seems greener than before –
warmth, steam remind me of the Atlantic rainforests in Wales
where it rains six days out of seven glaw, glaw, glaw,
whilst protests sweep the planet like clouds
but do not quell the Amazon fires.
I win my green belt in a martial art
learning to harness light like photosynthesis,
undoing my roots, learning to twist, kick, turn, leap,
kicking back against body dysmorphia.
The leaves, all green-brown, are not yet
in their autumn splendour bursting into colour
like lollipops like coloured belts I don’t yet know the meaning of.
Leaves of ash fall, touch my shoulder, give me strength.
Heaven and Light, Joyfulness, Fire and Sun, these
are the names of the first three poomsae but the fourth
is Thunder and the morning after I win that belt
I’m awoken by a mighty roar and flash of lightning
illuminating my room, the altars of my gods, a broken mirror,
my laptop and the jam jar in which I keep my pens
painted black with yellow and red stars,
the rubber the only dumb thing like the doubts
that hold me back yet the eraser of my past.
The skies are broken glass and the stream a darkness
running from eternity as a voice from a martial arts film asks:
“What do you see in front of your fist?” “My destiny.”
*‘Glaw, glaw, glaw’ is Welsh for ‘rain, rain, rain’.
**The martial art I am learning is Taekwondo and my instructor is Eddie Ellison.
***The lines from the martial arts film are from Streetfighter II: The Animated Movie (1994).
****All photos are my own except ‘Lightning Ground Storm‘ by Brandon Morgan on Unsplash.