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.

Squirrel Grind [Common Meter]

The squirrel's life 's an acorn hunt:
forage and hide the nut.
But a feeble mind requires that
it hide them by the glut.

Squirrel happiness is fragile
no cache is big enough
to be certain it'll make it through
should the winter get rough. 

Oh, give me the tardigrade life,
not a doubt it'll survive.
No food, no water, vacuum of space
and the thing 's still [bleeping] alive.

Rather than gathering plenty,
I'd rather need much less,
or, at least, not be so mindless
to hoard in great excess.

Impending Cataclysm [Free Verse]

Everything is dull
before the world changes.

People live their rituals,
complying with habits.

But the world will change,

change from one day to the next,

and not the subtle, unceasing change --
perpetual and ubiquitous --
that has always been.

No. This will be an eight megaton
shift into the new,

and nothing will ever be 
as it's always been.

Never again.

It will happen without warning
or precursor --

without a hint that the world
is about to be revealed, 

to be discovered 
to be something
wholly different
than anyone ever imagined.

Welcome to the new now
[prematurely speaking.]

DAILY PHOTO: Seeing Eye to Eye with a Giraffe

Taken in June of 2017 at the Giraffe Center on the outskirts of Nairobi

BOOK REVIEW: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

A Short History of Tractors in UkrainianA Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Amazon.in Page

This is a comedy of family dysfunction. The family consists of Cold War era immigrants to England from Ukraine. One adult daughter (Nadezhda) narrates the story, which about how her estranged relationship with her sister (Vera) is renewed through battle with a common enemy, Valentina, the gold-digging Ukrainian woman (younger than either sister) who’s moving in with the sisters’ eighty-four-year-old father.

There’re a few divides that generate the story’s tension. First, Vera grew up with war during her formative years, while Nadezhda was a child of the post-war peace. This informs how each sees the world and the other. Vera sees her younger sister as a naïve bleeding-heart socialist, while Nadezhda sees Vera as a cold and distrusting Thatcherite scoundrel. Second, there’s the chasm between established immigrant and new arrival, the former feeling that they kept their heads down, did the work, assimilated, and earned their status as citizens, while feeling someone like Valentina is tricking her way in and expecting to be handed all the perks of first-world living without working for them. Finally, there’s the gap between what a new immigrant expects life is like in a wealthy country, and what it’s actually like. Valentina has a television view of England that assumes the characters she sees are typical.

The story is funny, but occasionally poignant – e.g. as when we learn the family’s war-torn backstory or even when Valentina is shown in a more sympathetic light by our “bleeding-heart” narrator, who waivers between her family obligation self (who despises Valentina) and her socialist-feminist self (who empathizes with Valentina to some degree.)

I’d recommend this book for readers of literary fiction. It’s well-crafted and humorous. But it’s literary fiction, so if you need your characters likable and your plot strong, you may find it a bit dull.


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