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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Eulogy for Louis H. Jullien III

Lou Jullien and Ralph Cissne

My dear friend died of a heart attack on Interstate 40, September 14, 2017. This is the eulogy I delivered at Faithbridge Church in Spring, Texas, October 5. I thought I was Lou’s only friend. That is how he made you feel. We meet in 1974 a few years after he had recovered from cancer. His medical team advised if he lived two years he had a good chance of living a long life. Lou considered every day a gift. He was always enthusiastic, brought great joy to my life […]

Creating a culture of kindness

Art by Carissa

I do not care about your hate. Tell me what you love, what difference you make. This is the lesson to be learned and the example to be set. To those motivated by fear, division and doublespeak, stop and think. What wounds do you heal? What bridge do you build? Now is the time for Loveworks, an afterschool leadership training program for middle school students. I am honored to volunteer as a mentor. The foundational lesson in my Loveworks Story Express series considers the power of the primitive reactive brain. […]

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

open-their-hearts-awaken-their-minds

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 […]

Author

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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