The Benefits of 320 Kicks

Sixteen years of stiffness
ease into front-splits
right side and left.

“Now you’re showing off.”

The yielding body laughs.
It remembers
how much more
it once could do.

Recently, we’ve been doing a lot of limbering up and stretching in classes. During my adolescence, I took ballet lessons three times a week. Perhaps I was not as strong or physically fit, but I was much more supple. It surprises me at how the old flexibilities are returning. The disadvantage is every area that eases reminds my body of how pliant it was 16 to 18 years ago. People comment at how I must be showing off. Inside I remember how much more I could do, and how I was never quite good enough as a ballet dancer.

It’s interesting.

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Please preview Shining in Brightness, my first book.

If Turtles Listened to Jazz

Photo credit: Keith Dax Moss
Photo credit: Keith Dax Moss

If you were a turtle lady and you loved a turtle man

It would not be odd in turtle-land

if you had known the waves four hundred

years and he another sixty-one;

or he knew the beach for twenty,

you the sand for forty-six;

you each lost your turtle-hatchlings

in the week you turned and left

for waves and fish in deeper waters

such as it happens every year,

for you the turtle-man and lady

know enough of turtle fears.

I am rather fond of tortoises, terrapins and turtles. We had half a dozen tortoises in our back garden when I was a child, so I spent time watching them and observing their life cycles.

There isn’t much about jazz in the poem, so perhaps the title is mismatched. There’s a jazziness in the loop of the ‘turtle this’ and ‘turtle that’ refrain, but some might say I’m stretching it now. Maybe this will still prove a work in progress. We’ll see.