Way back then it began with
big energy of desire behind arcs
of movement through flowery air,
your flash of bravado like
(at 2 you jumped in the pool and swam),
some cellular lightning rising off head and feet,
arms outstretched for the world and beyond.
No one knew in ’86 what was coming,
that such play and work with those wheels and board
would crest and carry into mainstream places.
This was strange outlaw living then–
you weren’t trodding a middle way,
alive at deep edges, the high heat of competition
never greater than when against yourself.
Heart of warrior, alchemical dreamer,
adventurer’s sinew and bone,
mind swinging open sizzling with joy:
you were so young and wildly brave.
Slight and intense, admirer of sport, I followed your progress
(breath held, police watch), cheered
each feat–more so incandescence of hope
as your passion reshaped air, time, thought.
You are older, braver, stronger, wounds knit
together into tattooed tales of loss and discovery.
You’ve expanded with things endured,
a richer faith, and every time you test bonds of gravity
that essence shouts, flies as you rise, fall, rise.
A circuitry of life imbues you by sculpted
propulsion of fire’s calm– your daily devotionals.
Still out there, and I yet watch (going grey now)
you skate with zero regret and a fine crackling of
laughter and sweat, mastery of gratitude, sheen of wonder.
(And still I hold my breath then let it go with the winds.)
Many still do not understand the allure and respect for skateboarding but it is a demanding athletic endeavor (it became an official Olympic sport is 2016), beautiful and fascinating in motion. My son, Josh Falk, has been a pro skater for over 20 years and has been on several teams. I have never regretted encouraging him in his passion. You can find many photos, videos, film and magazine feature info as well as his Northwest Skate products online if interested.