an autobiographical poem Once upon a time I was a boy poised on the threshold of manhood unsure and untried badly in need of a rite signifying a bridge crossing that mysterious divide ﷯ I did not yet know who I am Young, dumb, and full of cum as the convicts would say back in the day Like so many youngsters with brains too small for their attitudes too underwired for perceiving the pitfalls laying in wait of their missteps who impetuously toss their lives to the voracious Fates by committing ill-conceived acts with calamitous consequences and repercussions that go careening and ricocheting into the noisy clutter of human affairs like steel balls in a pinball machine ﷯ Not quite a man, truly and not yet knowing who I am at the age of twenty-one I joined that ignoble fraternity   Lost among the lost in the labyrinthine halls of unjustifiable justice under dominion of the damned Ministry Of Love Denied With not yet a glimmer of who I am and unaware of the Question that would eventually guide me to knowing ﷯ Battlefield shock chiseling deep cracks in my mind choking off clarity of thought No one came to ask if I was doing alright to help me to fight down the demons who haunted my trauma Death and life in a tangle of ambiguity dark and light in a lover's embrace The dualities in their endless dance and struggle taunting me with their ethical dilemmas in confusing disarray Besieging my mind sapping my strength of will crushing my courage as with a weighty sack bulging with moral regrets the heavy chains of shame dragging behind   Stumbling in the dark following blind leaders who promised proof of manhood a white lie leading toward the black bottomless abyss of oblivion feeling as I would gratefully surrender and lose all my burdens in the fall ﷯

At the last moment

a guardian angel

pulling me back from the brink

lifting me up by the scruff

shaking loose the glamours

and entrusting to me

this cursed gift:


Who am I?


The Question echoes in the dark


Who am I?


Who am I?


Who am I?


The query became a mantra

that would

step by laborious step

lead me out of the darkness

of my infernal ignorance


But my karmas

had carved such deep furrows

in the firmament of my soul

erecting colossal barriers

steep and forbidding

to where I felt dwarfed

into helplessness

so it seemed my efforts

to climb out of the karmic maze

might take all of an age



And time is a luxury

but rarely an ally

of the imprisoned


With no other redeeming path available

I began clawing my way

inch by inch

toward the light

in arduous efforts

made all the more difficult

by jealous souls

who grabbed at my legs from below

confounding my efforts to make progress


Trying to overcome

seemingly insurmountable obstacles

it can break a man

in more ways than one



My heart has been broken many times

broken and battered and scarred

by trust betrayed

by unfulfilled longings

profoundly aggrieved by losses almost


almost too great to bear

and pierced by a knife

wielded in anger and fear

by a former friend

a menace

derailed from any awareness

of who he is

leaving me to expel my life's blood

from out of my mouth and chest


A fearsome violence on display

in the cosmic balancing act

a karma swinging back around

like a bird with a sad song

flying home to roost

with a dreadful message:

the experiencing of such a terrible thing

as I once inflicted on another man



in this one lifetime

I have killed and been killed

I have died and been resurrected


That I may offer this testimony

and attest that karma does not bend

to misbegotten notions

around vendettas and just desserts

rather that karma is of a higher power

not subject to personal judgement

inevitable and inexorable

that may bring a reckoning

that may bring an awakening

to freshen possibilities

to reveal opportunities

for discovering self-truth

for opening the heart

to forgiveness

to self-forgiveness

expanding space for empathy

deepening capacity for humility

and strengthening the will

to get back up and carry on


No joke,

I have journeyed through Hell …

but fellow travelers have appeared

along the way

and offered friendship


I was not without help after all;

just when hope seemed most absent

generous souls lent me a hand up

gently easing me of my burdens

nourishing me with their kindnesses

and understanding

and encouragement


Whisperings of the ancestors

even the insane ones

offered vague

and sometimes misleading

guidance and inspiration

spurring me on

as I reached up

to grasp the higher truths

and enlarge my understanding



Struggle and fight

study and learning

wisdom dawning

in flickers and flares

more than the eye can see


While the Question

continued to reverberate

down through the years


Who am I?


Who am I?


Disobedient Child




Homeless Boy


Wayward Son


Lost Brother


Flower Child


Draft Dodger


Pot Smoker






Absent Father


Condemned Prisoner


Terms and labels

describing behaviors and conditions

not a person

many frequently used to malign



and therefore

can in no way meet the qualifications

for being the Who in this enquiry


Who am I?












Life Hacker


Cosmic Explorer


Getting warmer

but such pursuits

if successful

are at best of an ephemeral nature


and so will not serve

to identify that which must be

at the core



Who am I?




Ah, now this one rings a bell!


Dedicating my focus

my thoughts

my energies

to expressing in the creative arts;

it was clearly my calling

opening a way forward

a path of escape

out of the quagmire

of destructive

and self-destructive


who had infected my life

and the bad decisions

that had imprisoned me;

a calling to transform

negative energies

into a positive force

that might contribute

beneficial meaning

and beauty

to a suffering world



The role of artist

as my path

became multifaceted

encompassing many disciplines






Soundscape Designer








Image Designer


Electronics Wizard








Warmer still

but still leaves unanswered

the Question

of Who all this is actually for


Who am I?


Family Man


Blessings beyond reckoning

the bonds and ties remain intact

in spite of draconian restrictions

my kindred near and distant

all my relations

an extended family

and my place in it

connecting to one another

in Spirit and aspiration

nourishing my soul

with love and support

inspiring and informing

all of my efforts

as …


Grateful Son
















Wise Man




And inevitably sentimental connections fail stretched to the limits of duration the bonds and ties unwind precious memories fade and love returns to Spirit as the memorial artifacts slowly dissolve to dust posing now the Question of what or Who shall remain Who am I? Ultimately all and none of the above Ideations of the self formed around occupations style personas and life roles are vagrant but have purpose like stepping stones used for crossing the learning streams of experience Still, all experience is fugitive subject to changing and slipping from view or out of reach while Truth remains immutable only thinly veiled by the mind's fascination with sensory objects Better, perhaps, to ask who I am not I am not a personality fixed by vanity or taking too seriously the fleeting identities I am not a history least of all one flawed by too many embellished tellings I am not nor have I ever been anyone's minion I am not my successes or my failings nor defined by the worst thing or even the best thing I have ever done I am not a measure of my life experiences though each one has brought me closer to the realization of who I am Approaching the summit, I become more aware that the making of a living and the artifacts of endeavor have little real meaning or lasting value beyond the purposeful process of meditatively engaging with their creation in the moment where striving for perfection is itself perfection attained Awakening and remembering, attachments to the worldly self-identifications and their works are sloughed off like the husk of a chrysalis Who am I?   One whose need for a rite of passage eventually led beyond layers of bondage to the gates of knowledge leading to transcendence to freedom The keepers of the dispossessed are strangely oblivious to the true Master they serve when they make inward a prisoner’s only way out Human civilization teeters on the edge of tipping across the point of no return and may well collapse in on itself under the unsustainable weight of obscene consumptive excesses of runaway systemic failure our fundamental social constructs crumble weighed down by paranoia and distrust brought on by too many conflicting dogmas ... and the power-hungry megalomaniacs with their conniving denying deceivers scruples twisted by delusional doctrine may succeed at last in pushing the human story off the edge of the page ... and the loamy flesh of Earth mother of us all may writhe and wither under the abuses and tortures wantonly inflicted on her by her greedy and ungrateful children leaving only the furious shrieking of her windsong wailing to disquiet the stillness to disturb the dust of desolate lands … and all the forests and all the forest's inhabitants and all the denizens and flora of all the watery worlds and all the bodies of all of our billions may become the fossil fuels for some distant future race Yet I … I shall remain Unbroken Untouched by long imprisonment Untarnished by contrived judgements and epitaphs Unfettered from the hostilities from the bitter resentments and from the dark moods that blind and bind the mind to unreality Unbound from the pains of aging bones and failing flesh Unfurling as the alpha the omega the alpha again and again the omega again and again in the eternal cosmic dance of death and renewal Glorified in the fullness of my love loving and being loved in a flowering of everlasting radiance I am? Time and time again the query and the reply I am ﷯ spring 2022 ﷯

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