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" (

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