Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Wind and the Young Heart-Warrior

Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Service

For 364 days the disciplined student
of martial arts –
a young heart-warrior –
had walked a long ways
down the coast,
at the edge of the tide’s finger,
to where the storm had long ago
stripped the walking-board planks from
the pier pilings.

Once there,
he’d climb, effortlessly, to the top of a piling,
a piling that had been swallowed,
all but six feet,
by time and shifting sands.

Once there,
he’d root his bare right foot on concentric rings
that had yet to let go of the tale
of the piling’s life as a tree,
and he’d lift his left leg into the air,
and he’d extend both his arms
and also begin to lift them high
and he’d envision passersby
and, most importantly, his Teacher
being so very impressed with his
undeniable perfection of Crane position.


As luck would have it –
every day,
every time he knew himself to be
a fraction of a second from achieving
his most-sought-after achievement,

a large, emphatic gust of wind would
charge out from the sea oat whistling dunes
and blow him, so ruthlessly and unelegantly,
off the piling and into a humble heap
on the hard, repetition-compressed sands below.

And he’d get up,
brush off,
and go home.

On the 365th day,
when all had proceeded as it had
on all the days before,
the young, crumpled heart-warrior
looked up at the sky with rage
and screamed out to his Teacher,
The Wind:

“Why do you hate me so?

I am your most dedicated student and a good boy!”

And The Wind,

smiling and chuckling, said:

“The lesson of this past year has not
been about achieving perfection
on a post,

but about learning to let
your Soul fly.”

© 2010-2013/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out" (

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doe, A Deer

Image: origin unknown

For Frank for the inspiration...

Doe, a deer,

a female deer

standing in ironic be-wild-er-ment

amidst a still-screaming clear cut.

Have you seen

the big yellow monster

that destroyed her home?

Blades that have never known

the ethics of a Ninja.

She now has PTSD

and is too numb

to grieve,

to dash,

to join the stumps in their collective shrieks

of amputation.

My eyes catch a glimpse

of a single flower that made it through –

Podophyllum peltatum


Eternal hope.

I’ll ask you again:

“Have you seen

the big yellow monster

that destroyed her home?”

It dwells within you,

you know.

The Destroyer –

That part of you that takes more

than you need.

That takes everything you need.

Look! She’s moving,

shifting her head so that

her big brown watery eyes meet your eyes.

She can See that you are human,

but she just doesn’t get it.

And neither do you –

And neither do I –

despite the long practiced walk and talk.

How is it that even those of us

who have awakened to the consequences of

our actions still largely

partake in hypocrisy?

It’s all about the fuel that goes into

the Big Yellow Monster

of You

and Me:




These things drive the harvest rates

of that which is Beautiful –

both within us

and outside us.

So, it is time All

that we call for an alternative energy source:




We start not by monkey-wrenching

The Destroyer,

but by bringing The Destroyer into

ecstatic relationship with The Creator.

I’ll say it again:

“We start not by monkey-wrenching

The Destroyer,

but by bringing The Destroyer into

ecstatic relationship with The Creator.”

Her udder is becoming painful

as it swells,

and there will be no relief.

The twins were dismembered

and disemboweled

as they did what ancestral memory

told them to do –

place your lovely white spots

in the glitter of leaf-sieved sunlight

and be still.

Two Mothers will mourn

and someone else

will refer to these and other casualties

simply as “negative externalities”

of Progress.

Look within.

Go within.

Redefine Progress

for yourSelf and

for our species

before you fuel your

next outward step.

© 2010/Jamie K. Reaser

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stop It Now

Image: found at

All over this world tonight
there are Souls saying

Some are in little bodies,
some in big bodies,
some in long-wearied elderly form.

They are saying “No”
to sticks and stones
and words
that do hurt.

And no one is listening.

Shoulders fall forward,
eye shine fades,
bruises form
on the inside and out.

Hope departs in fragments.

cross to the opposite side of the street,
leave the room,
pour a glass,
turn the music up,
change the subject,
join in.

How much more evolutionary process
is needed before the human species
becomes a species humane
to its own membership?

Don’t shift your eyes away,
refrain from going deaf and dumb.
The future created in complacency
is lived by us all.

See the atrocities there before you.
Listen to the silent and primal screams.
Step up and say “No!” in whatever loving way
you can,
louder than they can,
they are so very tired.

That is someone’s

That is a mirror you are looking into.

That was a person,
a village,
a People.

Have you taken the time to cry out in agony
for the generations of cowardice
that has taken generations
from us?

Flame and rope and gas,
gun and blanket.

How is it that a simple,
two-letter word
has so eluded the masses?


It needs to stop.

It has to stop.

“Stop it now!”

© 2010-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out"

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The In-Between

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

Another Day
rests her weary head
over the Ridge.

I wonder if I should
envy her confident

I have tendency
to linger in
the in-between.

A delicately intimate relationship
with the magical bardos of
Dawn and Dusk
hallmarks my life.

Often, I transition
in good company:

On an Andean cliff edge
the mystic and I,
surrounded by gracious children,
would share in pregnant silence
during the Hour of Power –

Allegiant –

Until one of us
spotted the first star
and giggled uproariously.

Celebratory Dawns:

The watery melodings of
oropendolas and currawongs,

Bumble bees stretching and yawning
as they awaken on coneflower beds,

The sand surface break through of
loggerhead hatchlings
furiously in pursuit of surf,

Satiated bats last morsel flight,

Zealous cicadas first declaration.

Blessed Dusks:

A painter’s most passionate wandering pallet,

Vociferous owls and frogs the world over,
And oh the whip-poor-will,

Magical hikes up mountains and at lakeside
until moonrise begs our full attention,

Does retrieving dappled fawns
in dense wildflower meadow,

Emerald-green katydids at window pane
preparing to play their wings
with the passion of short-season urgency.


So, to my questioning,
I think not.

I think, perhaps, that I shall vow
to grow old while padding along
edges and frolicking
with Uncertainty…

Those who have not yet
called me crazy
might find reason to do so.

That’s alight.

For, in fact,
it dawned on me long ago:
making stepping stones of the in-between
is the only way
to Grow.

© 2010-2014/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in  Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out (

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Opportunity's Crossroads

Image: National Park Service

At midnight

a train whistle blew

in a distant land

signaling its approach

to a lonely crossroads.

Sleeping cattle


I stirred

and began

wondering about crossings.

Criss cross,

to be cross,


cross stitch,

crossed wires in the interpretation

of suffering as the cross’ sacred symbology.

For a time

I believed myself distracted

by the tracks of our Story

that I’ve walked

in your chestnut eyes.


I realized

that I hadn’t been

dis-tracked at all.

The hobo poets

had it right.

Only children and fools

wave as Opportunity

chugs by.

And, I have heard

The Whistle.

© 2010/Jamie K. Reaser

Bird at the Birth of the Sun

Photo: (c) Jamie K. Reaser

If I could
I'd be an ebony-plumed bird
at the bedside
of the world,

At the birth of
every sun,
I'd warble or grok
until the soul in adolescent form
beneath womb-masquerading covers

I am not a bird.

At dawn,
the crowing of adamant roosters
traverses my window pane.

And, I cry.

I cry tears
that a bird
cannot cry.

I am human and my song,
a loquacious heart song,
is a lament for the
collective soul of our world.

(c) 2010-2017/Jamie K. Reaser
Published in "Note to Self: Poems for Changing the World from the Inside Out" 
Hiraeth Press; www.hiraethpress

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