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Podcast 2019
Middle Kingdom Podcasts (2005-2017)

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The Language Company
Timothy M. Leonard's books on Goodreads
A Century Is Nothing A Century Is Nothing
ratings: 4 (avg rating 4.50)

The Language Company The Language Company
ratings: 2 (avg rating 5.00)

Subject to Change Subject to Change
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Ice girl in Banlung Ice girl in Banlung
ratings: 2 (avg rating 4.50)

Finch's Cage Finch's Cage
ratings: 2 (avg rating 3.50)

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Winterhawk - TLC 16

Winterhawk is his Fountain Penmanname.

He rolled past a sea and mountains toward Instant Bull in a train dining car. Snowfields stretched to infinity. Pink and green stems bloomed wild yellow flowers. Click clack. Shine your light. Be light about it.

The train trundled through starlight star bright first star I see tonight I wish I may I wish I might create a surrealistic memory. Dancing elemental rivers, sagas and oral transmissions married fallow winter fields.

Bundled children waved goodbye at a remote one-stop station.

Long ago and far away with a wisdom heart-mind of intent soft eyes lived in interior and exterior landscape languages.

Winter Hawk wingspread read cold air. I am free to fly. My only imaginary fear is leaving the sky. It protects me. As long as I stay below it I am safe. I feel free in dreams. It’s all instinct and sensation being crystal light easy gliding like smiling and laughing. I absorb steam vapors rising off blue-green rivers below me as I zoom over red mountains swooping through groves of tall Aspen trees singing their wavering bark dancing branches. In my vivid winter world strong wings brush reflections inside star trails. My destiny is to remember everything. Sky welcomes my wing song.

The overnight take the A train to Constantinople tracking along a blue sea passed freighters and natural gas orange flames burning stars under a bone white moon, rolling 

A Turkish woman closed her drapes. Below her blindness
 two veiled lovers escaping the tyranny of familial expectations cherishing shadows held hands in a deserted street.

Train whistles serenaded 
invisible villages.

Long haul semi beams illuminated a black ribbon. Barb wire train stations imprisoned
 sad-faced men staring at ground zero waiting
for life 
to unfold 
its precious fragrance. Moonlight released aromas of purple prosaic grapes.

An Istanbul commuter ferry churning blue water waves 
in elemental light envisioned blue mosques, silver spire needles and crescent domes.




Tired - TLC 15

Ankara students felt tired. They loved being addicted to a phenobarbital reality altering sensations and emotional health with anti-depressants.

“Anxiety is a national problem,” said a male psychiatrist. His small silver spoon dissolved sugar cubes manufactured in a factory where hygiene conditions were abysmal.

They sat on thick embroidered cushions in a teahouse decorated with Turkish and Iranian carpets, blue amber oil paintings near a well-thumbed Zen Tarot deck.

The troubled shrink had endless neurotic patients. Predicting the future Lucky shared a meditative suggestion. “Heal them with metta - loving kindness. We are all extras in someone's film. You play a leading role. They trust you.”


Taxi Girl - My Name is Tam

Where are you from?


I am from here. This is my country. I am a rich businessman. You are very beautiful.

Thank you.

How much for one hour?

I played stupid. What do you mean?

He laughed. Are you stupid? I said how much for an hour.

I looked at my girlfriends. One raised her right eyebrow. Go for it.

How much are you willing to pay?


This was the most money I’d ever heard of. I gambled. Make it $500 for one night. I’ll take good care of you all night. Maybe you can help out my friends.

He looked at them. Five hundred is easy money, he said. Let me make a call and have another drink first.

Ok, take your time. He bought me a whiskey talking about making money, exploiting the poor, twisted business deals using connections, property land grab development. I pretended to be interested. It was getting late. I gambled. Time’s up, I said. Are you going to help my friends? If you want me it’s $500. All night.

Ok, he said. He called someone. I have some chickens for you. He laughed and hung up. I have a place near here. Get me a taxi.

We went through dark streets and stopped at a house. Inside were two older men, drinking. They looked at the girls, paired off and disappeared.

I was a virgin and he was my first man. It hurt like hell, he was rough but I handled it and didn’t cry in front of him. I swallowed all my bitter tears. He fucked me all night. It was brutal.

In the morning I could hardly walk. He paid me in cold hard cash. Five clean crisp hundreds. I couldn’t believe it. I gave Miss Tan her cut and she was very happy. The pain will pass, she said. Get used to it.

I was in business. Easy. Turn on the charm, smile a lot, dress up, be smart, gamble, be open to suggestions, don’t drink too much and be ready, willing and able. Be a passive machine. Close your heart. Pretend you’re somewhere else.

That’s how I became a taxi girl. I was beautiful and tough. Miss Tan saw this and kept me busy. 

My Name is Tam


How am I supposed to feel? - TLC 14

A brilliant kid in his second year of medical school expressed uncertainty in a TLC encounter. “How am I supposed to feel when I see these patients?”

“It’s about objective detachment with compassion. Emotional distance. Doubt is good. Do what you can. The rest is silence.”

“I am one of them. I am a patient. It's hard being a doctor. I don't know enough to help them. I am learning from more experienced students and doctors.”

“Pay your dues. We are all terminal cases. What do they tell you in the emergency room?”

“They tell me how I will learn how to keep my perspective over time.”

“True. What do you do to relax?”

“I go out with my friends to a club. I go to movies. I want to forget about all the terrible things I've seen at the hospital. But I am happy being a doctor. When someone puts on the white coat they feel special. They help people. I thought about becoming an engineer like my father but I saw how he only worked with machines, how at the end of the day he would come home and talk about electricity. It was interesting but I wanted more out of life. I wanted to understand DNA and genetic structures. I wanted to help others.”

“Helping others with kindness is your gift. You’re doing good work. Thanks for sharing with me.”

“You’re welcome. Being a doctor is hard. I don’t know how I am supposed to feel.”



Burn your fear

Creative non-fiction. Journalistic facts. Literary imagination.

Lucky Foot taught English at The Language Company in Turkey in 2008. He returned in 2012 to explore Trabzon along the Black Sea. Field notes.

A Vietnam veteran, journalist and facilitator of courage he gifted luck to people in China, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos since 2004.

He showed up to sit for a spell nurturing positive relationships in the long now.

Accompanied by Humor and Curiosity he helped students speak English minus their illusions of fear and phobia's relatives:

Fear of taking a risk.

Fear of being incorrect.

Fear of peer ridicule.

Fear of poverty.

Fear of starvation.

Fear of being ordinary.

Fear of success.

Fear of abandoning a manuscript by Zeynep entitled TLC.

Fear of accepting responsibility for their choices and accepting the consequences.

Fear of letting go of old conditioning. Shadows.

Fear of being alive and real. Growing.

Fear of_______. (Your free choice)

Lucky, Humor and Curiosity observed parents, schools, and religions fostering passive acceptance, fear, indifference and rote learning teacher-centered systems.

It was all about passing exams, not learning how to be more human and think for yourself.

Status quo. Sheep mentality. Blend in. Questions are forbidden. Authority washes your brain daily.

Zeynep, his young genius friend in Bursa, Turkey taught him about life in her totalitarian country.

As a literary outlaw I say what others are afraid to say. Anxiety is a chronic national problem. Adults here are good at two things, eating and fighting. Dissent is terrorism say our corrupt manikin authority figures.

Leo revealed dystopian China. I spent years carrying word shit in a Re-education through Reform Labor Camp for questioning Authority. Everyone here belongs to the Big Ears, No Mouth society.

Oh the shame.

Rita, the independent author of Ice Girl in Banlung shared stories about her Khmer culture and Cambodian history. We've had twenty years of hopelessness. We breed. We work. We get slaughtered. Poor people see education as a waste of time and money.

I dream I am a free person in a free country.

A seven year-old Vientiane kid explained Laos. I develop my authentic character with critical thinking skills, humor, gratitude, abundance, and wonder as a free- thinking individual. I have my junior philosopher's badge.

If you want to do great things you must take great risks and suffer greatly, said Zeynep. You either let go or get dragged along.

Awareness. Mindfulness. Compassion.

It's not about people buying this book, Rita said. It's about people reading it.