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George Such

Homemade Mantra

I am paying attention,
breathing with a Buddha smile,
at home in this world.  

I say these words silently
throughout the day
when my mind narrows

my pulse, traps my breath,
and leaves my fingers
gripping themselves; 

they bring me back to my steps
on this downward slope
of Taylor Street,

the way my weight
stays forward in my feet
and the front of my thighs

act like brakes
on gravity’s push
against my back,

how ivy leaves rustle
and beige hearts chime
on the porch I’m passing,

Shasta daisies arranged just so,
the scent of cedar bark
and roses,

the way the trees look
on Lummi Island,
small as goose bumps.


George Such is an English graduate student at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.  In a previous incarnation he was a chiropractor for 27 years in eastern Washington.  Besides reading and writing, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling, especially to India and Southeast Asia. His poetry has been published in Arroyo Literary Review, Blue Earth Review, Cold Mountain Review, Dislocate, and many other journals.