Author Archives: Ben Naga

Heart Friends


A true friend then
Is not that coward
Who’s too fearful
To risk your anger

Yet brave enough
To bitch about you
To other people
In your absence

It took you years
To recognise this
But the other kind
Don’t even notice

Practise What You Preach

A college professor of English sent the following to his students, who were training to become writers:

“Before releasing anything you produce into the world make sure that you carefully smell check it first.”

Not A Car But A Vision


Antara her name she told me.
Sanskrit, with a literal meaning:
“In the middle; in between; within”.
Quietly manifesting this current skin
Magnificent? That and then some!

Sneaking Senility


I didn’t forget
To do it but I forgot
That I had done it

Disgraceful Misnomers


Without compassion
Our projections are no god
Worthy of the name

City City City City City


Here in this city
In this mockery of life
Life eluded me
It eluded everyone
While few noticed its absence


Reposted from long ago.

Ben Naga


Unacknowledged this hawk-eyed underlife;
unseen, hovering soundlessly above,
observes our attempts to communicate.
Bars and then spaces, spaces and then bars;
words and then spaces, spaces and then words.
Music, conversation in the early dawn.

My words cut glass, a trigonometry.
Yours a slice of reality TV.
Cutting edge music this, fraught with discord.
Words enfold mirrored worlds; space echoes space.
Uncharted, the space within the worlds;
chimeric, the worlds within the spaces.

You twitter from inside, captive songbird.
I twitter from outside, locked out, exiled,
feeding this bonfire of words to keep warm,
maybe finding among these words refuge,
sanctuary, a hiding place. And then
some note peeps deep within that melody,

tingles in my ear, tiptoes warily
into the light: the song of the phoenix;
lightning bolt sending a shiver up the spine.
The unwatched cauldron at last boils over
revealing us to be understudies,
stand-ins while…

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The Coping Mechanism


Nothing worries us
Alarm clock keeps going off
But we just press “Snooze”

Song of the Soul

belas bright ideas

I grew up amidst plenty, Depression-era
lack transformed into expensive Japanese
silk paintings hung above a cut glass table,
black lacquer chairs, raw silk seats reserved
for holidays unfit for seven children, dreams
of people I never really knew, though
they precipitated my life;

I might have preferred distressed plank flooring
and a wood-fired oven over cork and carpet
and all the confusion, byproducts of too much
striving and not enough stillness;
motivations well understood by me now,
having thrown myself into enough fires
to acknowledge and amend miscues, misdeeds;

Like Arjuna in the Baghavad Gita,
many have have beheld the face of divinity
as it exists in all creatures and life forms
everywhere, whether perceived as good or bad;

I, too, tremble at the feet of this knowing.

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Memory Lane


I quite like
ancient haunts;

lightly caressing
the memories evoked.

I learnt long ago
the foolishness
of regret,

of expectation
or disappointment.