The Elixir 17 – Practise Being

By sacrificing all semblance of self and await the perfume that lingers on long after you’ve let the rabid dog that it is starve to death, long after you’ve stopped acknowledging it’s howls, let it bark like mad, and you just keep on being.

Don’t fool yourself, there is no state of being without the destruction of not just one, but all rabid dogs inside you. They’re not loyal, they’re cunning and deceitful.

Find a master who can show you who they are, what they look like and then kindly show you how to get rid of them.

When they bite, you will forever be inflicted with the disease of self devotion, an inevitable lowly state.

Keep them chained and let them rot.

The perfume of being will intoxicate you until you know no other way.
Practise being.

‘Too many mind’

How do you expect your soul to blossom
And fingers paint with blood fragranced quill?
How do you expect your life to flow
If you can’t keep your mind still?

The title has to be credited to the movie, The Last Samurai.
In the movie there is a scene. Tom Cruise, is playing Nathan, an army leader who is now being held captive, albeit graciously by the Samurai.
They engross him in their lifestyle and traditions and he grows to learn that they are refined and cultured people and was misled into thinking they were savages who were out to overthrow the government.

The scene in reference is when Nathan is exercising in the art of Kendo which is the version of practising swordsmanship with wooden makeshift swords. The Samurai are even teaching him their art during his captivity.

With all his western bravado, he is using as much machoism to try and defeat his opponent and keeps coming off on the wrong end, getting defeated and being hurt. Finally, sick of seeing him hurt so much, a younger Samurai walks up to him and explains to him in his broken English with obvious translational discrepancy purposefully embedded into the movie, “Too many mind”, the reason why he couldn’t defeat his opponent.
Too many mind is his erratic mind trying to use logic, strategy, theory, aggression, ego and more. All of it, hindrance in the purity of the art form.

Life is no different, you must quieten the noise, you must quell your thoughts, filter them down and sift them into fine nothingness.
Practise your arts without ego, practise being who you are without frivolous decoration, without the noise of mind, without too many minds.

Listen to and hear all the things you take for granted but don’t let them take centre stage in your mind.
That stage has to be empty, then you know you are a theatre ready for a grand performance.


What stirs inside you?



I don’t know my grandfather much. I have vague memories of thirty seven years ago when I was one.
I remember walking the ancient, stone laden back streets of Al-Mina in Lebanon, the Miami of Tripoli with spectacular historic views of ruins against ocean waves where fishermen only go out to pull a catch or two to feed their families for a day.
There is no comparable ocean spray in the world as it’s mist bares witness to the ancients that fought over its right, that drown in its love, that desired and coveted it.
A stubborn people, on it remains in the hands of the Lebanese who only match their stubbornness with a love and generosity unseen in the world.

Parsley spread on kitchen benches being carved into aromatic salads.
Olives so embalmed in their brine, the pickles next to them are jealous. And the oregano to make Italians think they have never planted a seed in their life. Their recipes have made it into plates the world over, but what remains to be experienced are their writers and poets.

Sadly, hipsters prattle off Khalil Gibran without knowing his history, origin or biography. Khalil is an inkling in the ocean of writers and poets we have. Poetry and writing is not reserved only to recluses, it’s everyday talk, it’s on the store clerks tongue, it’s in the field workers hymn, it’s in the labourers chant and in the wife’s scold as she abuses her husband for ogling at the young girl that just past them. It’s our culture. We’re passionately absorbed in words and our nomenclature is bound to it.

I remember my grandfather only by the slow gentle walk he led me by so that my feet could keep up.

Tall, straight dignified posture and a fisherman’s beret, he’d stop me at a vending machine and buy me a Nestle chocolate bar, back when Nestle could be smelt as you peeled a wrapper.

Or he’d stop me at a corner vendor selling Choco-prince biscuits from his cart.

Yes, I was only one, that’s unfortunately all I can remember of him or at least the first image that comes to mind when he’s mentioned, that and his greeny blue eyes that changed with his clothes as if to reflect the ocean temperament that he spent so many mornings on fishing his keep.

He’s my mothers father and she just returned from a visit and began to tell me how he spends his days as an eighty five year old man.

If my introversion comes from somewhere, I know it is most likely rooted in my mothers side of the family as we share a love of words and books so it seems.

He’s a secret writer, poet and vicious reader, acquainting himself mostly with works of history, poetry and religion.

Perhaps that hummingbird is immortal and travels from heart to heart or maybe its seed lies dormant in genes waiting to be fertilised in a member of the ancestral chain. Either way, I never had any desire to travel to Lebanon despite my vivid memories of when I was last there in 1988. I did see him then, but too absorbed in my childhood, I only remember his care taking of his 102 year old father.

It seems that has somewhat been awoken as I wouldn’t mind sitting with that old man, perhaps now taking him by the hand and walking him slowly to a broken Roman stone on an otherwise forgotten part of the landscape, armed with pens, books and silence, we could converse and share quiet.

Maybe we could calm that hummingbird inside us both.


Art of apology

Yes, it is an art.
It has it’s own etiquette.
It flows within the confines of sincerity,
It moves with deliberation of amendment,
It contains a brokenness of presentation,
It carries on the stretcher of death the ego and presents it for mutilation, for post mortem examination, for autopsy and cremation if needs be.
It does not stand aloof, boisterous and proud.
It is meek,
It is humble and downtrodden.
It is admittance to error.
It is not denial or justifying of your action or inaction.
It is a want.
It is a desire to communicate,
To leave open the gate,
Grease it’s hinges,
Before it’s too late,
And you’re left to the throes of fate.

And you thought a simple sorry would do? That is the prattling of someone who doesn’t like the reflection of themselves staring back at them, so they destroy the mirror instead of beautifying themselves.
You’re surrounded by all this misfortune because you’ve broken one too many mirrors.


Destroy the evidence.

Let’s find them shall we?
Those pieces of spine,
Those fragments of mind,
Scattered memories,
Left behind.

Let’s tie them shall we?
I have but this twine,
This root of thyme,
The puzzles,
Of perpetuated crimes.

Let’s unite them shall we?
Here, use this vine,
Together tightly, bind,
Gather them,
Whatever you find.

Let burn them shall we?
Light the fire of time,
Kill off me, I, and mine,
Leave no trace,
No sign.

And she continues to be a stand up woman,
For you,She hides your sins,
She veils your evil,
She presents you on a pedestal to the world,
As a King,
She, your servant.
Blindly, all this time,
You fail to see she rules over you.
One turn of her glance away from you,
You’d be reduced to rubble,
Who would prop you up?
Nay, she is the Queen and you, but a slave.

I don’t do ‘in love’

I don’t fall in love with people.
I’m far too severed from the memory of innocence to allow such a feeble emotion to control me.
This does not remove from me the real emotion to love people and things.
I love, and will continue to, it is my profession.
But to be in love is the devils play, to distract you from the real art of actual love.

Loving death so much you’d live out your every breath for it.
To magnify your ending.
To make your ceremony of union grand.
That is the greatest love of all.
I love it so much I’d rise out of hate of myself for it,
I’d only fall,
Into my grave,
Into a love spot,
Not in love itself.