‘I am Bali’

I am Bali

by Mark Ulyseas

I came to this isle a long time ago bearing the supreme gift of faith, among the many fabulous delights of my world.

I saw you walking topless among the banana fronds gently working the earth in the monsoon drizzle.

I covered your breasts with a kebaya like the morning dew and placed in your hands flowers.

I taught you how to prepare exotic food offerings with ingredients from your gardens.

I helped you build the many beautiful places of worship.

I reminded you every day to never forget the seen and unseen for your every breath and deed added to the aura of the isle.

The synergy between us created the meridian of hope, of love applauded by ceremonies.

But as the years grew you moved away from my embrace, creating your own world festooned with your ego. The created becoming the creator.

We lost each other in the urgency of the crowds massing across the isle. Crowds from far off lands.

You severed yourself from me… my old being – like a well-worn table at a warung that still served the multitude… the new you – like a plastic chair whose colour has faded in the noon day sun.

You didn’t recognise me sitting before you with gnarled fingers in a bowl of rice.

You didn’t recognise me walking down the road bent over by a load of produce from my small farm.

You didn’t hear my chants as I placed a small offering at the foot of a tree. My prayers to spirits drowned out by your raucous pageantry.

We became strangers living in a house once occupied by humbleness towards Nature, respect of the self, a celebration of the atman.

Now, as I stand alone watching the ebb and flow of life on the isle with the intermediaries of the absurd riding a black bull, I have just this to ask in all humility…

‘’Who are you?”

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om 


©Mark Ulyseas

The World’s Oldest Profession?

Live Encounters Magazine  July 2017
The Oldest Profession in the World? Cover feature by Dr Kate Lister, Researcher, Leeds Trinity University

This issue features:

Dr Kate Lister – The Oldest Profession in the World?
Mark Ulyseas – Divine Bovine: The Beef about Cows in India
Dr Margi Prideaux – Palm oil or tuna: intent or results
Aneela Zeb Babar – We Are All Revolutionaries Here
Randhir Khare – Remember and Resist
Dr Shanthie Mariet D’Souza – Regional power play in Afghanistan and India’s policy options
Dr Candess M Campbell – Stress
Udayan Dhar – The Perils and Politics of Gay Pride
Mikyoung Cha – Temppeliaukio Church
Ozlem Warren – Lighter Baklava with Hazelnuts
Patricia Fitzgerald – Mandala for July

Terry McDonagh’s book review of In Gethsemane

In Gethsemane : Transcripts of a Journey

Terry McDonagh’s book review – 

IN GETHSEMANE – Transcripts of a Journey – by Mark Ulyseas is ‘a book to gig and dip into’…it is a series of fascinating essays on philosophy, psychology, characters ‘on the road’ and in pubs in Bali; on the nature of Hinduism, life in Goa…it’s a book to take with you on the train…we meet Simone de Beauvoir, Oscar Wilde. The author says: ‘On my journey through many countries and the twilight zone, I have been fortunate to break bread with the blessed and the damned’. Human nature is frail. It can be dressed up in a suit and cloaked in hypocrisy but in our hearts, we are obsessive whores who long to talk; to tell our story in public and cry in private. These essays are real and surreal; they are emotional roller coasters that move us through worlds of rich language and cultures…and we are richer for having had the experience. A fascinating look at life through the eyes of a man who knows how to observe. – Terry McDonagh, Celebrated Irish Poet, Playwright and Writer