. I appreciate this poem each time I read it. (been meaning to let you know) Salubrious! There is a feeling of life moving in the veins, the veins of the leaf, the life, circulation, movement, and the makings of a kind of dropping into the soft tissues. Might you be including this in the IMUNURI chapbook, Scooter? I hope so!