Humble practice trumps all,
The razor snicks up and down at dawn,
A hundred kicks fly at dusk.
They chase perfection
Not to catch it, but to become it,
If only for an instant.
In every simple moment we find spirit,
When movement becomes more than movement,
And words become more than words,
The simplest mystery is the deepest -
Action is repeated,
Until the doer becomes inseparable
From what is done.
25 Jun 2012 4 Comments
Humble practice trumps all,
09 Jul 2011 18 Comments
in Poems Tags: acceptance, Arts, child, childhood, death, growth, Happiness, inspiration, life, Literature, new shoots, Online Writing, Poetry, potential, Religion and Spirituality, self-growth, spring, Thursday short story slam, writing, Zen
03 Jul 2011 18 Comments
in Poems Tags: Arts, Creativity, Health, inspiration, life, Literature, love, Perception, Philosophy, Poetry, poetry potluck week 42, Religion and Spirituality, spirituality, Thought, thoughts, Wisdom, writing, Zen, Zen Mirror
10 Jun 2011 8 Comments
in Stories Tags: apocalypse, Arts, blogging, Creativity, Creature Feature, end of the world, fantasy races and creatures, fantasy writing, Flash fiction, June writing challenge, London, Online Writing, postaweek2011, science fiction and fantasy, short fiction, Writer, writing, writing challenge, writing prompts, Zombies
And now for something a little different…
I’ve been inspired once more into storytelling by Sonia at Doing the Write Thing. June’s challenge: a flash fiction piece about ‘mythical’ creatures. Here’s my take on a favorite creature of hers…
‘It’s Sunday 26th June and I’m Jenny Beaker with this breaking news. Police patrols have clashed with large groups of people roaming the streets. Our science correspondent Robert Raiman reports from central London. ‘
‘Thanks Jenny. Since the advent of fully immersive VR life chambers the sight of large crowds on the streets has become a rarity. But now, with a new condition scientists are calling ‘vacant life syndrome’ crowds of apparently mindless people have begun to congregate into roving packs. I have with me Dr Rubecker. Doctor what is causing this?’
‘Well Robert it seems that in advanced cases of mental detachment, such as when a subject is plugged into an immersive reality for long periods, the unconscious begins to reassert control of the body, following the basic of urges: to establish territory, to seek out a mate and to eat…’
Screaming interrupts the interview.
‘Does this explain the violence we have seen?’
The Doctor glances nervously over his shoulder. ‘Well yes Robert. You have to understand that in the absence of conscious control the laws and conventions of society cease to have meaning.’
‘You can see it in their eyes! Oh god you can see it in their eyes.’
‘Excuse me young lady, I am trying to conduct an interview here.’
‘They bit me, they bit me!’ the girl frantically waves her bloodied arm and missing fingers.
‘Back to you in the studio Jenny…Jenny?’
‘They’re coming for us!’ screams the girl as an animal roar builds and crashes down the street.
‘Where’s your car Robert?’ asks the Doctor.
The good doctor spins just in time to see the empty eyes of the horde, all clutching hands and bloody, broken teeth, before the wave of what was once humanity sweeps over them.
In the houses and living rooms across the country there is no-one to see the television stations falling one by one into fizzing chaos, only doors banging in the wind and in the distance, the occasional sound of screaming. Solemn Big Ben rings out once, twice, three times as if this were any other Sunday. Then no more does the bell toll.
09 Jun 2011 2 Comments
in Poems Tags: Arts, Drive-in theater, inspiration, Memories, movie, Online Writing, Philosophy, Poetry, Religion and Spirituality, stuck in the past, the past, the sea, way of the pen, writing, Zen, Zen Mirror
Memories brighter than the sun,
A drive-in movie we watch alone,
Of way back when we sucked on corn,
Before the flood washed it all away…
More days behind than I can count,
But up ahead…
26 May 2011 Leave a Comment
25 May 2011 9 Comments
In a break from my usual poetry, here’s an attempt at Flash Fiction inspired by the generous prompt ‘Paper towns’ from Stephanie’s blog, be kind rewrite. Stay with me on this one, its heavily dream influenced, but I’m hoping it slides off the paper as easily as poetry…We’ll see!
William is playing with his toys on the landing again. The room drove me out here he thinks, it’s so full of books. Books with covers as lifelike as a movie set. Books full of worlds that could suck you in. Reading just one could leave you an old man. And the painting on the wall: houses with twisted faces peering down at the street far below, and the boy huddled in his bed, throwing off the covers and scampering for the landing. The painted yellow moon follows him with its crushed witch’s face and its beady eyes.
‘I’ll put your dinner in your room,’ says mum coming up the stairs, but she can’t be here she’s dead. Mum places the tray down just inside the threshold. ‘Have you spilt something in here?’ she asks suspiciously but her tone is soft, like she’s feeling guilty. Maybe she’s just been away a long time and is feeling bad.
William splashes cold water in his face but sleep is still holding tight. Last night’s dreams still overlay the morning sky, dim behind the steamy kitchen windows. His coffee has no potency today. He kisses his girlfriend absently, ‘I’m all right’ he says, waving her away. I wonder what’s up with William, she thinks, it could be the flu, lots of people at the office have it.
Like a wraith William’s coat settles on his shoulders as he tiptoes down the path, encroaching lawn wet with last night’s rain. His car key misses the lock as he spots the low, yellow moon, slow to yield the sky to the bloated sun. He shivers. Roads sail by with the hum of the engine rocking William’s head softly as he takes the corners. As the car chugs into town the little buildings seem far away, their walls thin and brittle.
‘Morning William,’ says his boss, all bulk beneath straining white shirt and black moustache ready to pounce off his face. William nods back weakly. ‘You look like shit!’ his boss exclaims as he takes a closer look. William shakes his head. I’m fine, I’m fine. But suddenly he’s looking up at a circle of faces gathered round, empty eyes all looking down at him like polished windows.
‘You’re not fine, get home at once!’ The words are far away. ‘Better still I’ll take you myself, where’s your car?’
William’s head lolls to and fro as the car chugs out of the car park, the office block folding up behind them in the car’s exhaust, the buildings of the town blowing away in the rear view mirror like paper houses. The sun has beaten the moon and is busy bleaching out the sky.
‘That’s right son, you close your eyes’, says his boss. ‘Mum will be back soon and she’ll bring you something to eat in bed.’
There’s a terrible noise in his ears. William’s girlfriend reaches out of the blinding sunlight to turn off the alarm clock.
‘Its morning time, sweetie,’ she says fastening the curtains back. ‘You look a little pale today. Are you sure you want to go in?’
‘I’ll go in,’ William says dizzily, and more forcefully than he had intended, and throws the blanket to one side.
Through the window everything is sharp and crisp with strong lines defining light from dark, real from dream. He kisses his girlfriend and her lips feel soft and warm. She looks at him quizzically. Its solid, my life is solid, William thinks as he takes a deep breath. His heels clip something wrapped beneath the bed. In the gathering dust is an old painting with faces for houses, and sailing above them all a grinning yellow moon.
I must throw that out, he thinks retrieving a snatch of poetry written on the back.
Paper houses are the first to fall,
When flood is rising, deep and cold,
And the yellow moon looks on laughing,
‘Nothing is real, nothing at all!’
14 May 2011 5 Comments
in Stories Tags: archetypes, Arts, Creativity, Crippled God, elves, Fantasy, Fantasy literature, fantasy tropes, fantasy writing, goblins, Human, inspiration, Malazan Book of the Fallen, Novel, Online Writing, orcs, Poetry, Steven Erikson, tropes, unconscious, writing
In addition to poetry and other writings on the subject of Zen, I have also been known to dabble in writing fantasy novels. Here in the UK however Fantasy has entered a somewhat serious phase. With the novels of Steven Erikson and others it now seems that fantasy can no longer be about beautiful elves, treacherous goblins and blood thirsty orcs. In this brave new world the forests are burning and the elves are all now in brothels, the goblins have opened casinos and are making a packet, and the bloodthirsty orcs are in fact a muddy reflection of ourselves; sadly out-competed and forced by desperation to pillage. Steven Erikson is probably my favourite fantasy author of the last ten years so this is certainly not a criticism of his or subsequent fantasy, yet part of me thinks something has been lost. The well-worn clichés of fantasy, or tropes as Sonia Medeiros of Doing the Write Thing calls them, have something archetypal about them. There is a stubborn magic in such tales, a magic that talks to our unconscious. We have come so far, this human race, but in our journeying have we left one half of ourselves behind? So in response to Sonia’s May Challenge to give old fantasy tropes new life, and to attempt to reinvent and redirect my own faltering fantasy novel-in-progress, I present the following poem-stories. Imagine a world where not one but seven races of man still walked, each striving for dominance of the earth. Such a place is where my story is told. See if you can spot where my races come from in traditional Tolkien Fantasy, and where they have taken their own, new paths. (Apologies the word count Sonia is 588 – editing was never my strong point!)Seven races of man were born, Grown from void filled with earth licked by flame, Each made in dark to strive, For the light of lasting dominance, Each in turn to taste victory and ashes, As time grinds its hoed furrow on the world, This is their story.
*First came the Camlock, Lizard skin, bleached eyes unblinking, Sinuous and cold, Their mastery long as forgotten eons, As they are now forgotten, By those once enslaved.
* Old ones, Fast ones, Childar blood ages like wine
In the deep forests of the world,
We who are of one mind
With nature’s covenant,
One born for every lost,
But if we brew for war,
The world brews with us,
And if our coven grows dark,
A most unpleasant broth for the world over
Let them know our peace,
Or let them know our end.
*The Runtar run With fire cupped hands, The gift of life and blood To the long legged hunters with seeking spear, May this plain never end, Until the lightning laces with fire The long grasses, And it is time once more- To run.
Let mine be mine and yours be mine,
Gamster country over,
And if in back stabbing,
I do stab around the world,
To my own back,
So be it-
Let the games go on.
10 Apr 2011 11 Comments
I was inspired recently by Elli Write’s Monthly Writing Contest , which asks for submissions on the subject of Rebirth. There is something really special about being given a simple brief, without direction, and asked to open your creative wings. A writer will often have numerous ideas buzzing around his or her head. But in my book, a writer proves their worth only when they have to adapt and flow with the inspiration of the moment, without relying what they have done in the past. So without further ado here is my effort:Rebirth… To be everything you dreamt and more, To have the aching void of what could be, No longer a painful absence in your chest, But full with bursting joy, But then again… Without the void, There can be no light, no star of hope or twist of fear, No human world in a spin, At this mad game we call a life. So stay on a while dear emptiness, Linger on my friend discontent, To fill my pen with bitter fruits, Of loves lost upon the wind of this neglect, That carries stories whispered as if in dream, Of what was and what could be, The ever lasting strife for better life: Rebirth…