Free Verse: Prison of Mind

metal door

Free Verse

Prison of Mind

Not beautiful
the metal door
brings to mind
the prison
of body
of mind
the metallic taste
of closed, short circuited
aborting freedom
as old fears
and old tears
impose their
on the new beginnings
the joyful promises
of the present.
Memories never die.
The empty streets
I thought
meant my past was gone…
it took only an echo
to bring
ghosts from their hiding places.
which choose I,
after an orgy
chaotic with fury!
The strawberry
as I
hang between two
the tiger and the fall,
is always sweet!

Free Verse: Words of Birds


Free Verse

Words of Birds

Noisy chitter chattering
sitting in a quiet room
typing snipering
clitter clatter
of anything at all:
see my lover
see my guest
see the cake
that I just baked
look at this
oh how neat
in a never-ending blast
of useless nothings!
“no I’m not the type!
Exchanging news
that’s all I do”
in that chitter chattering
passing the days
until eternity.
through the muck
we’d call a world
of an
Internet community.

Senryu: First Light

first light of new day
let not the wasteful inhibit
the beauty that is life

I wrote the following Free Verse poem, after hearing that a young person had senselessly taken his life.  The problem in our current society, is that often the young, facing a world that has little or no roads open to them, fall into drug or alcohol abuse, fall into depression and sometimes, yes they suicide, leaving the terrible feeling of loss in the hearts of those that love them.

This poem was not written for a single young person, but for all the young people in our heartless age,  the saddness I felt then was inspired by the news of yet another young person lost.

I found out yesterday, that that  youth who had been announced as being dead, Shane Ellis, is in fact, very much alive and was only simulating his death, with the help of his friends, here on WordPress and on Facebook.  In  the face of the true tragedies that have stricken people, I find this to be one of the most despicable tasteless things I’ve seen in a long time.

People have stopped blogging, have written they’re having problems, have basically moved on either giving their reasons or not.  But to willfully deceive in this manner, leaves me absolutely without words.  I re-share this as a catharsis, above all for myself, as I reflect on just how low a person can go to call attention to himself or herself.  And then as I said in my Senryu…

first light of new day
let not the wasteful inhibit
the beauty that is life

and will move on.

Life Prevails

i think to hide behind Bastet
and ignore the sadness that life daily presents
of youthful folly that is too serious
so i banter
and speak of happiness.
but think you i have no eyes to see
life’s daily senseless tragedies
that tears might not fall
from these  old eyes
that have seen more than can be disguised?
oh lovely youth, your helplessness
scares me more than gives me bliss!
Your fragile confidence is based
on longings to find that special place
rightfully yours if you may conquer it…
but you, like i when i was young,
know not from where the  win will come…
and fear inside you that you might be won
and so in the end be lost.
and of those who are less fortunate…
i’ve known you, you are part of my intimate
the part of me who looks and sighs
that part of me that helplessly cries
for talent lost in indolence
because you’ve lost your innocence
and wallow now in impotence…
and so have chosen to live
but yet have died.
and now…
as tears grow cold
alas as i grow old…
i know
that life is  just this,
this solitary bliss…
a thoughtless bane
which continues just the same
though tragedy


Free Verse: The Wind “Ora”

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Free Verse

The Wind “Ora”

open air exhibiton
protected from the rain
under a portico…
but “Ora”
with his gusty breath:
pamphlets flew
the table cloth, too
we tacked and weighted
we did the best we could…
then “Ora”, playfully
at a panel
with 5 paintings
front to back…
I saw it teeter
and then to topple!
I gave a shout
and made a jump
hoping to stop
the disaster in it’s making…
but I too slow
had to watch
the panel came tumbling
oh, what a crash
what a sound
glass flew throughout the air…
an Englishman
moaned: “Oh, disaster!”

I looked at him
he at me…
happy that no one was hurt!
we looked upon the paintings
to see them in tatters…
but though the glass was
all in pieces
a miracle
we saw
not a single scratch
was to be found
on the delicate
water colors.

Bastet and Zen

Wuwei…and Zen meditation have become an integral part of who I am.  I’m not a Zen Buddhist though.  Many years ago, when I was in my mid-thirties, I had one of those experiences which people call a turning point.  Actually, the turning point was a few years earlier, but the maturing of the seed to fruit took a few years.  At this point, neither are important except as an illustration of how change can come about when least expected.

Before that time, I, like many others had fixed points.  Things and ideas that I felt were Universal, Real and Untouchable.  After that time, I realized that nothing is Universal, Real or Untouchable.  I lost a certain rigidity.  Then as now though, I’d say that I am a pessimistic optimist. In that I don’t expect anything and am happy when things go well!

I don’t do zazen.  That is I don’t sit cross-legged on the floor looking at a wall.  The taming of the my inner voice though, I learnt from a zazen concept  “observe your thoughts as though they are leaves in the wind”. I used to participate in my thought’s inner conversation…get involved with the emotional charges behind that conversation; an imagined wrong, a fearful thought, arguments that didn’t happen but should have.  Now, I listen to the thoughts and remained slightly at a distance from the emotional charges.

The second single lesson I found useful was the idea of “immediateness”, used often in Zen jargon, to can describe this idea, I will tell you a Zen story:

The Tiger and the Strawberry

There was a man, he was walking down a path near a cliff, when he became aware of a terrible tiger moving in the woods near where he was.  There was no way to go but over the side of the cliff!  So, he lowered himself as quickly as possible.  He came to a point, where there were no more foot-holds.  He grasped onto a robust vine, he was in a stale-mate situation…no going up, the tiger was waiting for him and the only way down was to fall upon the rocks below.  He spies a strawberry plant close by and plucks one with his free hand.  Putting it into his mouth, he discovers that it is the sweetest strawberry he’s ever tasted.

“When you’re hungry, eat.  When you’re tired, sleep. Don’t think…do!” So a Zen master would say.  Perhaps the closest thing to “immediateness” is the concept of Carpe Diem.

When one first encounters some of the ideas behind Tao and Zen, one starts thinking about how to become detached from their emotions and situations.  This is a misconception.  You don’t become detached.  You accept.  Accepting them as part of you and understanding that “things are what they are”, you step beyond the anxiety of thinking you have to do something to control reality.

The greatest single advantage of the two points that I’ve tried to illustrate, is that my thoughts are more and more like a book that unfolds stories, poems and points out interesting photographs to me.  They’ve become a calm companion, that instead of jumping and shouting at all the bad in the world, shows me memories, new ideas, concepts that are clearer and sharper than they’ve ever been before.

I’ve learned to be immediate in my actions too.  Sometimes this can be a disadvantage.  Spontaneity, means, if someone steps on my toes I say ouch, and if they do it on purpose I get pissed, but I don’t rant.  My storms are passing things rarely devastating, they clean the air. Not withstanding this, I try always to keep the other’s point of view in mind.  If someone should still become offended, well, it is what it is.




You’ve left me with some stories

That I will soon write!


Free Verse: and I forget

hiding my eyes

Free Verse

And I forget

hand in hand we’ve walked
through good times and not
we’ve had our quarrels
we’ve fought,
and each time I say:
“this is the last time!”
and then
you’ll do something
and I forget.

hand in hand we’ve walked
through good times and not
the times that frustration
made me want
to leave and go off,
I say to myself:
“this will be the last time!”
and then
you’ll do something
and I forget.

hand in hand we’ve walked
through good times and not
early mornings reflecting
of all the good we’ve got
and you wake up bad,
I say to myself:
“this has got to stop!”
and then
you’ll do something
and I forget.

hand in hand we’ve walked
through good times and not
moments of tenderness
make me go on
and if in bad times
I say
“this story has got to end”
and right then
you’ll do something
and I forget.

Poem: High Flyer

High flyer

Free Verse

High Flyer

high flyer
almost too high to see
you adventure into
where no one ever dares
high above the mountains
inspiring those,
tied onto the land
never really knowing
if someone
will understand…
bright images,
in verse and prose,
inviting, instigating…
a force of nature
old ideologies
blowing down old props
flying in the wind
against the sun or clouds
lone voice
for an echo in the world.