Latest Release

Don’t Be Shy

Poetry of a Single Life

In the late 1980s, the vibrant Los Angeles poetry scene gave voice to a new wave of writers and spoken word artists. The essence of Don’t Be Shy represents one man’s passage through the eclectic coffee houses and performance art venues that celebrated diversity and uncensored self-expression. This collection of poems navigates the existential and often humorous landscape of love and longing, social commentary and spiritual awakening to arrive at an awareness shared by one…

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Yoga in the Classroom, part 2

Mr. Decker's ELD Class

The morning after the November 8 election the Northwest Classen hallways were ripe with sorrow. “How is it?” I asked. “Everyone is in a state of shock,” Mr. Decker replied. “Half the students in my previous class stayed home.” We watched his English Language Development students enter the room in silence. I considered the Maya Angelou poem Human Family we studied the week before and the closing lines: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” I surveyed the somber faces then asked, “How do you feel?” In […]

Yoga in the Classroom, part 1


I was shocked to learn that the majority of students in OKC Public Schools receive food assistance, meaning they live below the poverty level. I asked a yoga friend, who teaches English Language Development at Northwest Classen, my old high school, if it was that bad. “It’s probably closer to 90%,” she said. “Our students rarely have guest speakers. Why don’t you teach a class?” I did not hesitate. After reviewing their English textbook I outlined a six-week program entitled Writing for Results and entered a classroom filled with polite […]

Motherhood and the ecstasy of being

Flames of my brother's memories

Two mothers gave me the life I know. The mother who birthed me taught the value of strength and the power of forgiveness. My spiritual mother, aunt Joan, taught me to live in the moment and to honor the divine feminine. The confluence of these two wise women opened my heart and mind to a universe of possibilities. One mother took care of business, introduced me to golf and the wonder of a story well told. Another presented the gifts of yoga and meditation. She cautioned that happiness is a […]

Filling the Big Empty

Peace Sign

In honor of National Poetry Month, a poem from Don’t Be Shy. (In Memory of Steven C. Clark) I have seen your face before among the crowded paths I have crossed. I close my eyes and hear you calling from some dark and distant place where parents float in cocktail prisons smiling like pickled Cheshire cats. You were a wonderful flower child celebrating new found freedom you made your way into Dream Canyon. In the Summer of Love you embraced the magic meadow where barefoot boys and girls sang and […]


Ralph Cissne

A native Californian, Cissne grew up in Oklahoma where he developed interests in creative writing, golf and Zen meditation. An award-winning poet, Cissne’s short story publications include Claim to Fame, Prudence in Hollywood (Playboy), and The Reunion of Last Resort (American Way). His spoken-word album The Ancient Myth was launched with a reading at the Bodhi Tree bookstore in Los Angeles. Cissne has edited and published the work of Frank Natale, his friend and mentor, including Results: The Willingness to Create, Natale Trance Dance, Relationships for Life, and The Wisdom of Midlife. A lifelong advocate of yoga, Cissne is the…

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