I’m reblogging this post about my poem “True Budo.” My sensei, who is the subject of this poem, passed away over the weekend while on vacation in Japan. I knew he was going, but I don’t remember if he had been there before. Sensei lived a long and full life, and he died living, which is the way I think he would have wanted to go.
He was a man of great strength and courage, and I will miss him.
We want to be enlightened
by an emboldened, reassured, blending
spirit of love and peace. So we struggle,
wrestle with each other,
strike each other like madmen,
swirl and twirl around the mat.
Then you say the world is broken,
is slipping into nadir, strangled
in a fog like a naked choke.
You want us to see what you saw,
to understand the heart of the disease
was still rooted deep
in our veins, in the pulse that beats
beneath our feet, that courses
like blood through our streets,
that the impulse of those college boys
to rub your head to steal your luck
had merely changed clothes
and upgraded its gun.
But you stare at our blank
confused faces that don’t comprehend
that this is your great commission,
that we need to be the surgeons
to dig out this cancer from our hearts.
True Budo is one…
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