About B Gourley

Bernie Gourley is a writer living in Bangalore, India. His poetry collection, Poems of the Introverted Yogi is now available on Amazon. He teaches yoga, with a specialization in pranayama, and holds a RYT500 certification. For most of his adult life, he practiced martial arts, including: Kobudo, Muay Thai, Kalaripayattu, and Taiji. He is a world traveler, having visited more than 40 countries around the globe.

Clerihew of American Literary Greats

I
Edgar Allan Poe
always lacked for dough.
Still, he always strived
to not be buried alive.


II
Emily Dickinson
lived a bit like a nun,
but her verse was insightful —
even sans an earthly eyeful.


III
Samuel Clemens, or Mark Twain,
wrote personas known to speak plain.
His nom de plume
means “fathoms, two!”


IV
The poet Walt Whitman
had a startled milkman.
Never one to be subdued,
if you just dropped by, he might be nude

POEM: Crisscrossed by Roads [Sestina]

I walked beyond the world of roads —
out where the mountains meet the sky.
The time moves slowly in those parts,
where miles are trod to gain meters,
but no one cares when the sun is high
’cause getting somewhere ain’t the goal.

But who can say what is the goal
in those lands that lie beyond roads?
Some listen for the voice on high —
thundered instructions from the sky,
counting out each exact meter,
though without a listing of parts.

Not everything is made of parts.
Not every walk requires a goal,
or counting of kilometers.
This world is crisscrossed in roads;
though seen only from high in sky,
but the trap is felt at no great height.

The surface etch shows: low or high —
those lines: the earth-scarred parts,
cut clean, like contrails through the sky.
Arrows converging on a goal,
the goal of longer, wider roads,
stretching out each kilometer.

Who’ll save the walked kilometers?
When roads are low, who’ll take the high?
Who’ll not ask to extend those roads
into distant, dangerous parts
when workers need their next new goal
and flyers see no lights from the sky?

We measure miles across the sky
and judge all sprints on the meter.
There’s no escaping precise goals;
there’s jumping long, pole-vaulting high,
making sums greater than the parts,
and building new (and longer) roads.

Now our old nodes have blown sky high.
We’ve teetered meters, taking part
in goals far bolder than new roads.

POEM: The World According to a Reader

I’ve built cities in my brain,
cities that no one would recognize.

I’ve danced around Dublin with Dedalus and Bloom,
but no Dubliner would recognize his fair city
from my mental projection.

It doesn’t matter how masterful Joyce is in his description.
I’ve only visited the version that I tossed up in my mind
as I tore through his poetry,
and which was torn down in the wake of my reading.

And yet I treasure that false metropolis.

It’ll do — for now.

Five Tiny Haiku

I
the forest,
seen from a child’s height,
shares secrets

 

II
lifting leaves,
I find a pale, sad sprout
ready to rise

 

III
sunflower seed:
carried across the floor
by dogged ants

 

IV
floating leaf,
twisting as it glides
down river

 

V
a spider,
dangling by its web,
feels each breeze