Sunday 5 May 2013

2 Poems by Alisa Golden

Not Falling / Not Moving  
(Dedicated to the spirit of Aikido)

Not Falling

When fear leaves,
a vague     word     is left:
the four shadows where
the letters were

They were there, once,
in the darkness. She can feel
the     memory.

She moves to a
new spot higher up
and knows
what it feels like to

She learns and lands
on her feet
after rolling like a ball
and she is not afraid—

She is not    falling,
she is
in    f l i g h t—

That is the beauty
of rolling light.

Not Moving

He walks  a pattern with a stick,
each step in a line to strike
resolved to remove a
threat with a breath;
he can diffuse
the anger of a stranger.

As his body moves,
growing between the
cracks in the ground
his    m i n d   is
not moving.

Clear and careful
quick to respond
antennae tuned
aware as a sensing
cat’s whiskers
striking only air
he becomes
the magician, whistling.

One foot o p e n s  the ground
while the other pivots around—
interchange of left and right:
a dance of flight.

Arms high
as the jo flies, controlled,
circling before it lands

So fast
So clear
the attacker: gone

the air, trembling.
the earth, still.


Alisa Golden writes, makes art and handmade books, and teaches bookmaking in the Printmaking Program at California College of the Arts. She is the editor of Star 82 Review, and her work has been published in several magazines including Transfer, Generations, 100 Word Story, The Monthly, and Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine (UK). Info:

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