Meditating in a combat zone


Meditating in a combat zone


Sun rises in the east; sky glints awake.

Morning jungle is haunting and speechless—

suspended in greens and tendrils of mist.

Sun salutations.  Slow.  Silent.


(Tadasana/mountain pose)—

Spiked karsts, looking close enough to touch,

rise out of the fog—(Urdhva hastasana/upward

salute)— remembering ancient paths of

vapored gods and gossamer spirits.


(Uttanasana/standing forward bend)—

Dirty fingers touch red Vietnamese earth—

(Lunge)—soil salted with blood

from yesterday’s killing combat.

(Chaturangadandasana/plank pose)—


My body topples downward: bone-weary,

blood-tired, heart-sad—

(Ashtangasana/8-point pose)—

downward twisting, mindfully embracing death.

Stopping the monkey-mind chatter:

(Urdhva mukha svanasana/cobra)—


silently hiss the illusions away,

fang the mad delusions——

(Adho mukha svanasana/downward-facing-dog)—

Almost home.

Then (Lunge) again, then (Uttanasana/

standing forward bend)again,

then (Urdhva hastasana/upward salute) again,

then (Tadasana/mountain pose) again.


I pick up my rifle and start the day.

I walk to the South China Sea, strip naked

and swim away.          


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