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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
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The Language Company The Language Company
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Subject to Change Subject to Change
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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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Coconut, sewing machine, hyena laughter

Small talk, broken light vegetables green life

Where do you stay, asked man.

I stay in blue sky

Is it a hotel? A guesthouse? No it is blue sky.

Pure land poetry

Jazz poem


Passing through

Professional stranger

Ghost Other

Eye hand heart – two won’t do


Show up sit awhile smile draw meditate on emptiness

Witness point line shadow less form




Rhythm of place

Grow Your Soul


Pollatomish, Ireland

The view from the one-story grey stone hostel in County Mayo was exquisite, the Atlantic Ocean all blue-green opening up its long voyage.

A terrible sad beauty recognized the spirit of the young girl who killed herself in a room upstairs years ago.

She visited often, looking for her love, looking for meaning. It took a long time for us to trust each other.

She visited at night, her spirit roaming upstairs.

It took courage for her to trust me.

I practiced silence. Listening.

She told me stories.

She opened her windows to let darkness invade her privacy. She took comfort in the stillness. Her heart was pure but her spirit was restless.

She told me what happened in this dark place when she was a child. She grew up fast and sure of herself before they took the key away. She was a prisoner of memories, dreams, and reflections.

She had few if any friends. Her school was Nature. She was trapped in time, a circle of guilt, punishment, suspicion and neglect. Her mother died of a broken heart.

She was the daughter of a priest. He wouldn’t let her out. He locked her up. He taught her fear. He carried a big black heavy book full of fire and brimstone with him forever and ever and ever.

She died for his sins or so he wanted to believe. He wanted the scared primitive narrow-minded simple village people to believe. He ordered them to believe he sacrificed his love for her out of anger at his wife because she was weak. He taught her to be weak and when she became weak he loved her. She was vulnerable and he worshiped a book of prayer. The Word.

His daughter’s silver eyes were chained to her destiny, her fate. Her heart was stained with blood.

Local people had a real fear about the house. You can feel it when they see you coming up the narrow road. They think they know who you are, who you might be, but they are not sure. They know you are not one of them. This fact ensures they remain suspicious and guarded. You are an outsider. They remain uncertain about you being here in this sad, lonely desperate place.

They are blind in one eye. They want to live in your pocket and know your past, present and future.

Knowing and understanding are two different things.

Suicide was not a viable option in their cloistered world of saints, superstar nova and bursts of gamma rays. They were illuminated manuscripts on vellum.

They congratulated themselves with a real superstition about her death. It carried them through hard times. It gave them the will to live, the will to accept their destiny without questioning autocratic authority. They kneaded, rolled, basted, baked, sliced, and buttered hope.

After the girl vanished they huddled around peat fires wrapped in her death late at night speaking in mute whispers. Her death became their perpetual source of gossip and innuendo. Her iconic free spirit confused their sanity, sense of purpose and sacrifice.

The house was a heavy stone fortress in the middle of nowhere facing east. No trees, no flowers, shrubs. Living, growing thing were cut down, burned down, and destroyed by hysterical madness.

Estranged provincial neighbors still talked about her in hushed quiet scared tones. She was the young vagabond spirit and cheated old age with her eternal restless way. She saw through their hypocrisy, mediocrity, piety and failures.

They never figured her out. Her father was the command and control module in their economically and geographically distant distinct world. They were lost sheep wandering heather ridges and he was given the mandate to drive out imaginary snakes.

The small cemetery off the path of lonely planets was overgrown with wild waving weeds, tall Timothy grass and broken purple heather in harsh winds. Gray stones whispered hand chiseled names, ages, dates. The rusty iron gate hung on a broken hinge at a precarious angle.

400 million year-old orb weaving spiders created their magic. Dew diamonds danced and sang along strong supple silver amino acids mixed with protein in wind rushing from the sea.

Two mute men dug a new grave on the gentle sloping hill surrounded by heather and wild flowers. Their tools bit hard soil. They’d finish their labors and retire to the warmth of a peat fire, cold whiskey and gossip. They’d toast the passing of another soul gone to the greater glory as tongue flames leaped and danced.

Dance and melancholy music, a common ancestor, integrated the community. The keener wailed her banshee oral tradition and they blessed themselves in the silence of accepting what they couldn't see.

“A shudder passing through your body means someone has walked over your grave,” I said.

“Grief for the dead was the origin of poetry,” said the girl's spirit.

Weaving A Life (V3)


Writing in Burma


The Garden #10

The beginning of Ice Girl in Banlung decorates The Garden #10.

Thanks for listening.

The Garden #10




The Chunchiet animist people bury their dead in the jungle. Life is a sacred jungle.

  Animists believe in the universal inherent power of nature world. The Tompoun and Jarai, among animist world tribes have sacred burial sites. 

  The Kachon village cemetery is one hour by boat on the Tonle Srepok River from Voen Sai near Banlung. It is deep in the jungle. You need permission from the village chief to visit.

  I was there.

  The departed stays in the family home for five days before burial. Once a month family members make ritual sacrifices at the site.

  The village shaman dreams the departed will go to hell. In their spirit story dream the shaman meets LOTH, Leader of the Hell who asks for an animal sacrifice. The animist belief says sacrificing a buffalo and making statues of the departed will satisfy LOTH. It will renew the spirit and return it to the family.

  After a year family members remove old structures, add two carved effigies, carve wooden elephant tusks, create new decorated roofs and sacrifice a buffalo at the grave during a festive week-long celebration with food and rice wine for the entire village. 

  New tombs have cement bases and carved effigies with cell phones and sunglasses. Never out of touch.

  See your local long distance carrier for plans and coverage in your area. The future looks brighter than a day in a sacred jungle.

  Fascinating, said Leo, a shaman monk from Tibet.

  Walking is the best form of travel, said Rita. Take your time quickly. How did you get here?

  Leo said: By walking. The paved road from Pakse, Laos to NE Cambodia is for tourist buses.

Grow Your Soul