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.

DAILY PHOTO: Paulsplatz, Frankfurt

Taken in November of 2022 in Frankfurt’s Old Town next to St. Paul’s Church [Paulskirche]

Cynic Limerick

The philosopher named Diogenes
was like a dog... known to have fleas.
-failed to find an honest man.
-didn't let "Greatness" block his tan.
But he lived simply, and as he pleased.

BOOK REVIEW: Ahiahia the Orphan by Levi Illuitok

Ahiahia the OrphanAhiahia the Orphan by Levi Illuitok
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

Release Date: April 11, 2023

This is a brief and action-packed graphic novelization of a traditional story of the Inuit people of Kugaaruk. That said, it’s probably too brief and action-packed for its own good. The story revolves around a man, Ahiahia, who is orphaned when members of the tribe kill his parents, and then when he comes of age the same contingent have it out for him. While one can imagine any number of internecine conflicts that could lead to the murder of his parents, the fact that we have no clue of the attackers’ motivation makes the whole thing feel gratuitous.

Ahiahia’s grandmother takes the boy in and goes to great lengths to see that he will be safe in the face of whatever familial rivalry led to his parent’s murder. Her actions blend the magical with the practical (e.g. chanting incantations over the bow and arrows she makes for him.) For me, the moral of the story can be seen in this blending. We don’t know how much of Ahiahia’s successes are due to the practical versus the magical, but one feels they worked together and that one without the other would probably not have fared as well.

At the end, there’s a scene that may be disturbing for those who have strong feelings about patriarchal subjugation of women, but it’s hard to argue that it’s not authentic.

This is a very quick read and has sufficient action to keep it engaging. However, it can also feel a bit purposeless.


View all my reviews

Bad Parenting [Common Meter]

I don't mean to cast aspersions,
but it would seem to me
parents shouldn't give a child stabby
things 'fore the age of three.

I don't know whether this household
has a pup or kitty,
but if the kid can spear the floor
the pets ain't look'n pretty.

Saying a babe shouldn't have a spear,
you'll call me "left-wing nut,"
but I don't like dog-on-a-stick:
even if it's a mutt. 

The Happy Castaway [Common Meter]

Adrift at sea for days and days,
who knows how it will end?
Your body sloshes like the waves,
but as your mind descends.

Your mouth is dry; your body pruned.
In thirst, the water taunts.
But - ever wet - your skin sloughs off.
When soaked, the water haunts.

The sun burns hot. Then fog rolls in,
and senses are deprived.
And washing up on vacant shores,
you find that you've arrived.

You know not where - but feel relief.
Land monsters can't be worse
than those that grab you by the mind
while high seas you traverse. 

Stampede [Free Verse]

Wildlife charges through the city
like the bulls of Pamplona,

a stampede of death 
from a river of life,

a river that flows turbulently,
crashing and slopping.

Nothing can falter before the stampede.
Each step must land solidly,
each step until one's last.