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Denigrating ‘Peace-Loving’ Muslim Veterans

Both major candidates denigrated Muslims and Muslim veterans this week, although only one was reported as doing so. In speaking disparagingly about the Khan family’s sacrifice, and in comparing his financial setbacks to the family’s ‘sacrifice’ of their son, Donald Trump has hit a new high in lack of class (or is that a new low in class?).

His remarks (among others) prove, as many claim, that he does not have the intelligence, common sense, simple good manners, or deportment required of a U.S. president, much less the people and statesmanship skills. Uh, big surprise; we already knew that…all of us, Republicans (and in their secret hearts) his supporters, too.

Yet Hillary Clinton’s unfitness for the presidential role once again escaped attention. This time it was not illustrated by ineptitude and criminal behavior (as in the email scandals and the many others she and ‘Slick Willy’ have been involved in), nor in overt racism or bigotry like Trump, but in perhaps subconscious but telling remarks, sort of patronizing Freudian slips.

In speaking of the Khan family, she (or most likely her speech-writers) lauded the Khan family as ‘law-abiding Muslims’. Somehow, to me, this is just as disrespectful as Trump’s overt ignorance and bigotry, perhaps more so because it is cloaked bigotry, under the guise of progressive liberalism.

When I hear the words ‘law-abiding Muslim’ (especially as counterpointed with terrorist Muslim, as Hillary did), I cannot avoid hearing an old-fashioned slave owner saying ‘one of the good darkies’, or a cavalry officer speaking of the ‘good Indians’. It is the type of unthinking bigotry that classifies all others as ‘wogs’, and then separates the wogs into Good Wogs and Bad Wogs. Whatever you call them, they are still wogs to anachronistic, authoritarian types like Hillary.

When both candidates try to play off the loss of veterans and of their families to their advantage, I am highly offended, for neither has served the country, and both have opposed and derided the military, in public. This type of calculating insinuation illustrates why neither candidate is fit for office, and why both are narrow-minded bigots of a sort.

Add to that the fact they both support plans and policies (and Clinton a history) that will undoubtedly result in more Americans dying in wars. and perhaps many of those conscripted (forced) to. Under these conditions, any time these political hacks and wordsmiths speak of the military service members patronizingly, or as if they were their supporters or somehow ‘aligned’ with them (pandering their votes, in reality), I am greatly offended.

Offenses like this against one of America’s most honored minorities (veterans) are not to be tolerated, and clearly illustrate why neither candidate is fit for office, and neither party which backs such candidates is fit to represent the American people.

Lastly, the remarks of both these inappropriate candidates is an offense and affront to all Americans. When politicians try to use our sentiments to promote their own agendas, they are no longer potential representatives for us, but proven manipulators, and unworthy of our respect or votes. When they try to ‘align with’ or pander to (the votes of) people they plan to send to war, or compare their political or business sacrifices to those of soldiers who have lost lives and limbs, or families who have lost sons and daughters, they have proven themselves an offense to all of us, and thus unworthy of our votes.

When they try to pull this type of nonsense on us with a straight face, they treat us as if we were stupid, or easily deceived. That alone is a cause for rejection of someone who hopes to be a leader of the people, a representative and servant of the people.

We are often told lately the upcoming election is not a choice between ideals or a choice for what we believe, but a choice for one person, one candidate or another. One or another. It seems so simple. Yet there is another choice, especially in light of their documented ineptitude and unfitness for the position of president and Commander in Chief.

It’s not either-or.

One choice remains, to all thinking and feeling people.




Like the Phoenix, I rise from my own ashes. Coming out of the flames is a new being, rising above the embers. Given the gift of self-destruction, all that is left are memories…stories that happened to someone else.

Phoenixes don’t rise with old friends, lovers, and habits clinging to them. They begin anew. The begin as any newborn does – naked, with nothing. Gone is the ‘I.’ What remains is this one. This one leaf on an endless tree, this one drop of water in the ocean, this one tiny cloud beneath the Infinite Sky.

‘I’ had to die first to get here. All the dross was left behind, burned away in the crucible. I had bowed again and again to Shiva, the Lord of Destruction. Shiva answered; that aspect of Divinity that prunes us down, clears the way for new growth. The old must be destroyed, removed to make way for the new. AUM namaha, Shivaya! Thank you.

Now this one is suspended, sustained. But first came birth. New birth is always painful. Change does not come cheaply, especially momentuous change. From the destruction of Shiva rises the ground of Being, that of Brahma, from which all things are born.

In having lost everything, there is freedom. Nothing left to lose. This is immunity of a sort. I am okay. Just like this. Nothing else needed. No lovers, groups, or support structures required.

Nothing required.

Ready out of the box…no extra ingredients or assembly required.

This ‘okay’ survives wars, pain, pestilence, death. It is not limited or constrained by situations or circumstances.

Of course, to get here I had to die a thousand deaths. I had to wander through hell, cold and alone. I had to give it up…all my hopes and dreams. I had to drop it, my attachments and expectations.

No guru or God can help in this….this task must be done alone, can only be done alone, when nothing is left.

In pain and despair, as well as in euphoria, there is only the Seer. Just that remains.

Gone also is the clinging to meaning, the desire to Do Something, to contribute something, somehow. Nothing need be done. Just be. Be what ‘I’ am. Once the idea of doing something is out of the way, something can perhaps be done. But not by me, myself, or I.

Phoenixes don’t do anything…they just fly. Unicorns have no purpose or mission, they just ARE.

If the ‘right action’ the Buddhists speak of is required, it will happen…naturally, without planning or pushing. No one will be doing the actions, performing the tasks. No hero will arise, to take credit or shoulder blame.

No one there.

No one home.

Just this mythical and magical phoenix.

To the logical and empirical, all there is to be seen is a pile of ashes…maybe just one final ember rising. No phoenix. Phoenixes do not exist in that world.

That is not to say they don’t exist. They just don’t exist in that world. If they did, people would hunt them down. But they would keep rising, just out of the grasp of their slayers.

Rising out of the fetters of this world, into the expanse of the new one…it appears to be the same place. New and old, as one. What was it the holy man said? Salvation is at hand. It is always here, always within reach, this new world. Its seed germ lies in the old. Heaven is here, now…the only place it could possibly be.

In those fields of Elysium, phoenixes soar and unicorns romp. There dwell I.


Speak to me with your eyes.

Show me with your smile.

Let’s see it in action.

That’s where I feel you. That’s where I know You.

Tell me with your tears.

Let the stories slide from your fingertips.

Share me in your primal scream.

Then I know you; naked.without your mask.

Just one heart.

We meet in the place where wordsvibrate into action.


Yes, there.


Mist, drifting. Enchantment airborne.

Magically transporting me back in time, to a youthful state of awe. Mystically obscuring the linear shapes of the mundane. Cloaking the world in mystery, transforming the ordinary into the unknown.

I have always welcomed fog, found it to be a special gift.

winter trees

In the fog, anything seems possible. Objects appear and disappear, figures and shapes loom out of it in an instant, just as rapidly returning to those concealing tendrils. The quotidian sounds of life become muffled, adding a sense of expectancy, of pregnancy to every fog-shrouded moment.

It seemed to me, when young, quite obvious that the realm of Faerie (if it existed) depended on fog, mist, and starlight. It hinged on twilight. If it was real, it was only real in the blurred realm of soft lighting, not in the harsh, empirical light of the midday sun.

Fog seems a gateway, a misty portal.


Walking the streets of San Francisco or London, enveloped in mist so thick it seems tangible, palpable, anything seems possible. Strolling through foggy rural Germany, the likelihood of trolls under bridges seems more certain than doubtful.  Hiking through the redwood forests, fog imbues the surroundings with the attributes of a cathedral, of a forgotten, ancient, and holy temple.

I know it is just a ground-hugging cloud, a floating sea of mist that refracts and reflects light according to the laws of physics. I know the silence is due to the attenuative effect of water on sound propagation…yet I still sense the magic. I know it is just a cooler air mass meeting warmer ground, not a mystical event.

Yet I dare my fellow empiricists to deny the sense of magic and mystery inherent in the fog. We know it may simply be reactions of our amygdalae at the unexpected distortion coming from the optic nerve…still you would surely jump out of your boots if an unexpected sight or sound arose from this fog.


Drifting in a North Atlantic fog bank, the rest of the world seems quite unlikely. In this misty soup, the philosophic question/statement of ‘cogito, ergo sum’ seems less ridiculous, the Zen koan of the tree falling unobserved makes a bit more sense. Without the reassuring visual and auditory inputs, the existence of another world beyond our senses (a ‘real’, logical, linear one) seems less likely than our logical brains tell us it is (the converse of more sunlit times).

In the enfolding vapors, the romantic are called to romance, the evil to evil, and the fearful to fear. In the obscuring shrouds, none of us sally boldly forth. No, the mist adds a sense of trepidity to our steps. In the refracted world of fog, we find humility, uncertainty made palpable.

If fog magnifies the sense of mystery in life, it also amplifies the awesome beauty of natural events; snow and fog or lightning/thunder in fog are even more awesome than without it. We’ve all (most of us, anyhow) witnessed the grace of snowfall, the power of lightning. But to behold them both at once is a gift given to few.

In the monochrome world of fog, shape gains a new ascendency, is highlighted by the simple background pallette of grays and white shades. Subtle, almost imagined contrasts impart an air of simultaneous hyper-reality and surrealism. The backdrop against which geometry manifests itself no longer distracts our eye. Objects spring forth in a sudden moment of stark clarity, then fade back into the obscuring vapors, where those once-stark shapes fade with distance into the blur of mist.

images (68)

None the less magical in the explainability of its source or physics, fog remains a large factor in our perceptions and mood. Regardless of its cause, fog retains an awesome power, one undiluted by the quantifications of science.

For understanding comes from raw experience, rises from the heart, the guts, and not the head.  We experience fog…and all natural wonders from the place of the heart. If we do not, we miss the gift of magic that resides there, in spite of the explanations and protestations of the head, of the ‘logical’ mind.

The fog has magic within it…whether we see it so or not.



Love 2.0…Made Manifest

Being in love is incomparable. 

When in true love, one based on the Divine, a couple ascends to what is perhaps the highest state of human development. In that sacred being/state called Us, we find completion of our purpose…to worship and serve the Divine together, to create a fusion of beings in love (with love radiating out to all), to become instruments of, no, manifestations of the holy and Divine. 

In that state of grace, we function at previously unattainable levels, in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms. We can reach these levels only together. The wisest guru, on the highest mountain, in the deepest state of enlightenment cannot hope to equal this state…alone.

Individually, I saw my skin fill with life (and Hers, as well). My face glowed, and age dropped off me like an unneeded carapace. The sails of my body and soul were filled with the magical, mystical, holy power of Love. Yes, love…the power to heal, to rejuvenate, to grow in places and ways never before imagined.

Subjectively, I was only an individual insofar as I manifested Yang to Her Yin. We were One, inseparable. I was like a flower, drawn irresistably to my sun, concerned only with it. Some psychologists may call this a case of extreme cathection, of an alarming and DSM-quantifiable disappearance of ego boundaries…those who have never been in love like this. 

Neither of us fell off the potato truck yesterday, and we can both distinguish between puppy love and the power of God coursing in and through Us. 

I was full of power…the power to heal myself and my Beloved, when joined with Her awesome power. The power to nurture and pamper and care for Her. I had the strength and motivation of ten men…if directed towards the good of my Love, of Us, of the marvellous present and shining future we envisioned together. 

In that magic synergy of will and intent, the Love we created…the Love we shared…became sanctified, powerful beyond any that could be conceived or manifest individually. 

It was a gift to behold, to experience…together, the only way it can be experienced. It was the pinnacle, the core, the essence. There, we drank the nectar of life, kissed and flowed together as only lovers can. There, we merged at a cellular level, a quantum level, an ethereal level. We were metaphysics in action, God and Goddess, sacred kinetics brought to life. 

There, we blazed. There, we shone. We were eternity. We were harmony.

I have experienced no shallow loves in my life. Every woman was holy, every woman special. The Us we created was always magical and mystical. Yet no other relationship felt this sanctified, this holy, this…ordained. 

No other relationship was this short. Most of my few relationships have had longevity; they shined for years. This is one of the first since my youth that shined for weeks or months. Was it any less eternal than the others? Did we become any less One, merge any less, go as deep or approach each others’ core any less? 

My heart knows the Truth of that, as does Hers…and yours.

Of the myriad beautiful things I learned with this woman, one of the most profound (and obvious) is this; sacred relationships have no precise recipe. They have no timetable or guaranteed lifespan. Their lifespan is up to Us…and to fate, statistics, the Divine, the Tao, whatever you want to call it. No guarantees, despite our best efforts or intentions.

Sacred relationships are a gift…from the Divine, from the Divine within us. Gifts cannot be clung to, just gratefully accepted, allowed to blossom through their lifespan, whatever that may prove to be.

The only response to such a Divine gift is Divine gratitude. My heart overflows with it, as it did (does) with that Divine love.



Love 2.0

I am here to manifest a newer, better love…Love 2.0. All my life experiences have prepared me for this. All my lovers have prepared me for The Lover, for She who will come.

I manifest this new love, sacred and holy, that I may share it with her and the entire world. I make myself ready. One of my previous loves once told me that if I could just operate from the heart  instead of the head that I would be love on a stick. I listened and learned…and am.

This love is within me, within all I behold. It shines forth like a note, waiting for it to resonate and harmonize with another. Should this gift come, I will start every day with renewed joy, dedicating myself to nurturing and sustaining this newfound love.

This love burns in me, hot like the core of the sun, cool like a mountain stream. It contains passion and peace, the space to grow. It contains the strength to ascend, and the vulnerability to be open and present. It knows how to listen, how to feel. It remembers that the one before me is my Beloved. It shines with my essential and authentic truth.

This love abides. It is true, solid like a rock yet flowing like water. This love is meant to be shared, in sacred and holy communion. For a communion it is. When we make love, we unite on a chemical level, on a spiritual level. With this act of love, She will be within every cell of me, Her scent and her essence. Her laugh will echo in my brain and heart and core for eternity.

Eagerly, I prepare the temple for Her, prepare myself – heart and body and soul. I await Her like the king awaits the arrival of his queen, like a lover awaits his special One. I had mistaken my previous loves for The One, but they were merely handmaidens for Her, preparing the way for Her  – teaching me to make artichokes and make love like none other, teaching me to grow food and grow relationships. They taught me well, and I am ready to unite with Her. Together we will make music, explore the world, discover a love like none other.

I won’t wait around for Her, nor spend my time searching. I will live my love, do the things I love , shine my true light and She will find me. I will not mourn past loves or yearn for future ones. I will be love. If I do this, a Shakti will arise naturally to meet my Shiva.

With a sense of calm, I know She will not appear perfect before me, nor I before Her. I will see and invoke that Divine angel in Her, as She will in me. Together we will uncover and reveal the beauty within each other, polish each other like diamonds in the rough.

Knowing love requires constant attention, I will tend my love like a garden, husband it like a herd. Together, we will plant and sow…and reap the bountiful harvest of love. I will move in Her, and She will envelop and move with me, merging in every cell. I will be strong when She requires strength, and gentle when She requires that. I will always respect and honor Her, treat Her like a queen…for She will be my queen, and I will dedicate myself to Her.

I will place her on a pedestal, but I will love and accept Her as She is – a normal human being with strengths and weaknesses. I will adore Her – yet accept every imperfection as part of what makes the unique beauty of Her. I come with an open heart, an open mind, free of expectations or ptions. I come without ego, knowing that in humility and unity we can frow. What could the individual I want that is more important than Us? Nothing.

I lay my head down to sleep, dreaming of Her, although I’m not sure if I’ve met Her yet or not. I lay my heart down, open and free of past loves and pains. Fly away, for  queen comes and we must make ready.


Written Oct 6, 2013…not long before I met the person I thought was Her.

A Zen Love Letter

A Zen Love Letter


My Dearest Beloved:


You are an illusion; everything is.

Everything IS.


You are enlightened, and enlightenment.

You are liberation, and the source of suffering.

You are the mustard seed, and the desire…or is it the Other Way around?

You are the Buddha. The roshis tell me I should kill You if I find You.

You are void; imputed by my mind, projected from my desires.

You are impermanent; You fade from me like the sun, You flow away like the breeze…or water.


You are one hand clapping, and I am the sound.


You are the tree falling alone in the forest. I am the ear that hears when no one else is there.




You are I and I am You. We are All One in this perfect Zen moment.

Gate, gate, Parasamgate, You are gone beyond and beyond.

You never were, I never was….wisps…fragments

Passing by like clouds in the infinite sky, we meet.

We pass.

I rain and You drink my gift. Between us there is no subject and object; You are the raincloud and I the parched plain; one and the same.


Namo Budaya.


I am mu-shin, no mind…Thou art mu, Thou art shin

Tara art Thou. Black Tara, white Tara, all the same. Tara.


Thou art God, yet there is no God except the void speaking within.

Within me, within You.










Just IS.



Thou art.


Together, we are

fingers pointing at the moon

The gibbous Zen moon, the impermanent Zen moon.




The space within us, the space between us, the space around us.



All void.




You are Zen



I love You, dear illusion, dear passing cloud, dearest projection of my mind and ego and desire.

 I.   Love.   You.

You are my right dharma, my right action. You are my sangha.






The teacher held up a single flower, in the palm of Her hand…




Then the flower smiled…








© 2013, Mark-Francis Mullen

One Reader…

I typically write to empty space. I send my words out into space, speak to the interstices. Like a teapot, I let my steam out, not knowing or caring where it goes. It just goes…

There are no readers out there. My words resonate with no one. They strike a chord in no heart. I write to an empty universe…and like it. 

In the world of hooks, of promotions and reader statistics, there are none I want to reach. In this superficial world, described at sixth-grade reading level, there are none to whom I would speak. No kindred spirits nor soulmates await my words here.

For in this barbaric, post-apocalyptic world, people do not want to hear the things of which I speak; their ‘like’ buttons are reserved for words on the latest gadget, or rapper, or TV show. That is fine by me.

I just write. I simply let it out. To share a little secret, I am glad I have no commenters clogging my posts, using them as soapboxes for their ill-considered prejudices and biases. It would be terrible to host the compendium of acerbic comments, diatribes, and vitriolic name-calling that passes for dialog and debate these days.

I can guess what people want to hear by what they tell me…the (hopelessly boring) plot to an idiotic movie (told in excruciating detail), their pet’s latest antics, a funny post on Facebook, or reliving recent sports events. The more subtle tell me the secrets of their souls, share the depths of their hearts…using the words of Rumi or Rilke.

I am not interested…nor are they in what I have to say. I like it that way. 

I used to think I would like to reach just one reader, that I’d dig finding one person I could read and resonate with. Of course, I always loved mythical beings…unicorns, a twin flame heart, God, and One Reader. Just because I dig them doesn’t mean I expect them to materialize out of this Tide-cleansed, gas-powered, food-gobbling, TV-watching world I find myself in.

I am not Generation Y. 

I am not Twittering my heart out to an uncaring world…I tweet to the Void instead. 

…and like it. 

The One Reader I hoped for was just a desire…to be heard, to feel connected, to reach someone. It’s a relief to know that desire has been shown to be what it is…baseless desire, a child crying out in the wilderness. 

In my isolation I find freedom. In my disconnection, I find peace. 

In throwing these words out to an unhearing, uncaring universe, I find relief. 

That is enough for me. See, I discover I already have one reader…the me in the present, reading the words of the past me. I connect to myself, the one person I can hope to connect to. I share these words with my future self, who recognizes those extemporaneous words as fleeting, passing clouds of thought.

Meaningless…except in the release they provide.

Useless…albeit in the way they provide a glimpse into the ever-changing being I call me.

Hopelessly egoic…barring the fact that a little bit of ego is sometimes useful…if for nothing else, for amusement.

I love to write…to no one. I am pen-pals with the Void.