Thursday, April 19, 2012


Screens of Rules and Laws

Morality crushes vitality

See the Straitlaced, Fearful, Self-righteous
Who call me out for…
Drinking a beer on the street
Smoking a weed
Paying for sex
Marrying my own gender
Back down hypocrites
Hiding behind screens of rules and laws
Declaring your way must be my way
Another day
Some day
Maybe tomorrow
Freedom of spirit will arise

You who pray at the altar of free enterprise
That sucks our blood in the name of the dollar
Complaining about socialism in one breath and
Stealing with the other
I say…
Feel true freedom
The elixir of life
The bond of humanity
Join me in the land without borders

Go back to the pit from whence you came and
Take your Bible and Koran
Your Talmud and Gita
And while you are at it your
Schedule 1, 2 and 3

Let me indulge in the sacrament and Aphrodite
The nectar and Don Juan
Take your 5 thousand year old morality and stick it up your tight ass
And then dance
Dance until you purge a whole Hammurabian book of empty rules.
The old way is going and will soon be gone
Good bye self righteous hypocrites
Welcome 2012

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Traffic, Connection and Peace

Driving to Glendale, CA yesterday for a workshop, I was assaulted by a different reality from what I had for the last couple weeks--traffic. L.A. style traffic. Cars whizzing past me on the freeway while I am going the speed limit. Trucks slicing and dicing the lanes in order to get a few seconds ahead, a dude and his middle finger because I waited for the traffic to clear. Ahhh, too much of too many. Where is everyone going in such a rush? Where am I going? Civility is rare on the streets of metro L.A.

How do I handle it? First, I turned up the music to distract me and then I simply observed the mad rush. My meditation was so deep I missed my turn-off and it resulted in a 45 minute delay in arriving at my destination.

I was in rural northern CA and Oregon for a couple weeks and it was mostly serene (no, not Portland). Today was a stark reminder to me that the value of the jumbo city is in its productivity. It is not about peace. I am soothed by the slower pace of smaller communitries. I sleep better, I smile more and I can smell the roses. People I met up north of all ages were calmer and friendlier.

What keeps me here? Friends and family. That is it. Toto. Does that trump all other factors? Well, in the modern world of connectivity it is easy and cheap to stay in touch but there is nothing like the personal, the human, the presence. Teleseminars don't work for me, on line courses don't impact, distance coaching limited communication. Dig the internet, do all kinds of social networking but the human, in person is the connection of life. So much is shared by gestures and presence that it can't be replaced digitally. The digital is a highway but it is not a destination. The isolation often leads to insensitivity to other people as demonstrated by the traffic.

Went to a weekend music festival in Garberville with some old friends. The crowd was feeling the music and the community. Could have listed to the music at home but it is not the same. Imagine attending a sporting match and watching on TV. Two different experiences. In fact, even at this moment as I write this blog, I am at a local coffee house. Most of the people are here for the connection with other people. Humans are social creatures.

Back to the L.A. traffic. That is the big challenge, how to maintain humanity and connection in the massive anonymity? Cut down on encounters with the middle finger and boost the smiles. Reach for human connection and smile and say hi and wave the whole hand, not the finger. Get out of your house. Slow down when you drive. It will make a happier day. Thanks for smiling.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Apocalypse & the Phoenix

Surveying my back yard today I noticed an interesting condition.  A couple months ago I demolished everything; deck, plants etc.  What remained was a rumble of broken concrete, wood scraps, stubs of plants, an odd broken plant container and a defunct, plastic koi pond.  Feeling complete for awhile I proceeded to get estimates for reconstruction of the deck and landscaping.  During this phase I continued with my meanderings in my new vocation (a former avocation);  brainstorming sessions, planning meetings and classes.

Looking at the yard I discovered a fact of nature:  The earth always renews itself, nothing is static and destruction initiates renewal.  You might think well of course but it is exciting to see these truths in action, as Voltaire might say in your own backyard.  The journey of transition necessitates destruction or ending and between the building and beginning there is the messiness of my backyard.  Psychologists call it a transition and it can't be avoided.  Wouldn't it be nice if one could just quit a job, end a relationship and move to a new home without muss and fuss?  No can do.  The end and the beginning always has a transition and it comes with the grayness of the change.  Even if you quit the job on Friday and start the new one on Monday, there is still the leftover 401K or the request to come back to train the replacement.  And don't get me started talking about the end of an intimate relationship.  That change can take years or a lifetime.

Now, back to my backyard.  I looked there last week and saw bamboo shoots popping up all over the place.  The old ways wanted to come back.  I consulted with a landscaper and she said, "we can deal with it by digging it up and poisoning the ground."  I am an ardent environmentalist and poisoning harmless plants doesn't feel kind to me.  Shifting my gaze to my change of work, I see some of the old habits, values, identities sneak in and poke around in my new vision of my work life.  My task is to kindly pull those old mind weeds and dispose of them sustainably to open the space for the fresh to emerge and collect the broken pieces and recycle them.  Like the backyard my task is to find a way to be gentle with my past work identity and plant the seeds of the new vision.

This new life/ work/ vision is growing in the rubble of the old while the remnants fertilize the new beginnings.  Cherishing the end now, I am ready for the new.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Wake Up Lion

Wake Up Lion
New Novel Café
Santa Monica, CA
9-5-09 and 9-21-09

Answer the call to greatness
Seasons shift on the last weekend of summer
Warm days relax the pulse
Where is the lion crowned in January?
Is he from the land of Oz?
He offered a real change we could believe in
The long lost tribe aroused from its slumber
Manning the stadiums
Sending emails and money
Marching to the polls in record numbers
In the far country for 40 years
He fanned our flicker of hope
A bonfire was lit
Power was his and ours

Six months on
Soaring words still excite.
But actions are an echo of the old regime
I’ll end the war!!
And now we have 60000 more troops in Bactria
Greed on Wall Street must end!
Bailouts of auto makers and no money for foreclosed homeowners
Health care must be affordable for all
Insurance companies line up for big bank

A lion was selected.
Do we have a spayed pussycat?
We thought we hired Moses or did we get Judas?
We need a David or is he a Trojan horse.

Some say he’s over his head
Perhaps he is a shill which is worse still
Hoping against hope he is no joke
But maybe it’s a rope a dope
By nature he is a harmonizer
Consensus is his way.
The opposition rabid in their hatred is rabid
Name calling and race baiting are in the air.
Yet he sees no evil and stays the high road

He says he will call out the obstructionists
Throw down the liars
The rush of vision is renewed
and the character of the man confirmed:
The leader of the age who rallies the disaffected.
He takes a stand and declares he will get the job done.
Join with me and change America.

Seasons change and the tempers of summer are cooler.
Do it Joshua.
Do it now.
Redemption time has come
Cast the moneychangers out of the temple
Tell Wall St to stop compensation for failure
Order the generals back from another civil war.
Medical care is a right not a business!

Take a stand
You’re the leader not an errand boy
Intelligence is not enough
Words offer temporary comfort
Stand up for us
For yourself
For mission and vision
You were called
Now is the time to answer
You are at the crossroads:
Cowardly lion
Lion of Judah?


Monday, May 11, 2009


Telling the Truth That Sets Me Free

Telling the Truth That Sets ME Free
Hal’s Bar, Venice, CA
4-13-09, 4-24-09

My baby’s gone! She done left me high and raw.
The world knows and everyone has a comment.

Outrage from the gardener
Insight from the shrink
Support from my bud
Analysis from my brother in law
Maybe from a practitioner
Frustration from my older brother-mentor
Optimism from my street vendor friend.
And me I fall into the love pit where you can’t see the bottom or the top.

BOGUS! She, me, love, relationships, L.A., the church and YES------------
God! Dammit! The thousand names of Allah and Ram.
Rumi you lucky twirling mystic.
Leary you psychedelic trickster.
Lennon you dreamer.
Marley you 11 baby mama propagator
Rajneesh you ‘free’ lover
Muktananda you devotee user
Beckwith you agape love surrenderer
Pollack you expressing drunk
Ginsberg you howling ommer
Jesus you crying martyr
Gautama you mindful fatso
Erhard you used car salesman who got it

All of y’all.
Talking your way into smug self conning and
then having the chutzpah to hype it.
Worse than the doctor who promises a cure and then charges when you don’t.
We are talking peoples’ hearts, dreams, souls.

A common line runs through all of y’all:
‘Tell the truth and the truth will set you free.’
Well, the truth is you don’t know the way.
And if you do then it is for you, not me.
In Jamaica they say, ‘back off screwface.’
Bob Dylan said it best, ‘don’t follow leaders, watch your parking meters.’
And to paraphrase the Who, ‘I fooled myself again.’

Casting my gaze after this reverie I spy a worthy object of veneration:
Round, brown, curvy and wavy hair, coco complexion
Wearing them 4” spike heels.
Just the right amount of make-up.
Lips slightly parted in that come here position.
This girl is a serious magnet
Staring, staring, staring.
My meditation practice kicks in.

She lures my lower chakra
My mind rebels
My heart regrets
My body craves.
And she smiles coyly.

A muscular, bald, dude hovers over her
Moves in, backs off.
She touches his thigh lightly.
You can feel his hard-on in the air.
I frown outside and laugh on the inside.
Big results from the many years of spiritual practice.
Observing and noting from my pulpit at the bar.

And the river flows, flows, flows.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009


A trip to JA

Dengue in P.A.
by Ransta
Port Antonio, JA

Awaking in an old hotel.
Last night was pure hell.
Tossed and turned and wailed
Muscles ached and were my cell.

Mental ruminations behind
Physical discomfort defined.

A mood of frustration
Dominates the situation.

Here at a seaside port.
I arrived as a hopeful sort.

Winding roads.
Tropical hope.

Lanes that are twister and dippers.
Rain turns potholes into craters.

My heart is in freefall, like the stock market.
One day up and the next two down.

Our journey is strange but our connection is deep.
My mind is weary, often teary.

Is love the energy?
Or has it turned to entrophy?

Blank is my slate.
Unhumor is my fate.
Not sure I want a date.
My focus is on our state.

If our love dies, my heart cries.

I'll retreat to the comfort zone of being alone.
And yet another love is ...

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Sunday, February 01, 2009


At the Mountain Top: At last an inauguration to celebrate

Novel Cafe', Santa Monica
January 21, 2009

Redemption time has arrived.
Joshua stands tall on the steps.
The flock follow:
Democrats, Republicans, gay, straight, men and women. young, old,
And as the wizened old preacher said; black, brown, yellow, red and white.
And beyond the borders:
British and French, Nigerian and Kenyan, Korean and Indian, Panamanian and Argentine.
How can this one man mean so much to so many?
Our hopes and dreams for salvation are embodied in this unexpected savior.
In the church they say something such as this could only be god's will.
The minority party crankily says if not for the economy.
But no.
It was inevitable from the time he made that speech in 2004.
He knew he was called.
We knew that we were headed for the precipice.
No one else would do.
Only this son of Kansas and Kenyan farm stock.
Born in the tropic o'hana of Hawaii.
Raised in the sweltering heat of Jakarta.
Educated in L.A., N.Y. and Boston.
Honed on the streets and dirty politics of Chicago.

We have waited forty years.
Forty long years in the far country.
Enduring a political pro masterminding a third rate break-in and declaring 'I am not a crook.'
Praying with a political novice too good to be president.
Inflating our ego with the third string actor who convinced us that morning had returned.
Grimacing while another seasoned politician said, 'I did not have sex with that woman.'
Losing our homes while another scion of privilege claimed 'Mission accomplished.'

The preacher saw clearly from the mountain top that day in '68.
A generation matured and aged and the dream was put in the back closet.
Hardly believing its eyes and ears when the prophet appeared.
We watched the pageant of suitors.
We the...
Children of the Depression.
Survivors of Selma and Montgomery.
Warriors from People's Park and Colombia.
Consumers fed by Silicon Valley and China.
Immigrants from Oaxaca and Trinidad and Congo and Britain and Thailand and 150 other lands.
Ultimately, we coalesced in the inevitable.
Our voices harmonizing and
Standing together to claim the dream so long deferred.
We have made it to the promised land.
Our eyes have seen the glory.
Let's pick up our collective beds and walk.


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