March Prompt #0: ALLOWED


March Prompt #1

No purpose but pleasure:

Tai Chi before breakfast,

coffee’s bitter “Aha!”

Not to clean the air

but because it’s lovely,

the pink cactus flower

above the desk.

Bread is not nutrition.

Wine is not a drug

to make you live long.

It’s not exercise,

the morning walk

with the dog.




Slow, the Jade Lady works the shuttle.

There was a dream about the dead cat

who did Tai Chi whenever she moved,

stepped with great care, raised one paw

in graceful greeting.

                                     Just because

he can’t move slowly doesn’t mean

I have to hurry all the time. The coffee

makes a sound going into the blue cup,

the pen whispers words on the page.

The breath.

There is no hurry.  The grave

will still be there.






Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane
in this alley in the center of town,
embarrassed, in heavy shoes
I clunk and stomp among the stones.

The White Crane Spreads Out its Wing.
The teacher is elegant in blue silk and red slippers.
I am stupid in my rolled-up jeans.

I try to Brush away the thick distractions
around my Knee; my hands tangle,
feet stumble
until I settle down to Play the Lute.


Randomly flailing, adjusting my toes,
I Drive the Monkey a little bit Away,
chatter a little less.
When I
Grasp the Bird’s Tail
and stroke her glossy feathers
almost I can believe that she will
let me settle on her back;
almost I can feel the lightness of her bones.


Oh, how I can Wave my Hands
Like Clouds, all day!

But now I must Pat High on the Horse’s Back
before the battle begins–

Kick with Right Foot,

Grab Opponent’s Ears with Both Fists,

Kick with Left Foot–  
still so much to fend away.
Will I never settle down,
become a sturdy
Golden Rooster
who Stands, trimphant, on One Leg?


Western lady moves too fast,
tries to remember what’s next.
But today she doesn’t care
if people walking past the alley stop
to smile at Fair Lady Working Shuttles,

Looking for Needle at the Sea Bottom.
These things require attention.

As I Shunt with Both Hands Fanning,
a frail barrier forms between my body
and the noise of traffic and machines.

Deflecting Downward, Parrying and Punching,
I imagine it is possible to push the unneeded aside.
I am
Acting to Close a Door wide open too long.

Crossing the Hands, I assume
Closing Position,
so much like beginning again.