A DIALOGUE OF LIFE AND DEATH (a very short story)

A student walks alongside their teacher. After a quiet period the student asks, “what do you think it’s like to die?”

There is silence for a moment from the teacher, an inward breath, and then an exhalation of words. “I think it’s like falling asleep. First there’s a gap, and then you dream something else. Or you merge with everything by becoming nothing.”

“Hmm…” A slight pause before the riposte. “But then what happens when you wake up from that sleep?”

“Something akin to all of this,” said along with a gesture to the pair and their surroundings. “Everything is just a Bardo.”

“I’ve never heard that word. What is a Bardo?”

“Something that exists between two things. Life lies between birth and death, dreaming between sleeping and waking, and so on.”

“So what is this conversation then?”

“I guess it’s just words in between silence.” The teacher stops walking.

Unsure what to do the student stops as well. The teacher sits on the ground and the student hesitantly follows suit. Finally the student breaks the silence once again. “What are we doing?”

“We are experiencing the death of walking.”

“I’m not sure I understand the symbolism.”

The teacher stands up, begins walking again, and says. “Then don’t stand up and walk until you understand the impulse to do so.”

After just a few moments the student rises and walks behind the teacher to catch up.

“Why did you start to walk again?”

“Because I had more questions, and also I just felt like it.”

“Aha.” The teacher shows positive emotion for the first time in the exchange. “Yes, that is all life and death is.”

“Hmm, okay but-”

“No, that was not symbolic. None of it is. I mean it literally.”

The student looks perplexed but nods. For quite some time the two walk in silence along the path. One contemplates, the other does not.



Why, why, why?
It hurts so much
Makes no sense
This life is nuts

Questioning became a crutch
Must remember now what I already got
Before existence was taken over by thought

The answer lies within another question:
Why not?

Per chance
It is all just a cosmic dance

All things end where once was their start
Characters and props acting out perfect parts



Per chance
Do you take a firm stance?
Or like me
Are you able to be
Floating free?

Your solid borders
Seem to be forming
Such shapes as these
Hard borders against me

I see the gaps
All strings with enough tension snap
Temporary borders
On maps
That can be redrawn

Each new dawn
Shines light on all the same
A star, the same as which we all came
Children of light
Grow up to own the night

So easily to forget
We dressed the set
Drew the lines
First in our minds
And then agreed
On what they mean

Your objects are not fixed
Materialism has you mixed
To each their own
My subjective way can go
Any given way
Even while your objects stay

You stake your shapes
Like the one circle claim
And yet I zig zag all around
Through and in between with no bounds

Perhaps you learned to stay in the lines
Okay, that is fine
But do not object
When I sketch
Freely and use all the rest
Of the canvas

If you stay within the lines
Then stay there and do not tread on mine
You made your own confines
Only in that realm
Can you raise hell

Reality will hit you like a stick
Always does when a rigid stance you pick
But I do not have spite
I dance and draw with light

I just ask you this

If per chance
You take a firm stance
Do not tread on me
While I am floating free
Or I will skillfully flick
You with the reality stick

I will find the rights that are mine

Through the holes in your dotted lines

ALCHEMIST’S RAGE (a spoken word style poem of emotional regulation )

There is this rage
That seeks
To be freed

It would go unphazed
As all things
Before it
Are razed

A fantasy
Not in actuality
No indulging
In this reality
And pummeling

An instinct perhaps
Mild mannered overlaps
With aggressive
And tenderness
Are mixed
Nothing is fixed

Scrawling for a niche
“What’s in it for me?”
Is what seems
To be at the tip
Of everyone’s lips
Social media twits

Picking fights
Not playing nice
Knee jerk reactions
Of bully jerks
In opposing factions

Mammals in zoos
Play this out too
Just because
We can think
And talk
Does not
Give cause
To say
We are
More evolved

Get involved
With each other
Spar with a partner
Simulate the fight
Positive outlet
For spite

Dogs wag their tails
As they flail
Tooth and nail

How frustrated
We are
Near and far
The same angst
Showing our fangs
But going
For the throat
All she wrote
Instead of
Holding back

The pillow
Punch it and throw
Across the room
In safe environment
And all will
Be fine then

It would be freeing
To see human beings
Evolve beyond
War would be
Long gone

Until then however
This rage will fester
Into outlets
And scouted
To neutralize
Before it can rise
Too high

For now
It fuels
The flames
Of drive
Through patient trials
Met with fire

We will rise
Back up
Become unstuck
Flames licking
Logs singing
With volition
A mission
To be carried out
Sparks shout
Energy erupts
From the crown

All the way down
At the base
A coiled up snake
Ready to strike
Most precise
Final fight

Reptilian brain
Is the bane
But finally breaks
Destroys you
That’s it
Forward it shifts

Of fright
By frontal lobes’
Both halves
And right

This rage
That seeks
To be freed

Just needs
To be
Out of the tunnel
Just enough
Kick and punch
Run and throw
But no
Actual violence
Blunt lances
And self defense
In place of
Real fighting

The great taming
A leash
For the wild side
Only at times
Of great need
Pacifistic indeed
We can be

Do not condone
Wars with drones
Too much testosterone
Gladiating arenas
Squealing hyenas

Clear your head
Take it out instead
On the pads
Wrestle on mats
Jog on the path

This rage inside
Simply subsides
No longer seeks
To be freed
When allowed to be

And then
Just maybe
Rather than becoming
It turns back into nothing




ROMANCE RONIN (free verse poem)

“I wish you well,” she said. “But don’t talk to me ever again.” What the hell? The darkest note in the heartstrings for me, such a painful misery.

“How can one wish well and also completely reject?” I think to myself. Can’t I start over and reset? Hypocrisy for her to say that. She walked all over me like a mat and then pretended to act like a dainty lady, a princess of the manor who possesses perfect manners.

What?! You cannot block out or block an account, and still think you are being nice. Why pick a fight? Don’t you get the gist? You. Are. A. Narcissist!

What the hell do you do when you’re in a bad mood then? Delusion to think that you are in collusion with being mature. How can you be so sure? You spit on me from your princess balcony and then have the audacity to say to me that I’m a nice guy. Why in the world should I accept that? Why?

Whatever. It stings but will be all for the better. Once I shirk these fetters there will be no hurt again ever.

If to only be there now, but how? Hard to not make a distinction when the instinct is to not be alone. Difficult to not groan, when I take a blow to the gut. One heavy punch and I’m back in the rut.

I am such a mutt. A mix of so many things. They all ring inside of what I am. Time though now to take a stand. To see what is “out there” as empty and to feel what is “in here” as not heavy. It is light, a perfect concentration. Yeah, that will save me.

Then immune to the harpies’ call I will be. No lovely tune could seduce me, not possibly.  I could look and see the beautiful wings and features of certain creatures without any need. Why be devoured by their teeth?

The truth is that you are just as ugly as I. Your costume is fairer but away it flies and I see the truth. I see the real you, all the way through.

You are not evil, dark temptress. It’s just that your coldness is senseless. What is true and gives me pity on you is that you have so much farther to go than I do.

You are just a mirror that shatters me and leaves the pieces here. You are so unkind that I must now find freedom in my mind.

All that is left for me to do is to shatter you too. To truly recover from your attack would mean that I could once again dance with whoever and remain unattached.

You stole from me so much time, so much of my youth. Yet now I see the mistake was mine. I got caught in the loop.

Since then this era of wandering in the desert has seen many mirage illusions. The only hope now is to see through all delusions.


It soon will be time to finally overthrow my own mind.


Those of us who are cast aside do eventually begin to no longer be upset at lies.


In time this guy will find that he was and always will be just fine.


What a fool I was to think that someone else could make me whole and save me from the brink.


Just read the words on this sheet.

No need to compete.

We are all already complete.


In numinous awareness comes a most marvelous existence from

A continuous moment, empty and yet full, simply flowing

The layers we put upon the phenomena are but from

A small mistake, to sin is to make

An error in perception, the one exception

Maybe, it seems, is to see the unity

Of all things and no things

One field and also none

As such, not much

Just is what it is

Simply all this

Or is it?

A paradox


Everything is and yet is not