Photo: Miss Menighan
Poet in Residence
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST CARYN MIRRIAM-GOLDBERG
I do not like you, downward dog.
I see right through your resting pose status
to how you’re just wind trying to keep
steady in the enveloping storm,
you supposed triangle, you landing base
that keeps climbing through variegated
fears of dying. Turn my pelvis upside down
and bring whatever rusting squirrels
spring from the center of my body
back to the mama spine.
Stop biting the undersides of my earnest
knuckles, the pads of my feet, my forearms
straining toward failure. You think
I can’t tell what you’re doing with me
between those graceful planks and sullen child poses?
Between the heat from what hurts most in close
or far-off memory and the humidity of this moment?
Between the leaf falling outside the lines
of this pose and these walls, and the weather
that keeps going to the downward dogs?
Oh, downward dog, scatter me high and low,
here and there, breathing unsteady as a lost flock
caught in an abrupt wind, and wherever you take me,
get me back to the forgiving mat ready to exhale
peonies out of their knotty buds, and then
do it all over again.
Reprinted with permission of the author
from Landed (Mammoth Publications, 2010).
We have all asanas that, when we hear the teacher call out their name, we suddenly wonder if this is the just the time to slip out for a drink of water or to check the parking meter. Yet in facing what we most resist, we can find new ways to make friends with ourselves and increase our ability to bring curiosity and compassion to our practice and our life.
After reading “Downward Dog,” write a letter of sorts to the pose/asana that’s most challenging for you at this moment in your life.
Beginning a writing practice? Getting started, groundrules to free you, and podcasts of other writing prompts. Visit Caryn’s Write From Your Life page (http://carynmirriamgoldberg.wordpress.com/write-from-your-life/)
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.