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Thoughts No Thinker

This Way

all that way

only to let it all go1, 2

is that true wisdom3, 4

not only let go of the self 

but everything it has ever learned

steep curve

more full circle

shisuis japanese death poem brush stroke5, 6

is that where 

and why

you and i           we


the knower must ultimately go1

if i share this with you now would it change your approach

if i craft and deliver an inspired gathering story8

that touches everything you care about

tap into that           transformative power that

inner catalyst and match9

we keep scrambling           grasping

at normal 

why im not sure

or convinced

seems backwards and

incapability           an unwillingness

to confront the cracks …” and to see and create

and hold alternatives”10

its a fear thing11

let it go “no-


detachment transcends


lets you float

towards a new type of thinking

and a new way of looking at the world12, 13

beyond content beyond courses beyond degrees

so lean in14

its ok you dont have to always know

lean in to where that steep curve bends back           and turns it back

on itself

and the rational mind in the process1, 2, 3

kerouacs visionary tics [begin to] shiver inside [your] chest”15

danielle celermajer’s imagination and imaginaries grounded16 

in ideas 

that no longer touch or tread on


octavia butlers “what if”

no tether             whatsoever16

could you chase thoughts with no thinker2

could you chase a place behind yourself”7          ourselves

huxleys elegantly simple revelation clouded

by the pregnant prose” and the pretence of [all] poets”17

my teaching

and more than likely           this poem

imagine following that curve to the end only to realise 

somethings off

and missing

imagine going all that way only to realise

it was all just “a hustle”1

i heard shisuis final poem was forced and

if you look closely

his painted circle seems incomplete

bear witness18 to that          and this


and to the moment and           to the other

the others

offer them your hand and your heart and your hope

let that [self

and all its] self-centred striving

simply vanish”19

and bear witness 

to jess scullys not yet conscious” and the not yet become”16

to possibility


and to experience

far beyond that of intellectual understanding2

to that increasingly lost                               in the mist   

collective common cohens fundamental”20


listen to archie roach go beyond his flesh and blood”21 and

bear witness to what lies beyond kirilly dawns handed down” bones22

embedded deep in

nathan scolaros small details”21 and realisations realised through           

intimate conversations4, 10, 14

parker palmers admission of inner entanglement and           the projection of his soul

both light and dark

his heart23 

coursing through and out of padraig ó tuama’s facts of life24

like blood like flood

youll find it

beyond our minds

and all our words

unwilled, unleashed, unbound”17

take your time

for we need honest and courageous independent thinkers

who can deal with the unknown not 

those who can memorise the keys and formats to the tests”25

you are here to lead

not be led

you are here and here now”1                     to re-envision




nipun mehtas man with no legs and the tulsi plants is proof

that you dont need anything

you can lead

with inner transformation first”27           

sense something larger           and still create


become and be something larger


you are the solution

you can           forget yourself”7 completely and still


in fact you’ll have to

is this where 

and why            

we                    you and i           


thanks for your courage8

and for staying open

to mystery that unspeakable

trouble”28 and

for not running away

from it or me and thanks

for your failure

your failures

for if there was ever a place to fail and still be ok this should be it29, 30

and i’d like to thank you for your time

your energy

for you

for coming all           this way

and for never once asking me what i am here to actually teach.

  1. Dass, R. 1978. Remember – Be Here Now. Hanuman Foundation. New Mexico. 
  2. Mahathera, H.G. 1991. Mindfulness In Plain English. The Corporate Body of the Bhudda Educational Foundation, Taiwan. 
  3. Newton-Jon, P. 2017. Reclaiming Wisdom. Dumbo Feather (50), 12-14.
  4. Scolaro, N. 2015. Parker Palmer Is Living The Questions. Dumbo Feather (44), 20-38.
  5. Flanagan, R. 2018. The Narrow Road To The Deep North. Penguin Random House, Australia.
  6. Hoffman, Y. 2018. Japanese Death Poems. Written by Zen Monks and Haiku Poets on the Verge of Death. Berkeley Books.
  7. Iyer, P. 2014. The Art of Stillness. Adventures in Going Nowhere. TED Books. Simon & Schuster. New York. 
  8. Perrin, J. 2019. Pádraig Ó Tuama Leads From The Heart. Dumbo Feather (59), 38-51.
  9. harding, j. 2020. the poetry in teaching.
  10. Scolaro, N. 2020. Bayo Akomolafe Seeks Bewilderment. Dumbo Feather (64), 34-45.
  11. Harding, j. 2020. Objects That Rust. So Fi Zine. Issue 8, 55-57.
  12. Faulkner, S. L. (2019). Poetic Inquiry: Craft, Method and Practice. Routledge.
  13. Gallo, Talk like TED: the 9 public-speaking secrets of the worlds top minds. Griffin Charles & Co Ltd. 
  14. Scolaro, N. 2020. Sally Lewry Dances With Grief. Dumbo Feather (64), 58-68.
  15. Ingram, C. 2020. Jack Kerouacs Secret Tome. Dumbo Feather (62), 106-107.
  16. Celermajer, D; Tattersall A; Scully, J. 2021. Hey, Utopia! Imagining a Better Future. Griffith Review. August 31.
  17. Huxley, A. 1954. The Doors Of Perception. Chatto & Windus. Great Britain.
  18. Galvin, K & Prendergast, M. 2016. Poetic Inquiry II: Seeing, Caring, Understanding: Using Poetry as and for Inquiry. Sense Publishers. Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
  19. Ingram, C. 2020. The Original Philosophy of Flow. Dumbo Feather (63), 106-107.
  20. Cohen, L. 2006. Book Of Longing. Penguin Books. England. 
  21. Scolaro, N. 2017. Archie Roach Sings from The Soul. Dumbo Feather (50), 66-79.
  22. Dawn, K. 2020. In My Bones I Find My Living Ancestors. Paradiso. Issue 15, p. 30-31.
  23. Palmer, P. J. 1997. The Heart of a Teacher Identity and Integrity in Teaching. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 29:6, 14-21
  24. Ó Tuama, P. 2013. The facts of life. In Sorry for your troubles. Canterbury Press.
  25. Ostrowicka, H & Stankiewicz, L. 2019. The truths of business and the lies of academia: the order of discourse on higher education in Poland. Higher Education Research & Development, 38:3, 609-622.
  26. Benjamin, R. 2016. Racial Fictions, Biological Facts: Expanding the Sociological Imagination through Speculative Methods. Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, 2(2), 1-28.
  27. Mehta, N. 2013. What If Generosity Was Taught By Those Who Have the Least. TEDx Masala. India.
  28. Anonymous. 2021. Student Evaluation of Course and Teaching. Griffith University.
  29. harding, j. 2020. Free to Fail.
  30. Flanagan, R. 2018. ‘things i know’. Smith Journal. Volume 28. p031-032.

Originally written for Griffith Review 75's call for submissions on 'learning curves' but was rejected. So when I had some space I decided that rather than flogging it around I would just publish it here and move on.


'this way' ⎮ 22⎮ 02 ⎮ 2021 • intalligo print • 01 / 01 • ink ⎮ paper

Artwork Size

305mm x 223mm ⎮ Landscape

Publication Date (self published)

17⎮ 10 ⎮ 2022

Text Completion Date

7⎮ 12 ⎮ 2021

Print Completion Date

15⎮ 03 ⎮ 2021