I headed quickly down the road. squeak.squeak. Turned the corner and pulled my collars up and adjusted my trousers, again. I was nervous as I always was on a first date.squeak.squeak. I carried on for a bit lost in my own thinking about the things I would say to her when it suddenly dawned on me. squeak.squeak.What the fuck was that noise? I then realized that I had been so lost in my own thinking that I had put on my damn trainers that squeaked. I was about half a block away from where I was to meet my date and suddenly stopped. I couldn’t go back now and put on the shoes I was too far away and would be late, way to late. I wondered for a while if there was a way that I could walk that would reduce the squeak to a muted one that would almost be imperceptible to the ear. Certainly to the point that I could have excused the squeak as being something else or belonging to someone else. I was on a clear stretch of path with not too many people passing by so I practiced walking slow, real slow. Squeak.Squeak. It nearly went away but I was walking so slow it would appear that I would be approaching my date in slow motion which might appear romantic for one minute, while we both smiled at each other, but as the smiles faded there could still be another five minutes as I approached my date looking like I was Neil Armstrong on the moon. The painful silence after the approach would speak volumes of her opinion about me. I tried a really quick walk, almost a run, but the squeak went up a pitch to almost like a scream. If I sprinted around the corner towards her with a scream coming from my feet, speed and confusion could be on my side, but I could terrify her. I started to practice a combination of both and felt like a terrible Gazelle. Normally Gazelle’s are graceful creatures that bounce across the Sahara exuding confidence and style but my gazelle would have kept the others back and my slow ass would be a mating call to many a lion in the vicinity. While I was practicing the walk another man passed me by. ‘What’s up brother?’, ‘Oh not much. I’m just heading out on my first date and realized my trainers squeak.’ He looked at me, ‘What the fuck are you wearing squeaky trainers for dude.No one does that, where are your shoes?’ I told him about the shoes and he stayed for a while practicing the gazelle method but he disagreed. ‘You need to approach her like a Tiger?’, ‘A Tiger? Really?’, ‘What’s the distance between the corner and the girls table?’ I reckoned about ten feet. ‘That would be two Tiger jumps. So fast she would not know what hit her and then start the questions right away before she has a chance to understand why you were moving so quick or wearing shoes that squeaked?’, ‘Damn you’re right. So right.’ The man walked of and I turned around to walk towards the corner and meet my date. squeak.squeak. I glanced around the corner but she had gone. Please download my short-stories for free
I wake up and there is a pit in my stomach. It’s blazing hot outside and I feel obliged to be happy as if my inner world should match the outer world but it’s not like that. My intention was to wake up with a positive mind and do the things I wanted to do in order to progress but I feel so lethargic. It’s like I have a large black dog hanging from my back. That would be weird to have a dog clinging to your back. A lazy dog no-doubt. I muster the energy to go downstairs and borrow the hoover. At least I could say I have done something constructive. I haul my ass down-town with only one thing on my mind, ‘coffee.’ That should do the trick but still that pit of sadness. That pit of anger. I should meditate. I should appreciate. DO my list of things to be grateful for as they keep telling me via the social media. But I know it will not work because I know me. And why push aside this sorrow? Better to investigate it or just sit with it. Use it as the food to fuel my writing. The great thing about writing through the blog medium is that it is writing without ambition or expectation, for some of us. Normally there is too much pressure behind a novel or a short-story, for fame, or money, and you end up writing for that expectation, rather than writing for the sheer joy and fun of it. That’s when the real writing breaks through. The real you comes alive. It’s what they want but you can’t always give because of modern pressures to achieve. This blog seems fine to me. If it gets attention then great but I am not out to monetize it. If someone approaches me and offers a writing gig then so be it but I am not desperate for it. Like enlightenment or the appearance of a teacher. If it happens it happens. But it cannot be forced and the karmic wheels that were set in tow were done so a billion lifetimes ago, so far back you don’t want to know. When the idea of a God was a laughable suggestion. When the deities plucked fruits from the Knowledge Tree of Babylon. When Angels flew around without no care because there were no humans to consider. And all was good in the omni-verse with no hierarchy or levels. Just trillions of fantastic light-beings dancing on the pin-head of existence. All contained within a single hymn. A note. A bar. The one that Mozart wrote. That Nietzsche discussed. Dionysian. Apollian. No where did that black dog go? Please download my free short-stories
Always walk home slowly after work. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t rush like a fool. It just isn’t cool, like all the others, huffing and puffing and pulling strained faces. No time to take in the fact that you live in a city with so many beautiful faces, and don’t forget the races. Slowly brother, sister. Take your time. There will be another train with long drawn faces, less packed than the other, and don’t forget you are no longer at work. This is your time. My time. We time. Not their time. A time to slow it right down. It can be fun walking slowly through the city, while the others are pushing past with their strained faces, desperate to return home from whence they came, while you breathe slowly from your center of gravity. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel the totality all around. That’s right. That’s it. Feel the rhythm. Feel the rhyme. One step in front of the other. Don’t forget about your sister or brother. Maybe the loved one is back home waiting, but for now be in love with this great elation. The love will be greater when you arrive home relaxed and if you’re alone then practice this more, and allow the environment to be your friend. Make friends not enemies with the structures around you. Give them names. Not labels. Don’t allow this world to confound you. Walk slowly. Walk lightly. Walk like you are the mighty. Bigger than the rest but not arrogant like unelected bureaucrats, or stately Kings. A compassionate King or maybe a Queen walking through the cities streets breathing all serene. Go home on the train or even the bus and of course be quiet while you take a seat. Walk slowly, walk slowly, walk down every street. Walk with the rhythm and the cities beat. Walk through the streets that others forget. The quiet hidden lanes where no-one has met. Then burst onto the busies and frighten the rest. Your calmness is an asset the others will admire.Walk slowly, walk slowly, especially after work. Don’t be a fool. Don’t be a jerk.
Spiritual Poetry is a reflection of a ten year spiritual and not-so-spiritual period in my life. It is not all my life. Just a period. It spans a Silent Retreat through the Sahara Desert with the Poem, ‘I Am’ which in many ways was the most natural and sane experience I have ever had.
It also contains poetry that tells tales of my travels and experiencs such as ‘Junkie’ which was also a brief memory from when I was drunk in Rotterdam and invited a homeless man back with to my flat. The next day I realized he was a serious drug addict and had to ask im to leave but before he left we discussed Ginsberg and he read me some poetry.
‘Food’ reminds me of the Tibetan Buddhist ritual of leaving the dead out in nature for the vultures to eat. Quite gruesome but also brutal like human nature sometimes. I’ve just read ‘God is Dead’ again at a time when I am just starting to read Neitszche again at 47 but like Neitzsche I like to think I and he are just killing the idea/concept of God but not the experience. I keep going backward and forwards from The Bible to Neitzsche.
‘God King’ is me doped up on too many Buddhist retreats and profound Buddhist books but I wrote the poem after a Big Mind retreat which blew my mind but in the end really added nothing to my life. There are too many chiefs these days. Maybe one day I will meet a real teacher. Oh wow so was ‘The Fabric of Existence’. I suppose sometimes when we do retreats we get a different perspective on things and that’s not that bad.
I just read ‘Fiery Tiger’s Tails’ after many years. I remember getting a bus to Dover to get a ferry to get back to Holland where I was working. Opposite me there was an old man with a grey beard and around his neck he had a large wooden cross. I just had the idea of this fiery tiger. Maybe there is a god.
‘The Piper’ is for my father and now in hindsight he has passed away and stands as a great testament to his skill as a musician. Unfortunately Scotland never did vote for Independance so what can I say. ‘Rotterdam’ is just Rotterdam what can I say. I loved the symmetry in the modern architecture and there is something about God in symettry that I like. And the Kunstall Museum.
‘Collateral Damage’ is based around a news story about a soldier that was charged with murder. Of course war is atrcoious on all sides but I believe if you take a person and train them to kill then you systematically go out of your way to dehumanise them. When they go a wry it is a shame but what do you expect. It’s about compassion for both sides.
‘Rise’ is cool as I started out practising Zen with the Deshimaru lineage but I have not been sitting for years but I am thinking of returning to Zazen and will find a new Sangha soon. Zen rocks but all religions rock at the heart of it when practice is applied. ‘Africa’ and ‘The River’ are kind of romantic stories either about the continent Africa and its continuing struggles and also ‘The River’ is just the passing of time. Fun poems to exercise the heart and mind.
‘Child Soldier’ is a reminder of early childhood struggles and being brought up amongst domestic violence.This is a reminder of what all people who experience different types of abuse are like underneath even as adults. With ‘Solitary Pilgrim’ I end up in the desert again. If I have the courage I will die in the desert just before my time. An astrologer told me I would die at teh age 78 so I have a rough idea of when I am supposed to leave.
My poetry begins in the desert and ends in the desert where Christ found his soul.
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My short-stories are taken from my first period when I had just started to write and when I was studying for my BA Hon’s in Creative and Professional Writing. I admit that one or two may be cheesy or farcical, and another a standard thriller but there are also some wild ones and insightful ones and surreal ones too.
‘Dasein’ was my attempt to personify Heidegger’s notion of Dasein or being-ness. As you can imagine these philosophical ideas are quite hard to grasp so I wanted to try and write a piece of flash-fiction that attempted to understad why we, as beings trapped by space and time, find it difficult to experience beingness. I’m no philosopher but I try my best.
‘Diary of a Lost Boy’ was a funny one and one that I wrote just after my father had passed away. I was staying at a Tibetan Monastery and attempting to get my head around ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’. My mind was full of world ending theories and I was compelled to write this peiece. The important bit being the leap into the unknown and the freedom thereafter.
‘Beer and Buddhism’ is a slice-of-life memoir taken from my other book. It just captures a period in my life when I was living and working in London. Caught up in the usual busyness and trying to keep my feet on the ground. To make peace with myself I headed of to visit a friend at a Tibetan Monastery.
‘Frankenstein’s Ubermensh’ you can call pop-fiction-philosophy. I’m having fun looking at this notion of Neitzsche’s ‘Ubermensch’ and the supreme-being clearly misunderstood by the Nazis and maybe many other misguided politicians. This idea that we can create perfect beings from nowhere and hope they maintains their humanity doesn’t work. Supreme-beings are like avatars or spiritual figures that have spent life-times perfecting their skills. Knowledge alone is worthless and dangerous without compassion.
‘The Great Santa Delusion’ has a kind of cheeky farcical tone to it. As I say, ‘If a young girl can get it’ so can you. This is looking at the myth of God and Christ and equating it with Santa Claus. It ties in with a spiritual message in the end when the kids bump into a bald-headed mystic who had been running the show from the start.
‘Hojosan’ is another slice-of-life memoir detailing a journey to a Zen Monastery in Uithuizen. A peaceful and inspiring story about a Zen Priest ‘Hojosan’ and his story about the time he nearly became a Kamikaze pilot. Beautiful.
‘Running Away’ is a conpsiracy totalitarian thriller looking at the up and coming surveilance world and drone society and how quickly it can all go wrong. It’s fast and dark.
‘Shit Happens’ has a farcical comedy feel to it with a large dose of surrealism added in. The residents of Planet Grey live on a grey planet typifying their dull lives. All of the things deemed ugly in life including colour have been erased for safety reasons. They even sleep during the day so they don’t have to look at the yellow sun. Then one day a large bug lands on the planet offending the locals. Well I won’t tell you the rest but it does get a bit fruity.
‘The Irelefunt’ I am proud of as it was published in Philosophy Now magazine, and it is my only publishing credit to date. It concerns two brothers arguing about different spiritual journeys. One goes on a long adventure gathering wisdom and knowledge and the other stays at home watching the Discovery Channel and reading esoteric books hoping to attain enlightenment without effort.
‘Reverse’ is a very dark story. It involves a servicemen who is sufferring from trauma who embarks on an ill-thought out relationship with a young girl in Russia. It turns out bad but the story is told from back to front as he comes back to life after shooting himself and is given a second chance to undo the things he has done wrong.
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Again I woke up. Got showered and then dressed. Stretched my arms upwards. Stared out of the window at the grey sky. Left my room and went to the underground. Saw two attractive women. One woman was flicking through a paper-based telephone book. She must have been poor. The other was transfixed by her smart-phone. She had a leopard print top on and zebra printed shoes. I wondered whether she was the risqué type or was just into animal conservation. The train arrived and I grabbed a seat. I pulled out my book of short-stories and read for a while. Every now and again I would glance up at the girl opposite to see if she was looking at me. She wasn’t and never did. The train stopped so I got off and headed towards the café. The streets were empty which is a boon for me. I ordered my Americano which is not like an Americano you get in the brand-whore stores but more on that later. I got the coffee with the roll and sat outside hoping for others to sit near me but they didn’t. I sat observing as I normally would and then became hideously bored and decided to write, but write about what? Well I’ve been reading Murakami’s ‘Hear The Wind Sing’ and admiring the short sharp sentences. It seemed a good opportunity to focus on my writing style and just try and take a small finite piece of time like this morning, and write about it as I go about my day. I’m not detailed like him and I don’t do fancy words either. I do worry about weather I should bring out a scene in more detail or describe in more depth the world around me. I can hear drilling going on in the building next to me reminding me of my early child-hood visits to the dentist. The dental visits never bothered me even if they were painful. A day away from school was always a bonus and the sweet offered to me after the pain was always the sweetest sweet I ever did taste.
It was a day like all the other days. The sun shone. The clouds moved. And I had decided to go for a walk. It was a very hot day so I decided to sit near a café in the park, specifically near a table that had two pretty girls engaged in a conversation. I ordered a coke and an ice cream and sat down placing myself in a non-chalant position staring out into the distance slightly to the left of the girls. It was as if this position was magical like Zazen and would attract attention of other women intrigued by the man whose body was contorted into a position of intellectual curiosity, or so he thought. While I took a chunk out of my ice-cream I noticed out of the corner of my eye a very large Bee that was on the other side of the café courtyard. My body froze remembering the many fatal encounters I had had with Bees since my child-hood. It was hard not to take them personally, but when they all looked the same, after a while you start to think it’s that same Bee that has been following me all my life. As if it has a personal vendetta. So you can understand the whole body-freeze thing. He was back. It was personal. But for now he was bothering the other guy in the corner and I watched with sympathy knowing what was about to come. At first he would whisk the Bee away with his hand. Big mistake as this was guaranteed to make the Bee even madder, even crazy. Within a couple of beats, you guessed it, the guy flips out his other arm hoping this would do the trick but it never does. If he had any sense he would just sit calmly and do nothing else and the Bee MIGHT leave him alone but he did what was expected and heads started to turn. What should have been a mild nuisance was about to turn into a performance as he predictably flung out both his arms in an attempt to thrash the Bee away not realizing that this was exactly what the Bee wanted. It’s his world. He can flip, fly, manoeuvre really quickly, but the man had thought brute strength and pride would do, but now the Bee was about to step things up like Muhammad Ali. The man was now failingly his arms around like a drunk ballet dancer at the Bolshoi Ballet. The Bee started jabbing him from the left, and then from the right, as the man stood up and flailed his arms around like a helicopter. Everyone was watching him with that pained look on their face but also excitement as not much else was happening that day. I even managed a smile, glad that today the Bee had chosen some one else and not me. I even managed a look at the girls across from me. Not a victorious smile but more a, ‘gosh how awful, fake humility smile.’ They offered raised eyebrows and then turned back to the performance only to the see the man dancing of into the distance, arms outstretched, but the Bee was nowhere to be seen until I then spotted it coming for me. He had not forgotten. The other guy was just the warm up act. I froze as all the memories of previous fights came back to haunt me. The café crowd had zoned in on the flight of the bee and its trajectory back to me and I knew it would be just a few seconds before the Bee would be on top of me. I was stuck in my non-chalant position. Right-leg over left. Left elbow on right-leg with thumb and fore-finger holding head in a composed position looking out into the distance. My heart started to beat wildly as the Bee got closer and I knew that I had to act fast or I too would look like a prize chump. Without any thought. At least I don’t think there was one, and if there as it must have been quick. I quickly dashed away in three specific strides, right from that composed position, and managed to get behind the café shed. I had out-foxed the Bee and I was hoping he would have turned on some one else by now. I tried to calm my breathing down and thought about leaving until I realized I had left my bag and ice-cream by the table. I shuffled along the side of the café walls to peak through a gap in the panelling and it appeared that the Bee had indeed left but how would I get back to my seat without anyone realizing it? I had noticed behind the café compound a large warehouse with a glass partition in the ceiling and quickly looked around for a heavy stone. I spied through the gap in the wood and tried to work out the trajectory of the distance and knew there would be a gap between me throwing the stone, knowing if it would have worked, and having to run around in the hope that it would have. It could all go wrong but I had nothing to loose and the Bee had gone. Grabbing the stone I pulled my arm back and threw it with all the energy I could muster and then waited about three seconds. Just as I expected I heard the crash, followed my a mild gasp, and I quickly ran around. As expected everyone was looking the other way. I sat down at my chair and put myself back into the same position. Eventually everyone carried on talking and I finished my ice-cream. What a day that was.