Thursday, June 23, 2016

Standing Eight Counts

a fighter taught me once
we don't ask for mercy here
you stand your eight counts
when you gotta
but you don't drop down
upon your knees
so that I am learning even to pray
standing on my feet
to be ready to dance toward
an answer when it comes

and the ones
who will never pull a punch
are a blessing when you meet
cause it's the ones who get you
up against the ropes
who teach you to be quicker
on those feet
when there's no telling
what life is going to bring
so all you can do
is train to always win
where the battles are only lost
against the self
and never what you're up against

and in the scheme of things
there's only one way out
of this here ring
and so you have to learn
to take the blows hard upon the chin
and transmute the wounds to scars
or spend the hours on the mats
dying of the self-infliction
of the cowards and the weak
who don't know what it is
to face and then survive
and inherit from experience
the alchemy it takes to rise

no I won't ask for mercy
just gotta catch my breath
and while I'm standing eight counts
I'm sending up the warriors' prayer
that I will honour all the blows
that I have ever taken
and the places they came from
with the wisdom and the lesson
in what they had to teach
until I'm no longer a fighter
fighting against myself
but a dancer to my heartbeat
and the choreography of what it takes
to find the resilience and the grace
in every single test

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