Archive | March, 2012

Fear Factor

30 Mar

“Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.”  ~German Proverb

Fear Factor

In 480 BC, three hundred
Spartans showed no fear
They battled at Thermopylae
With sword and shield and spear

They fought against an army of
A hundred thousand Persians
Possibly two hundred thousand
In some different versions

The question always asked is how
A group that was so small
Could withstand being overmatched
For the two day long brawl

Fear’s the answer, on one side
The lack shown by the Greek
It is quite evident by what
A few Spartans did speak

When Persians warned their arrows would
Cause the sun’s light to fade
Spartan Dienekes said
“Then we’ll fight in the shade”

When Persians ordered Spartans to
Lay down weapons and quit
King of Sparta, Leonidas
Replied with true grit:

“Molon labe!” which translates
To “Come here and take them!”
This brave and boastful dare proved that
From him fear did not stem

When Xerxes, Persian Emperor
Commanded that they kneel
The Spartans did what those with fear
Thought to be quite unreal

When everyone with fear believed
That kneel the Spartans should
They did not say a word, instead
The Spartans simply stood

“How?” the fearful still do ask
Right up until this day
“How could so few stand against
Such odds that did outweigh?”

And they will never understand
Because their fear does muddle
It is their destiny to let
Their fear always befuddle

But for the Warriors who choose
To slash through fear and doubt
They understand quite well how Spartans
Were so strong and stout

They lacked the fear that held those back
On the opposing force
They never let their fear allow
To take them off their course

Some may say that since the Spartans
Were killed to the last
That nothing was achieved and certainly
Nothing amassed

Those are words of cowards who
Believe that their sole duty
In life is to care for themselves
To watch over their booty

An Epitaph rests where those Spartans
Fell beside their King
To cowards and the fearful, the
Words inscribed shame do bring

It says “Here lies the Spartans having
Fulfilled their command”
They knew their duty to their King
Their people and their land

They served their orders with no fear
And completed their task
And now, two thousand five hundred
Years later they do bask

In glory, honor, dignity
For having disagreed
With what Emperor Xerxes had
Demanded and decreed

When someone tells you something that
Does not sit well with you
Will fear cause you to go along
And alter your own view?

Or will you take a stand and say
Squarely to your detractor:
“I disagree” and show them that
For you, fear’s not a factor?


The Arrow

28 Mar

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” ~Bruce Lee

The Arrow

The origin of the word “sin”
Means “To have missed the mark”
To have aimed for the bullseye
But lodged it in the bark

Whenever arrow strays from goal
And travels way off course
It is not target’s fault, but rather
Fault of arrow’s source

A lack of concentration on
The shot we need to make
A failure to notice the wind
Or the arm’s subtle shake

A moment not taken to breathe
To relax and converge
To block out all distractions and
Superfluous to purge

If the arrow is to hit
Its mark, the eyes must stay
Laser-focused on the path
And not for moment stray

The same is said for virtue, if
We are to be our best
Our focus must not deviate
From honorable quest

Only when we turn attention
To things off the path
Do we feel the guilt of sin
Its rueful, shameful wrath

Take a deep breath in and then
Slowly let it half out
Release the arrow and be sure
Of its intended route


Warrior Poet Wisdom Vol. V: Resolve

25 Mar



Vol. V: Resolve

Warrior Poet Wisdom Vol. V: Resolve is now available in PDF (PC/Mac), EPUB (iPad, Nook & most eBook readers) and MOBI (Kindle) for the new low price of $2.99 on the

eBookit Bookstore

I resolve to not care if it’s
New Year’s Day or not
A calendar does not control
Potential I have got

                    ~”Warrior Resolutions”

The 1-in-100 Warrior Award: Cat Forsley

23 Mar

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” ~Heraclitus

What exactly is a warrior? Someone who wears a suit of armor and swings a sword around? A participant in a war? Nothing more than a soldier?

If these are the thoughts that spring to mind, think deeper.

A warrior is more than weapons and armor. It is a way of life. It is the belief that the greatest purpose in life is service to others. It is grace amid frustration, peace amid turmoil, and strength amid weakness and misery. We most often use this word to describe the brave men and women who risk their lives in the military and law enforcement to ensure our freedom and safety, but warriors are actually all around us. They’re in factories. They’re in offices. They’re in schools. They’re in hospitals, both as doctors and nurses, and as patients.

Courage. Honesty. Fearlessness. Grace. Peace. Service to others. No complaints. Nothing thought of as a blessing or a curse; everything simply accepted as another challenge to be conquered.

They’re not perfect, and don’t try to be, because they know such aspirations are futile. But they do the absolute best they can with what they’ve been given. Warriors no longer have potential. They are potent! They understand that knowledge is knowing, but wisdom is doing. And they are a very rare breed: as Heraclitus once said, only one out of every one hundred is a true warrior. This award is named in honor of those words and that truth. The symbol of the sword is used to represent their courage and strength, and the symbol of the feather quill pen represents their grace, beauty and creativity.

This week’s nomination goes to singer, songwriter, musician and fellow Warrior-Poet, Cat Forsley. Cat’s music and lyrics have been inspiring me for quite some time now, but it wasn’t until recently that I did some research on this truly amazing young woman. I stumbled upon this interview she did last year and was amazed at the grace and courage with which she has handled her visual challenges. Her courageous attitude, her charitable spirit, her faith in the Creator’s design, and her passionate and vigorous honesty makes her 1-in-100, and we are lucky to have her:

Guidelines for the 1-in-100 Warrior Award: Warriors are not motivated by awards or fame. They see awards not as an opportunity for the ego to rejoice, but rather an opportunity to honor other warrior brothers and sisters. To acknowledge and honor the rarity of the warrior, it is recommended that the recipient passes this award on to only *one* other blogger that they feel goes above and beyond to serve and inspire others, and who maintains their grace and positivity even in the face of difficult challenges, such as health issues, tragedy, injustice or loss.

Once an author is given the award, they may continue nominating one new blog author once a week, month, year… or whatever seems appropriate. It’s like a knight’s ability to bestow knighthood onto another whenever they choose. But only one at a time. The patience of a warrior is required.

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

23 Mar

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” ~Matthew 7:15

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

I see a wolf dressed as a sheep
He’s preying on the ones who sleep
He uses all of the right verbs
Like “love” but something still disturbs

He talks about empowerment
But on him, I can smell the scent
Of ego still in full control
This wolf does not speak from his soul

It’s from his mouth that he does speak
And all he does is just critique
He chimes in to say how you’re wrong
How his way is so much more strong

He speaks and speaks and rambles on
And slowly, I see ego spawn
I see him vent when others choose
To not give credence to his views

I see him vent and vent some more
I see the ego get quite sore
I see a man who can’t let go
Who does not let emotions flow

In time he shows his true intentions
He’s driven by credit and mentions
He wants people to take notice
To be fawned over like a lotus

The sheep’s clothing now starts to tear
Which leaves the wolf exposed and bare
Eventually we all reveal
Everything we do conceal

Eventually it will be known
Why this wolf likes to drone and drone
It is because he hates the thing
He is but to ego does cling

He tries to pretend he is one
Of few who is with ego done
But surest sign he is untrue
Is that he will always pursue

He will attack, he won’t relent
And won’t miss a chance to comment
He’s all about himself and soon
The other sheep will know his tune



21 Mar

“Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed, but not defeated,” ~Ernest Hemingway


My wife and I were on our way
To breakfast this past morn
And at a set of lights we saw
A man who gets much scorn

A homeless person stood holding
A sign asking for aid
It said he had been hurt at work
And now could not get paid

We pulled over and gave him what
Little change that we had
He thanked us very much but I
Did not feel very glad

Because I knew that I could do
Much better than just change
I turned the car around and then
Did what most would think strange

I asked this man to let us treat him
To a breakfast meal
He said thanks but declined my offer
Though it did appeal

I told him that too few do walk
The extra mile for
Others, and the few that do
Don’t get let through the door

He did concede and grabbed his bag
And hopped in car and told
All about what had led him
To standing in the cold

He had been an electrician
And one day volts did burn
All throughout his body, leaving
Him with great concern

Many doctors had said that
He should not have survived
Even though he lived, his arms
Of feeling were deprived

His legs as well, they’d fall asleep
For hours upon hours
He’d had many a surgery
To restore his limb’s powers

He’d also lost his wife when she
Had found another man
She’d taken his son and his home
And disrupted the plan

Of adhering to wedding vows
“Through sickness and in health”
This man had lost his well-being
And now all of his wealth

This might have seemed like a sad tale
But Dennis was unique
Despite all that he had been through
His outlook wasn’t bleak

He talked about how we all have
The choice to frown or smile
And that’d he’d learned that the things in
Life that were most worthwhile

Had nothing to do with money
Or things that it can buy
It wasn’t about getting drunk
Or about getting high

He talked about how he would tell
The other homeless men
To treat their bodies as temples
And find their inner Zen

A Warrior who’d lost comfort
In the body he owned
But didn’t try to deal with it
By getting drunk or stoned

A man who dealt with his pain through
His focus and resolve
Who rather than reaching for pills
Instead chose to evolve

Whose body had been destroyed but
Had grown stronger in mind
Who had every right to lament
But misery declined

He lives under a highway bridge
Beside some old train tracks
He called it “God’s Land” because he
Can legally relax

And sleep there ‘cause it’s not owned by
The country or the state
He talked about how cops had once
Arrived and did dictate

That he should leave, but he informed
The law was on his side
The cops researched and found that he
Could on “God’s Land” reside

We spent a couple hours chatting
And were so inspired
When he spoke about how little
That he still required

He only needed forty dollars
Each day to survive
Only forty dollars kept
This homeless man alive

He spoke how people were more kind
When approached in the morn
Rather than at end of day
When tired and all worn

He spoke of operations on
His arms and on his legs
He spoke of allergies he had
While poking at his eggs

He had some sores across his face
That were from an attack
He’d had from food at soup kitchen
That contained pepper black

He spoke how people called him names
And said he was a liar
He said how he once gave a dollar
That he did acquire

To someone who thought it was funny
To ask him for change
While waiting in their car and wished
To give smart-ass exchange

He spoke of an old millionaire
Who meets with him each week
To give him twenty dollars to
Make himself feel less bleak

A millionaire who earned his dough
By caring for no one
Other than himself and now
His conscience weighs a tonne

It is amazing what we learn
And how our notions fall
If we will just walk to up folks
Who normally appall

Or scare or make us lose comfort
If only we would make
The effort to learn, understand
And those old notions shake

I did not offer Dennis luck
As we both parted ways
Instead I told him I was glad
That nothing seems to phase

I told him I was inspired
To know out here he walked
Endured with a smile on his face
Although he had been shocked

Although his body had been burned
And scars were left all over
I’m glad to know somewhere out there
Is a Warrior rover

A man with nothing who has strength
To give to those who care
Who make the effort to connect
Instead of simply stare


Running on Empty

18 Mar

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Running on Empty

Wish that I could continue
But I am low on gas
The tank is running on fumes now
And I’m dragging my ass

I wish my body could keep up
With spirit and with mind
But I’m finding that it is lagging
Quite a ways behind

The physical aches and pains have
Depleted so much fuel
Not to mention ugliness
Of one too many fool

The cowardice, the disrespect
The selfishness and hate
The laziness, the impatience
Has been a heavy weight

I’ve laid the pedal to metal
‘Till vapor’s all that’s left
The tolerance and understanding
Has left me bereft

Of fuel I need to carry on
So it’s time to refill
On people who inspire with their
Courage, strength and will

Be wary of what you create
When you are out of juice
The fatigue will cause your mindset
To be somewhat obtuse

You’ll find yourself unable to
Go above and beyond
Rather than constantly complain
It is best to abscond

Until your fuel tank’s replenished
And engine revs once more
Allowing you to focus on
The things that you adore

Which will serve as a fueling station
For all of those who
Are running on empty so that
They can fill up too