Tag Archives: zen and writing

When there’s only KaTe

Sometimes there are five faces
of wow in our breath. You
never knew me. As a child,

howling under ice: still

I am two steps and running away,
never knowing moments of pleasure–
of us dying together so that we might

survive. Yet, what would I do

without you? Take away the moments
of love and anger: with no warning,
we are as fresh as Eden, crackling
green and whole, rising in one joyous

shout. Your light is pale:
the fantasy, my deliverance.
I am your ghost. Deliver me
from hiding and cold memories.


Asian Redneck


This is a 100-word challenge from Friday Fictioneers. Have fun, and let me know what you think. Photo by Douglas M. MacIlroy

Bubba didn’t care what others thought about his fish.

“They’re just carp,” Tommy-boy said, flinging a flat rock across the surface of the pond. It skipped three times, then sank below the surface. “What you need is catfish.”

“Koi,” Bubba replied. “And don’t throw rocks at my fish.”

“Coy?” Tommy-boy picked up another stone. “You gave your fish Sally’s last name?” Aiming at the tree opposite the pond, Tommy-boy let the rock fly. “She ain’t going to like that.”

Bubba sighed and gazed at the koi swirling in the pond below. Being Japanese in Alabama wasn’t going to be easy.

What did the Buddhist say to the Hot Dog Vendor? – (on banishing writer’s block)

Make me one with everything

medium_3431365556The zen approach to writing is simple: There is no such thing as writer’s block. It’s all in your mind. If you tell yourself that you can’t write, your mind believes what you say.

Years ago, I had what I thought was writer’s block. In those pre-Internet days, I sought the advice of writing coaches to find my way clear of the mental bricks and mortar, as opposed to mindlessly surfing the Internet looking for other answers. The advice I got was varied.

  • Read for inspiration
  • Research your subjects
  • Write an outline
  • Get out of the house
  • Exercise
  • Get drunk

A lot more advice followed, yet none of it worked. I told myself I was blocked, and thus it was true. Oddly enough, if I had believed in any of those cures, they would have worked. But since I thought the block much stronger than any cure, thus it was so. (I love using the word thus!)

Over the years, I put writing aside. I drank more beer. I studied philosphy. I thought great and stupid things.

One day, it dawned on me. My own personal enlightenment.

The Stuff of Stars

I’ve got Buddha in my lungs,
and bits of Jesus on my soles. One
foot is Ghandi’s, and what’s left
of my life Kali splits with those waking

this moment and passing the next: I am Cherry
Cohen Kalil Gonzales, catholic on my father’s
side. My pagan mother’s generational gift,
my tongue, black and lolling, has her taste

for blood and the good earth beneath my feet.
In three — Mother, Father and Me — a trinity
of spirit, and the breath of gods.

And that, my dear friends, is my realization. I am one with everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. And that includes people who do not (and will not) suffer the illusion of writer’s block. Since I share the fortunate minds of so many prolific writers, likewise, there are no bricks and mortar in front of me – only hot dogs.

The rest of the story: The Buddhist paid for his meal, and then inquired about his change. The hot dog vendor raised one eyebrow. He smiled, and said: 

Change comes from within

photo credit: zenonline via photopin cc