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.

The Immovable [Free Verse]

The Immovable,
said to lasso evil
& 
vanquish it with
his flaming sword.

And I have so many
questions...

-can one vanquish evil?

-what material must a
sword blade be made of 
to fatally wound something 
so conceptual?

-why don't we see more
vanquishing these days?
[It seems to be an activity 
that's fallen out of favor.]

where can one obtain 
a conceptual blade 
to vanquish
a conceptual fault?

i conclude that it's
all made of mind.

The Taoist [Free Verse]

In the pagoda garden,
the philosopher stares
into the inky darkness,

contemplating its slow
flow into the light,

reflecting upon the light
embedded in all darkness,

light that he sees in
a glint of moonlight 
on still waters.

BOOK REVIEW: I Breathed a Body by Zac Thompson

I Breathed a BodyI Breathed a Body by Zac Thompson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amazon.in page

Out: October 5, 2021

This is one creepy commentary on technology run amok, and the alienation, desensitization, and disconnection that can result. [Or, at least that’s how I interpret it.] The protagonist is a driven social media executive who finds herself in territory that even she believes is over the line, despite her near psychopathic emotional disconnection. Another way to interpret the story is that the fungi that has taken parasitic control over humanity is making people see the world more as they would – i.e. with less cringing about death, decomposition, and deformation. [I happen to think that the fungi infection is a clever plot device to get across ideas about technology and modernity, but I could be wrong.]

Either way, I do think this is a clever story. There’s a species of Cordyceps fungi that takes control of the brain of an ant, steers it to the top of the nearest tree, and bursts out of the ant’s head to spread its spores from its new, elevated vantage point. This book reminded me of the Cordyceps fungi, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it inspired the story — with the requisite growth in sophistication to account for taking over a much more complex brain. This is a compelling and thought-provoking story, but it’s also gruesome and at times chaotic. If you can take horror, you’ll probably find it worth reading.

View all my reviews

Fungi Mind [Free Verse]

From its perspective,
we live in a vacant
 upside down underworld.

It can't understand 
our terror over death
and our obsession
with life. 

Just thinking about it
gives it nightmares,
heebie-jeebies
of being overrun
by endless piles
of creatures --
endless piles
with endless needs.

We may wrinkle a nose
in disgust at its worldview,
but it finds ours
positively suffocating.

But it forgives us
our simple ways,
we are just its food,
after all. 

Streetcorner Socrates [Free Verse]

A streetcorner Socrates
calls out those who grow
forests of words --

not because he doesn't love
the trees, but because
they impede his view,

making for perpetual dimness
in a mind that craves light.

The trick is not to clearcut,
but to leave only that which
enhances the view.