Poems of Life and Death – 1

This month I started a new job. I have less time for Go, but I have been inspired by how my boss, who happens to be a Go player, makes great use of his time.

I have decided to emulate his efficiency and find new nooks and crannies in the week to nurture my love of Go. That translates to earlier mornings, during which I’ve blocked out an hour of time to create a new series I am calling “Poems of Life and Death.” The goal is simple: use the hour to solve a few life and death problems and write a poem. My hope is that this activity will bring focus and intention to the rest of my day while exercising both the logical and aesthetic thinking required to play Go.

I’ll start by working through the intermediate level of Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life and Death, which is available for free online. I’m fond of these problems because they do not have solutions and require extreme thoroughness to determine their status.

The poems may or may not be related to the problems. The time constraints, I hope, will allow me to be more generative.

And now: today’s problems and a poem. I hope you enjoy.

Pressure

The coffee brews and hisses.
The cat sleuths around the room.
All my undone lists
Call old foes through my phone.
There was warning of an avalanche,
But nothing seems amiss—
The ravens still regard us fools
And pick the rainy streets.

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