Monday Poem

Things We Learn

Things come to us
out of nowhere

they come

Surfers riding waves Shooting barrel
we learn the nuances of gravity
its center-of, its bonding property,
its Gs, its fatal promise, we learn
how to stand erect and,
for the most part, stay that way
learn how to take a fall
how to shuck and jive
through sticky moments
through disequilibrium to stoop
or, chest out, stand tall
falling even into the troughs of its waves
we ride, we glide skulls full of juice
snapping, crackling through calculations
needed to adjust, adjust
we learn to know the force of the wave
behind, its feel, learn to fear and not to,
to not let its immensity in terror lock us,
to knock us off our board, we learn
immediately where our feet should be,
the optimal pose, how to shift without thought,
to enter the exhilaration of a barrel
and ride despite threat of a lethal dive
to surface sane, with soul intact, alive

Jim Culleny