Monday, May 11, 2009

The ebony hakama

Someone mentioned to me in an email that they enjoyed my previous poetic exploits on this blog, so here is a second installment of Budo poetry. Enjoy...

Once upon a crashpad dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious instance of taoshi, sore, While I lay in arm fixation, suddenly there came sensation, As of some one gently pressing, pressing my extended arm. `'Tis my tori,' then I murmured, `pressing my extended arm - If I tap, he'll do no harm.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the dead of winter, And each separate time my tori pressed down upon me with his center. Eagerly I wished release; - vainly there I sought surcease From kansetsu, dire sensation - Fain I would be off my belly - From that rare immobile oshi which Tomiki named taoshi - Lest I stay here evermore.

And the sight of white pajama, rustling of black hakama Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the creaking of my arm, I lay repeating `'If I tap, he'll press no more - When I tap he'll press no more; - This I know, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, `Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I am tapping, for release, you see me rapping, And yet you continue pressing, pressing my extended arm, That I scarce was sure you knew it' - here I lie upon the floor; - Tapping here upon the floor.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I lay there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no uke ever dared to dream before But the pressing was unceasing, and Dark Hakama gave no token, And the only words there spoken was the whispered phrase, `Tap more!' “What?” I whispered, and an echo murmured back the words, `Tap more!' Merely this and nothing more.

Face into the crashpad turning, all my soul within me burning, Thereupon renewed my tapping, somewhat louder than before. `Surely,' said I, `surely tori's cognizant of my condition; Let me see then, what can I do, and this mystery explore - Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; - 'Tapping, he should press no more.'

Over then, I turned my head, and with infinite increase of dread, Over then my tori stepped, and knelt upon my prostrate head. Not the least concession made he; not a moment stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my outstretched arm - Perched on the elbow of my arm - Perched, and pressed, and nothing more.

Ebony Hakama tricked me thereupon straight into smiling, At my grave and stern position lying there upon the floor, `Now you kneel there on my head, unreleasing arm,' I said Ghastly grim and ancient tori, master of oshi taoshi - Tell me what I have to do now for release from your oshi!' Quoth my tori, `Tap some more.'

Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282

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