Archive | April, 2013


30 Apr

Vicarious: adjective – felt or enjoyed through imagined participation in the experience of others.


The athlete wraps his swollen knee
To take the pain down one degree
He puts his uniform on and he stands

He stretches and he grunts and sneers
While in the background thunder cheers
Of fans who have some very high demands

He does some squats and starts to sweat
His knee and shoulder play roulette
Sometimes they stab, sometimes it’s just an ache

He does this every single day
And though the word they use is “play”
He knows that it’s not “fun” that is at stake

He pushes himself to his edge
He sacrifices, makes a pledge
To expect more from himself than of others

He puts on all his gear and walks
Out of the locker room and talks
With his comrades, his teammates and his brothers

But soon they’re all drowned out by fans
Who yell and scream within the stands
Who shout, “We’re gonna win!” with all their might

A man who hasn’t run in ages
Takes a swig of beer and rages
“Show them what we’re made of and go fight!”

The athlete sees another man
Who tries to not spill his beer can
While nachos balance in his other grip

He holds the chips up to his face
And gobbles some without much grace
And with a full mouth thunders, “Let ‘er rip!”

Thousands pack the seats today
To chant, to cheer, to hope, to pray
To live vicariously through the men

Who choose discomfort, struggle, pain
Through snow and sleet and cold and rain
Fans pin their hopes on warriors again

“We’re gonna win!” some slob declares
And athlete does look up and stares
A cold and steely glance because he’s heard

Enough people who act involved
So athlete’s poise becomes dissolved
Because for him it is all so absurd

He says what is on all the minds
Of his teammates as he reminds
The nacho chomping fan it’s not *his* win

Until he puts the nachos down
And hits the gym and goes to town
Which makes his teammates all chuckle and grin

The nacho chomping fan is stunned
He feels betrayed and hurt and shunned
And now he cheers for the opposing team!

Once again he lives through those
Who saw two choices and they chose
Not path of comfort but the one extreme

The athletes all compete and drive
Each other to feel more alive
While fans in stands sit by and feel connected

And cheer and pump their fists with zeal
As if their achievement is real
Vicarious accomplishment injected

They all go home and feel quite spent
“Man, what a game!” one does lament
“We gave them everything we had out there!”

The athlete shakes his head and limps
His way past all the oafs and wimps
And then collapses down into a chair

He slowly pulls the knee wrap off
The pain hits him and makes him cough
“WE won jack shit” he mumbles quietly

“The victory is for my team
No matter much you all scream
And how much you live vicariously”


Life Advice from an Old Warrior Poet

29 Apr


Manifest Plainness

28 Apr



The Hotter the Forge, The Stronger the Sword

27 Apr


The Hotter the Forge, The Stronger the Sword

The sword’s a symbol of great strength
As well as elegance
The blade can withstand great duress
If its metal is dense

Although the final sword is sleek
And smooth with mirror shine
It wasn’t always free of dents
Or a perfect straight line

The steel within its blade was not
Always so strong and stout
The path that the sword must take is
Not the most pleasant route

The raw, weak metal’s placed inside
A forge of blazing heat
And if that wasn’t bad enough
The swordsmith starts to beat

Upon the raw material
With hammer, unrelenting
Battering and pummeling
And shaping, reinventing

Stoking fire even hotter
Making the steel glow
Into the reinforced blade
That we have come to know

Every time its folded and
Is hammered out once more
Makes the blade even stronger
Down to its deepest core

Every centigrade of heat
That the forge does increase
Unlocks dormant potential
And more strength does release

We all are blades within the forge
And life is our swordsmith
Strength without an intense heat
Is no more than a myth

Just like the blade, you cannot form
Unless the fire’s stoked
Unless the hammer’s brought down hard
And your true strength’s evoked



A Warrior’s Definition of Fear

25 Apr



The Ultimate Measure

24 Apr


Everybody Else

24 Apr

A common response I hear from people is “Everyone else is doing it” or words to that affect, as if the fact that other people being dishonest, lazy, selfish, aloof or inconsiderate legitimizes their behavior.

For people who defend themselves by saying “others are doing it” or “others aren’t going the extra mile so why should I?” I would encourage those people to take a long, hard, close look at the examples they’re using as their defense. Are those people who are doing it too exceptional? Are they impeccable? Are they driven? Are they selfless? Do they think for themselves and blaze their own trail, or are they just a sheep following the herd, and by their actions, influencing others to follow as well?

When someone says “Well that other person is doing it,” I believe a Warrior responds by saying, “Who is that other person? Describe them to me. Tell them how passionate they are. Tell me how fearless they are. Describe to me their limits and how close they push themselves to reaching and even surpassing those limits.”

People should be more picky about who they pattern themselves after. Proximity alone is not a good enough reason to emulate another person, so take a step back, get some distance, and take a wider view of “who else is doing it.”



Self-Control, Self-Respect & Courage

24 Apr


Just Imagine

23 Apr

Imagine what life would be like if you never felt embarrassment. Imagine if you followed your heart and your conscience for every decision, both big and small, without the fear of what effect it would have on the way other people view you? Imagine doing something and instead of apologizing or trying to explain yourself when you get a peculiar look, simply placing your hands on your hips and saying, “You missed it.”

Imagine not caring what people who miss so much because of selfishness, fear and lack of empathy think, and imagine having the courage, grace and emotional control to confront all those who try to squash others under their thumb for standing apart and following their heart. Imagine telling them, “I see what you’re doing, and it’s an act of cowardice, selfishness, small-mindedness, comfort and lack of understanding,” without having it devolve into a heated argument because you truly don’t care what they think. And imagine if you could see the irony of how such words strongly affect them because they care too much?

Just imagine. 🙂


The Secret of Happiness

23 Apr