Hello and thank you for visiting this site.

The writing I’ve done over the years evolved out of the classics of both West and East, but has taken off in directions that were surprising even to me.

What I write about has moved from presenting traditional icons in newer formats, but now searches for the long and enduring phrases of luminosity hidden throughout the vectors of our continuing. Here language, like a shimmering dragon, is a sinuous, self-existing, self-renewing linkage. So, I write novels about detectives, artists, teachers, emperors, eunuch-slaves; short stories about dancers, musicians, politicians, wanderers, and plays about demons and heroes, collaborative performance pieces about survivors, soldiers and story tellers.

It is my hope that in all these and all that will follow, I contribute to the mischief, longing, satisfaction, lust, sorrow and fascination which make our presence in this world a discovery of true love.

It seems it might be most useful if I give some idea of the work presented here.

From the Empire of Fragments

On of my earliest interests was in what happened to people who were swept up in the social and cultural chaos that began in the 20th Century. How did people who lost all traditional reference points maintain their sanity?  I wrote a series of stories that are rooted in this situation and involve love, memory, fidelity and continuity in the face of profound loss these stories were published in little magazines, but have now been collected in FROM THE EMPIRE OF FRAGMENTS. (Hammer and Anvil Books).

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The Wanderer

Most recently, I brought together some of my poems, very short narratives and performance monologues in THE WANDERER. They explore the themes of movement between life and death, age, loss, redemption and history.

In writing this little guide to make it easier to see what is in these books, I realize that there are themes that I have followed throughout my life. These have not always been apparent to me, so much of what I have written was as much to find out about the things that have haunted me as to express them.

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The Warrior Song of King Gesar

Another stream that I’ve been caught up in has been in the epic about the Central Asian and Tibetan hero, Gesar of Ling. Epics in general, combine the largest scale of action and feeling with the subtlest of lyrical expressions. Epics have served as great social unifiers and have continually inspired many kinds of spiritual and cultural renewal. Gesar is a hero who specifically addresses these themes in his struggles to establish an enlightened society.

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Crossings on a Bridge of Light (The songs and deeds of Gesar, King of Ling Book 2)

With assistance from the Witter Bynner Foundation, I first wrote THE WARRIOR SONG OF KING GESAR. This book contains the most familiar episodes from the Gesar cycle. The second book, CROSSINGS ON A BRIDGE OF LIGHT, relates Gesar’s journey through the realms of existence as he rescues his mother from hell. In his travels, Gesar passes through the bardos between death and life and enters also into the legendary Kingdom of Shambhala. The third book in this series, THE BRILLIANCE OF NAKED MIND, is collection of miscellaneous moments and episodes from the Gesar cycle. These include a re-telling of Gesar’s defeat of Sattham of Jang, the miraculous stories of earlier Buddhist practitioners and kings, and a review of the rulers of that primordial enlightened society, the Kingdom of Shambhala.

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Journey of the North Star

My novel, JOURNEY OF THE NORTH STAR (Publerati Press), is a historical reconstruction of the reign of the third Ming Emperor, Yong Le. It is narrated by his eunuch-slave Ma Yun who records this great ruler’s efforts to bring many strands of Chinese culture, from the spiritual and philosophical, to the political, military, economic, architectural and artistic into the perfect balance that joins Heaven and Earth.

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Dreamers and Their Shadows

DREAMERS AND THEIR SHADOWS is a novel that begins with the discovery of a manuscript from a ruined house in post-war Japan. The text gives a variety of accounts of an otherwise unknown Prince of Ling who seems to have labored to create a sacred social order free from sectarian and religious biases. A young American scholar and his Japanese mentor become entranced even as it seems that the manuscript is a forgery. This book emerged from the atmosphere surrounding the late Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, and deals with the fate of inspiration when disguised in memory.

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In the coming year, Wakefield Press will bring out Charles Ré and my translation of Goncourt Prize winner, Pascal Quignard’s masterpiece, A TERRACE IN ROME. This is an account of the harsh and mysterious life of a 17th Century engraver.

Also this year, Hammer and Anvil Books will bring out a visually arresting rendition of ‘PUNCH IN HIS TIME, The Monstrous Eschaton’, a play written in 1985 during the Aids epidemic.

Thank you for your interest. If you’d like to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to do so.

All very best wishes.

Douglas Penick