Category Archives: poems


Blooming buttercups flash-frozen,

In the belly of a mammoth beast.

A coronal mass ejection licks the sky.

All systems fry.

Stop. No traffic lights. Starvation nation.

No medication.

“We weren’t expecting this.”

An incy-wincy megadensy black-hole,

Sucks existence away.

Then there is that,


That of which we cannot say.

At any moment a little meteor strike,

Like that man in Bangalore,

May melt me back down,

To prime star-dust,

Ready for some more.

Or bigger yet a crater-maker

An axis-shaker.

Happened before, going to happen again.

The bus may skid.

The plane may explode.

Hyperbaric fireball.

The End of my road;

“Could happen, maybe”.

The world just goes crazy.

Is this a dagger or an empty hand?

An impact so big it shatters sand.

A polar-reversal that flips the sea.

Buttercup Buttercup allergy.

Inversely Disproportionate, Mate

It’s not an intelligence test,

Because, I have seen it sucker,

Some of the best

And brightest.

Who have always been the rightest,

Mentally Tightest.

“Fight the good fightist. “

Who’s thoughts have been blighted,

By all heard and told and sighted,

On the screens that scream that droning routine:

Distorting free-thinking people INTO The Machine.

Dear Youngsters

Dear Youngsters,

I worry about tech,
The effect it has on you.
And everything you do.
These everywhere technologies.
Your growing brains. 
Evolving personalities.
The time sink.
Lifelong digital ink.
Addictive compulsions and empty consumptions
The absolute, and terrifying, reversals of importance.

Youngsters, know this,
The science is in:
Attention splitting is attention spoiling.
That new alert ping.
Some virtual ker-ching.
Duel screening.
These things spoil your focus and flow.
And we do not know, 
As it is all so new, 
The effect this will have on how you will do the things you will do,
Or not.

And what about your sense of self?
Inflated/deflated, over and over.
The ego smack-crack conditioning.
The social media me-asma.
It makes you feel important,
But it is not, and yet, you are so,
So, so so important…
And so is your time, and his and hers and theirs and mine.

You must chose the choices you must choose,
And nobody can really help you but you,
But you can help yourself and see,
To me, where is the toxicity of this technology?

We cannot stop now,
But we can control,
And cut down,
And own,
And be able to be as we walk down the street a being in the moment.
Who is here, who is present in this gift; 
Outside the brains of the servers.

There is a game out here,

That you can play more.
It has feel and fun and it is ripe and it is raw.
It has reality and value and consequence.
Game over.
Life well lived.
Game well played.
Was that time well spent?
Did I just thrive then?
If this was my last, would I do that again?

Dear Youngsters,

I’m done now.
I stop,
I have only this to say:

This is the shortest game you will ever play.

The Ancestral Squat

Nearly three years ago I started to get a pretty regular bad back. Apparently these kind of things happen as we age (Whowouldathought). I really didn’t want to get a bad back, and knew I didn’t want to go to a gym to build core strength, nor really did I want to commit to rigorous home exercise, even  on the awesome rowing machine I have. I am that exercisephobic!

I wanted that muscular strength that holds your spine together correctly, preventing the kinds of problems that age brings to skeletons. So my challenge was, as it often is:

What is the optimal (least time/energy/cost/risk) way, for me, to increase a system variable (my torso/core strength and flexibility)?

I tried yoga (again) and kind of liked it, but I just cannot be doing with that location based commitment. Which is not skilful, but it is how I am and I know in the long run it wouldn’t work out. And it didn’t. One day I will have a robot yoga teacher in the garage and that will be fine. Until then, I needed a solution.

I came up with two things, and I still do them, and think I always will. One is to commit to fifty press-ups a day and the other is to sit lots and lots in an ancestral squat (as I am now).

Sitting in this way brings system-wide benefit. It has been described as the perfect posture and I can see why. My back certainly agrees.

But it is not just the skeletomuscular benefit. Squatting is good for digestion and blood flow and for doing things on the ground; it is functionally great. It is the ancestral way of sitting. Before that, with primates, it was the evolutionary optimal way of sitting, just as they all (?) still sit today.

One new realisation you will develop if you try sitting in an ancestral squat in public is that there is, I suspect, a colonial prejudice against the practice: the native squat, the Indian squat and, of course, “looking like you are taking a crap in the woods”. I largely refuse to kow-tow to such prejudice against this wonderful skill, tool and benefit.

Unless you have some known physical reason that makes it clear to you that you cannot squat, you will be able to squat, probably sooner rather than eventually. It took me, I think, about three days to be able to sit flat and comfortable. With others it can take a couple of weeks because the tendons need to be stretched. One suggestion here is to use a book or chopping board as a platform for your heels until you can go down into a full squat. I would be surprised if there was anyone, of any age, who couldn’t sit in a proper squat within a month of properly trying.

If you have decided to take the fight to your wellbeing then practicing and using the ancient squat is one of those rare things, like nasal breathing or checking one’s focus, that one can do pretty much anywhere with not even a time cost! As said, such gifts are super-rare.

Finally, on that thought, squatting isn’t the only beneficial way to sit. There is also kneeling and (half)lotus, these positions that allow us to keep our back straight, because that is exercising it, and that is creating strength and suppleness.

Whether at home in secret or out in public, The Ancestral Squat  is a really good tool in one’s wellbeing war preparations.

The Warrior Stance towards wellbeing

How should we approach our wellbeing?

What stance should we take?

Primarily, I think we have two options:


One is to not engage with the issue, which is to admit both defeat and to admit to accepting a wider and long-term negativity in our lives. That might seem a stark reduction, but when you strip it down, I think that is the outcome of not being bothered about our wellbeing. It becomes a wellbeing nihilism that somehow reasons out that “I won’t mind being Ill” and so on…


The other stance is what has been called “The Warrior Stance”; which is to take a confrontational and stoic approach towards our own wellbeing. To choose to fight to take care of ourselves.

There might be other approaches but, in my opinion, the only choice that comes out of rationally reasoning about my own health and wellbeing and options is to take The Warrior Stance.

What is The Warrior Stance?

Essentially TWS is two modes of action aimed at optimising our being and wellbeing, The Smarts and The Skills needed for optimum health and energy and focus and enjoyment with minimum… fuss.


The first mode, the smarts, is primarily about the understanding and acceptance of these five principles:

  1. Time is short and precious.
  2. Good experiences are precious.
  3. We cannot directly change much about the world.
  4. We can directly change much about ourselves and our experiences.
  5. It is unskillful to waste the precious.

In a sense, this mode is about convincing yourself that you should learn the skills and smarts to fight for your wellbeing based just on those five principles.

But…if this doesn’t convince you then you could consider the economic costs to you and yours of not looking after  yourself. Or consider the strain on loved ones, or the drain on the state,  that is the result of not looking after oneself. Finally, consider all the people who have lived, or live, without the opportunity that you have right now to strive to improve your wellness, is there not some kind of moral imperative not to miss the opportunity that most people with Google and Amazon have right now?

We should strive to improve our wellbeing. Is this not a no-brainer?

I think it is, I imagine any reasonable reader, who isn’t in self-destruct mode, would also come up with the same conclusion pretty quickly. Additionally, I think it is a no-brainer that we should try to enjoy this striving:)

Perhaps, in essence, this is the attitude of The Warrior Stance:

To fight and to enjoy the fight and to realise and train for the fact the fight will mostly be against ourselves #pringles.


The second mode of The Warrior Stance to wellbeing is about the understanding and practice of skills aimed at optimising our health, energy, mentality, outcomes… and so on. The things that make us honestly answer “Yes!” to the question, “Are you well?”.

These skills do not just stand in isolation, rather they are integrated and informed together and linked in with our growing understanding of what we learn and experience with our progress.

These skills should be practised efficiently: Not Wasting Time is, itself, a key skill.

There is so much information out there, and I will be writing shortly on how best to approach that. A guiding principle  to decide which areas to consider as the next thing I want to understand and, maybe practice, is to try to assess things in terms of their:

  • Cost (time/money/focus)
  • Risk (We should be prudent with risk, I think. Not reckless)
  • Benefit (potential and actual and enjoyment)

There are sup’s out there I would love to try but just cannot afford.

There are vitamins that have significant risk and others that are close to harmless. I won’t take the former.

Of key importance to this practice is the Smarts that: Some things for me will work out differently to some things for you.  This is not an off the wall statement but a fundamental biological outcome of the way we are genetically and lifestylewise. Understanding this illuminates so much of the confusion that can confront one once they start looking at health and wellbeing information online.

The Warrior Stance is, in part about navigating this for yourself, finding out what is good information and good practice for you. All Are Different.

Even so, perhaps, luckily, there are some things that seem to be absolute no-brainers for almost everyone on the planet. These are the things I focus on with my coaching and the things I think we would all benefit from optimising. Things like:

  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Getting Enough Sunlight
  • Not Eating Always
  • Increasing Heart Rate
  • Being Well Hydrated

TWS Mindset

Linking together all of the wellbeing practices needs to be a foundation of mental Fortitude. East and west, old and new, Fortitude is considered one of the great virtues. Its practice is not always easy, as we know, but the benefits are huge and deep.

We all can be weak-willed, we all know how souring this can be.

In terms of optimising wellbeing, weak will will be one of our biggest adversaries. In this fight for our wellbeing, we are ultimately fighting ourselves.  If you are considering embracing TWS towards your wellbeing then I really urge that you face to yourself and acknowledge your weakness of will and, kinda, let it know that you are going to strive to eliminate it. This is good practice, I think.

I should say, absolutely, it is important that the stark, but relatively optimistic, reality of the wellbeing war ahead of you, inside of you,  needs to be tempered with lightheartedness about the fight. You need to be able to say “**** it” and let it go and embrace cake and crips and all of that.

Also, you need to remind yourself that, although your wellbeing is really, really important to you, so are your friends and family. I suggest we don’t let our inner, fun, wellbeing battles become the annoyances of others. I have been that guy and after a couple of fermented apple juices, I might be again!:P

Finally, it is not skilful warrior training to fret about wellbeing issues.

Be a Warrior, not a worrier. Woop Woop!

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