Creative Writing

2 beings laughing

hungry bear

pulled salmon

out of running water

up into the air

where eye to eye

they could each stare

into the other,

both gave a shudder

then erupted in laughter


Ithaca, NY

12 October 2017

Adolescent Grape

Once I turned myself into a grape

while taking a difficult test

in eighth grade, during a deadline,

I sat at my wooden desk

trying to finish challenging paperwork

yet, part of me did not believe

that this scene was the whole reality.

I imagined that I was also a grape

hanging from a vine deliciously

enjoying blue sky and sunshine

rather than being a mere adolescent human

worrying about successful grades

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

2 May 2019

ancestral tree

in the sweet bosom of spirit

may gentle wisdom come to me

and soothe the worried voices

that have gathered around this scene

as heaven opens a little window

allowing inner eyes to see

there are many loving beings

offering to breathe

indeed, there is truth in the notion

that there grows a great ancestral tree

where saints and angels linger

forever until all of us are free


Ithaca, NY

09 February 2014

Am I a Holy Hypocrite?

When I was quite young, it seems that I adopted a self-identity of being a Very Good Person. Surely, that choice is an understandable one, even if it never was truly integrated with my actual personality, which is partly quite Good but also marked by jealousies, hatred, anger, judgments, etc. Thus, a split was sown in my psyche. Nevertheless, much of that division went underground in my awareness, so much so that to this day I am highly influenced by these unconscious contradictions. Recently, a good friend gently remarked that I act as if I were a holy person, but that in actuality I am unable to live up to this ideal image of myself. At the time, I was not fully capable of ingesting his comments; yet, I am now beginning to see the truth of his mild criticism. I want to believe that I am GOOD, that I am close to GOD, but I am not so adept at also seeing to what extent Negative thoughts and feelings cancel out the reality of my pleasant Holy Man Status. Yikes! Maybe the only one I have been faking out is little old Mikey Cooper...

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

16 May 2020


me tree

blunted stunted

yet strong

losing leaves

growing songs

believe believe

some wrongs

won’t last

so long

me tree

at dawn

chanting free

you belong

you belong

- dedicated to H.G. Cooper


Ithaca, NY

28 July 2017

birds words

blue heron fishing

at our local falls

stood on one leg

and smiled almost absurdly

at me crouched by an ancient

naturally eroded wall

and that glorious bird

spoke a few words

about spearing fish

which sounded something like this:

Spear It

Spear It


and i heard it

with my heart


Ithaca, NY

09 February 2018

bravely vulnerable

Recently In one of my several Men's Groups, 1 of the men told us that when he initially met the woman to whom he has been married for numerous years there were problems with their sexual intercourse in that his penis went flaccid while inside her vagina, whereas he had rarely experienced that problem previously, but eventually all became intact again in their commingling, which I thought was an extremely valuable story for which I expressed to him "How kind of you to share that with us, " and he quietly nodded acknowledgement of what he had just courageously and generously done by imparting some of his tender truth.


Ithaca, NY

04 October 2018


waiting for toyota

auto service this morning

i relax and breathe

my brakes are rusting

like most everything in life

maintenance is key


Ithaca, NY

08 May 2013

brushing snow

i was brushing snow

off of my vehicle

when a man approached

and wished me

a safe drive home

Then he followed a path

to where his car was parked

while i laughed

Did he remember me ?

I did remember him,

even as i also

wished him

a safe drive.

He had hurt me

and my brother-in-law some years before

when he hired us to help his business

on a commission basis

then when we were succeeding

with no adequate heads up

he fired us

to spare himself from paying

our rightful ongoing residuals

For a while I had clung to hating him

but thankfully that fury has faded

and the peace of pure falling snow has sated

my heart’s desire even in an imperfect state

of human relations


Ithaca, NY

27 January 2015


B used to come every month or 2 to have a healing session with me. That was a gratifying source of support for me and my practice. Then I chose to generously invite B to accompany me to a weekend workshop with a local healer/teacher. I knew that I was risking the loss of B's commitment as a client, and, indeed, that is sort of what happened because there, at the afore-mentioned workshop, was a woman who was training at a regional massage school, and she invited B to do a series of 10 massage/reiki sessions for only $10. each. B chose to pursue that path, and I have not seen him since as a client of my shamanic/reiki healing work. It hurt my feelings. I am now in recovery.

How can I keep love in my heart when pain and resentment also reside there ? I will continue trying to be aligned with high holy intentions. Realistically, it will take whatever time it needs to heal. Butterflies increasingly are coming to bathe my aura in their gentle energies, and I wish to send some of that to B and to many others in this world....

MDC Ithaca, NY 5 October 2018


on the backstreets of a dream

taking place in Caracas

i stumbled and i was humbled

sinking slowly

into the stinking bones

of an ancient human carcass

it could have been me

Indeed, it could have been me

meeting again with

my own prior incarnation

shaking hands with the metatarsals of a man

who once was me in another millennium

carcass to carcass on the backstreets of Caracas

dust to dust

our egos get busted


Ithaca, NY

08 July 2015

Cataract Surgery

This morning I had my left eye operated-on

and I think it was successful

as I am now entering a new poem in the computer

without too much viewing difficulty.

What a modern blessing

to have corrected my myopia that has been with me for such a long time!

Does this mean I will be different than before?

Let's explore what is seen, how to interpret each moment

while holding hands with all kinds of beings, including invisible ones

when I am looking at life's waking dreams

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

May 29, 2019

the coin of life

has a flipside

waving interdependence

with emptiness

neither reification

nor nihilism exclusively

is the authentic middle way

in which dependent arising happens

due to causes + conditions

thus giving the witnessing observer

some freedom to choose

new positions for thinking,

acting and feeling that life

has great meaning, even though

annoying, demeaning events may strike some painful blows

the coin of life has a flipside

with abundant goodness to bestow


Ithaca, NY

05 July 2015 + 05 June 2015

Colon Photos

Today I found a folder with photos of my rectal regions.

After glancing at these yellowish images I quickly filed them

in a medical folder for future reference and/or recycling.

There were instructions from the doctor's office, most of which I respected,

such as not going back to work on the same day or using farm equipment.

However, I neglected the injunction to avoid alcohol, as I did drink some red wine

with dinner at my Mens Group Meeting, and I felt pretty mellow

as we discussed death, travels in Turkey, Mother Mary, and magical mushrooms.

It's all good, thankfully, and I did Medicine Buddha practice this morning:

May all sentient beings be free from polyps and all forms of suffering.

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

May 9, 2019


I went to confession

following morning mass

and there the confessor

gave my brain a blast

when he whispered fast into my ear

that some congregants here

have been acting rather queer.

Now I don't know what percent to believe

as it seems every day there's something new to grieve

but didn't Jesus dwell with whores and thieves

connecting with all who tried to truly perceive?

Mother Mary, please, come help us find

a way to be quiet inside our troubled anxious minds.

Maybe then I can learn to confess to You

I want to be a better Christian, a better Jew

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

September 12, 2019

depart not this heart

Happy Father’s Day Dad

I hope you are happy wherever it is you are today

May many blessings always gently come your way

Thanks for being with me whenever I remember to pray

Things are mostly good

I got a new job

My debts are getting lower

I no longer feel like a miserable slob

Yoga practice continues to help sustain me with a body + mind growing strong

and feeling brighter with love in my heart song

i am so thankful for 2 children whose beauty gives off sparks

life is interesting + yet death does not seem so far

Everyday has a gift to be witnessed

Especially because you are present

despite evidence suggesting you did depart


Ithaca, NY

15 June 2014


my supervisor is bigger

physically than me

he lifts weights

and throws his weight

around, sometimes seems

to bully me + others

I wish i could more easily

shrug that off

but I don’t enjoy

being looked down on,

even if ultimately

such treatment may be

helpful for my ego development


Ithaca, NY

16 July 2015

easter 2008



sun of love


for hope

when hearts are glum

you rose from blood

a rose of light

we now are believers

of life after life


Ithaca, NY

23 March 2008

facing the disabled

i wanted to help

developmentally disabled

people by getting employed

by an agency specialized

in this very line of service,

however, i did apply

but was not hired,

so i sem-retired that idea

and began lovingly knowing

my own broken self


Ithaca, NY

07 August 2017

Falling Snow Contemplation

in a blizzard I will go

determinedly to shovel thick white snow

scoop by scoop moving slow

so as not to have this small heart explode

I will mindfully bless Mother Nature

and those who strive to protect her creatures

like holocaust survivors and Palestinian children

so many vulnerable beings and imperfect nations

as I shovel immensely beautiful crystal droppings

there is much to contemplate while clearing crossings

on a quiet street while wondering if crows are sleeping

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY USA

20 January 2019

favoritism ?

Yesterday late afternoon I went to a svaroopa yoga class, as I often have done on Thursdays during the past several years. Lately, though, I have attended with less frequency. Am I partially going less often to avoid encounters with some relatively newer participants who seem somewhat standoffish with me ? Am I making up this sense of conflict expressed in the prior sentence ? Is there some basis for me to feel that there was/is resentment held against me by one or more of the other students because The Teacher showed some favoritism toward me, especially since this Teacher and I were exchanging healing sessions with one another before yoga class on numerous occasions ?

The time has come for me to practice a form of yoga that engages my higher awareness on an ongoing basis. Breathing in Good Energy and expelling Good Intentions, using the Deep Ocean Breath is a remedy for favoritism, inferiority, and other assorted negative states. Let the real yoga class be activated !

Oh, when I quietly reflect further it occurs to me that perhaps it's also me who has been unconsciously acting superior as a way of covering-up old fear.....

MDC Ithaca, NY October 12, 2018


it’s weird watching myself + wondering if my brain is deteriorating. 2 nites ago i stayed at a hotel very close to La Guardia Airport + this morning while unpacking my small knapsack i realized that i probably left my iphone charger plugged into the lamp on the table in that hotel room.

How could i have overlooked it when it was in that very spot on the morning when i was departing that i left a room tip in that very same location so i surely saw the white cord + charger yet i somehow did not see it. What’s happening? I feel bewildered!

and even after calling today to the hotel’s Room Maintenance Department and getting confirmation that they found it + will mail it back to me I feel very sad, very feeble and yet, i know this might be a good thing witnessing my ego disintegrating but it is profoundly painful being a personality whose wirings coming undone.


Ithaca, NY

19 September 2014


things are what they are

and people are who they are

so why resist what is?

i can accept what exists

with no need to resist,

rather find a good path

find a good laugh

as i carry on

following a healthy way forward

true to my own nature

my own loving nature


Ithaca, NY

22 July 2015

free clinic

Prior to yesterday, I had never before visited our local Ithaca Free Clinic. What an awesome place! Though not physically very big, this space is filled with great energy, where numerous practitioners offer their talented services to a community eager to attain greater levels of well-being.

I went there to volunteer as a Reiki Therapist. Ravi, the man who taught me the basic reiki techniques, is a regular participant there. He also has joined this organization's board of directors. Ravi had invited me to collaborate with him. Together we would give some treatments.

Our first patient was a woman who used to be a man. After some initial discussion of symptoms, history, and intentions, the client rested on a massage table, while I held energy points near the feet and Ravi worked on the upper part of this person's body. Eventually, Ravi and I switched positions, while focusing on grounding the patient in a healthy state of empowerment.

Later, we worked with a lady who used to live in Europe. Now she is unemployed, unable to afford most services. Thankfully, Ravi and I were able to relieve this person of some back pains and anxiety. She left the room smiling.

I felt grateful. My own commitment to the healing arts had been strengthened. A sense of having received important gifts filled my heart.

Michael D. Cooper Ithaca, New York USA 30 November 2018

good drugs

at the drugstore off triphammer

i like being waited on

by the pretty young

woman with light

ebony skin

who takes her time

with me + wants to be

friendly and helpful

bagging my toilet paper, smiling

offering conversation

what a talent --

just being human

what good medicine

to receive anywhere,

especially a drugstore


Ithaca, NY

17 April 2015

grandfather love

1 of the greatest privileges

is meeting a Sage

and going on a fun 2nd date

but now saying good nite --

see you tomorrow --

i love you -- to a grandchild --

and hearing that sweet little

voice repeating it back ---

really takes the cake


Woburn, MA

22 February 2018


You are my teacher

my boss

and my preacher

I can't say enough

how we love you so much

feeling very blessed

leaning from You

--dedicated to Liana

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

05 September 2019

haiku: fry panic

haiku: fry panic

afraid of dying

i cry out, Christ, save me please

my guts are frying


Ithaca, NY

11 August 2013

hair cut

This morning at 9:05 I walked into my local big box salon

for a haircut, but Heather told me, " We're not open"

even though their advertised opening time is 9.

She also asked her colleague to "lock the door"

which struck me like being mildly scalped

since I assumed that I knew Heather from the past

when she treated me well as a customer. Previously,

she had even offered to trim my overgrown eyebrow,

which made me feel really well cared-for. Now I was being denied

being able to enter her door....What a shock !?!

Disappointed, I left, but later I returned....and Thankfully,

Heather apologized and explained that she had been under pressure

to count yesterday's cash, which prevented her from being able to let clients in.

I was able to relax....a new experience of getting a haircut was able to begin

Michael D. Cooper

Ithaca, NY

May 24, 2019

health club jacuzzi

in the hot tub

a lady with black tattoos

seemed to refuse

to look at me

At first I felt confused

and demeaned

Yet, I allowed the hot water streams

to soothe those thoughts from screaming

as my eyes closed and sweeter feelings opened

it became evident

that her heart may be broken

and there was no need

for words to be spoken.


Ithaca, NY

19 October 2014

helmet of light #2

at nite

on my head

may i wear

this helmet of light

when disturbing dreams

awaken my slumber

+ fill me with fright ?

Protection from evil

and alignment

with righteous might

is the reason i inquire

may i wear on my head

this helmet of light

This very night

I will put on

a Helmet of Light


Ithaca, NY

14 February 2014


one who does not shrug

from tough tasks

but prepares

as best as possible

to front them


even cheerfully

hugging adversity

until the sweetness


for the hero

to enjoy + share !



13 July 2015

humbling song

humble me Lord

humble me Lord

cut my ego

with your sword

i poured precious semen

into my own seductive demons

believing 1000 selfish reasons

justifying grandiosity’s allure

humble me Lord

humble me Lord

cut my ego

with your sword


Ithaca, NY

27 November 2018

in the room

when i first walked inside

it smelled like perfumed insecticide

but i did not have much time

to try deciding if i should

comply to reside there for 1 nite

but i did check for bedbugs

and i found none

however, the nite’s sleep

was not so peaceful

in fact, i felt much fear

about life and the future

my confidence was low

and grieving was in my soul;

yet i started praying for mercy

and the room began to grow

a little lighter

i felt more encouraged

to be a fighter for love

and for hope in this world

i meditated

and yearned for this room

to be a den of mercy


San Francisco

26 June 2015

jacob’s example

by using furry animal hair

to trick a nearly-blind old father, isaac,

jacob’s mother and he colluded

to deceive jacob’s brother, essau,

and daffy daddy out of inheritance riches

later, biblical jacob, himself, after wandering

would be duped by the authoritarian father

of four unwed juicy daughters

and jacob would have to hard labor

for many years as a toiling care-taker

in order to win rachel as his wife

but leah mischievously promiscuously

took the other sister’s rightful place

during their first dark night-time

love-making rondez-vous traipse

and guess who got screwed again?

our friend, jacob, was then sentenced

to another seven years of servitude

just so he could eventually get nude

and be betrothed to pretty rachel

it’s mostly all in the bible

but that trickster spirit

is not easily traced

until the beast is in your face

like it was for mr. jacob


Ithaca, NY

30 April 2009


you are

my favorite

rabbi friend

just and kind

the best blend

of adi shankara

and punk band Nirvana

let’s march together

in this year’s Ithaca Parade


Ithaca, NY

29 May 2015


there are, i suppose,

forms of literacy

that i don’t even know about yet

though i consider, usually,

myself to be highly literate

i may be ignorant

in those areas i don’t even imagine


Ithaca, NY

21 July 2015

little hand

i am tired

of looking over bank statements

credit card bills

utilities, etc.

but mostly my energy

goes down when i don’t

listen well to the gentle

being that dwells

quietly within

trying to tell me

“please put those bills

somewhere else now

come hold my little hand “


Ithaca, NY

31 May 2008

little muffin

at 17 weeks

of pregnancy

our daughter

is showing

a sweet tummy bump

and my wife and I

affectionately refer

to the unborn being as

little muffin

who already is melting our hearts


Ithaca, NY

09 March 2015

Loving Courage Spirit

Diving into the pond I discovered there was in there a snapping turtle wanting to bite my toe. I felt fear and a resistance to allowing turtle to snap my feet. Yet, I chose to relax and allow this process to unfold. A bunch of snapping turtles appeared. They chose to bite many different body parts of mine. It was painful. Strangely, though, a part of my mind focused on experiencing this encounter as a type of spa treatment. I was being consumed by turtles. Along with dread I felt growing acceptance. Then a big black amorphous energy in the pond was felt by my senses and psyche. It was an enormously powerful force which surrounded me and all the turtles. We were ingested. This dark power removed itself from the pond, and I perceived the form of a huge gorilla-like entity. A calm came over me. I felt safe. I felt saved. Gorilla had a large Mother Drum. In a clearing near the pond, this big being began beating beautiful sounds on Mother Drum, and that continued for a quite a while.

Eventually, in the dusk, I sensed the presence of other creatures creating a circle around us and around the pond. They were deer, dancing deer, all free from fear, jumping and circling this world with Love and Courage.

MDC Ithaca, NY October 10, 2018

Michael D. Cooper Bio

MDC attended public schools in his birthplace, Troy, NY. He went on to graduate from Colgate University where he studied English and other humanities courses. A year later MDC moved to Brazil and there he helped open and manage the office of a major US publishing company.

While residing in Sao Paulo, MDC married Helena. Together, they have raised 2 children, Flora and Daniel. Helena and Michael have been enjoying living in downtown Ithaca, fairly close to a beautiful waterfall.

In his spare time, MDC is taking some lessons in yoga + zydeco dancing. After more than 30 years in the library supply business, MDC is still stretching + shaking.


Ithaca, NY

29 May 2014

meeting the sage, Paul Brunton

when i met P.B.

together in silence we

sat then exchanged thoughts

he called me earnest

and mentioned ramana’s death

as a part of life


near Sansepolcro near Tuscany, Italy

30 June 2013

monk in the sauna

he was standing there on cedar planks

with a blue towel around his shanks

a tall young man built solid

short dark hair, no slacks, no wallet

a teacher now at Namgyal,

our local monastery, his name is Choepal

and he recounted a story

about how at age 20

he escaped Tibet from Chinese armies

for one month walking all the way

until up and over Kailash Mountain in India

Choepal came singing praises to the Buddhas

I am Free


Ithaca, NY

17 January 2015


your ascent up sinai

could not have been easy

wearing worn-out sandals

and doing without sunglasses

nor carrying granola bars in your pockets - -

was it faith in god that nourished you

encouraged you to get up the mountain

rather than resting at boot camp below

with adoring ladies warm in the desert

quite willing to lick your toes?

no golden calf will ever know

all that you left behind in search of home

it’s ok to moan - -

your name is moses

it’s ok to groan - -

look how much you’ve grown

amidst nights dark and cold

on this upward winding road

seeking to receive a tablet of stone