when she spoke
i could feel the words rushing through me
a cold breeze cuts to the heart
exposing truths about ourselves
from the inside out
cleansing our souls of our parents’ burdens
learning to unlearn
as the leaves of my soul flutter down the vacant country road
and i swoon
as i release the latch
of the cage
where my dreams live
so they can move on without me
why do i not see me in the mirror
and who is this man
smiling back at me?


trust is just a word i heard
like lust is far preferred to honesty
turn this out of me
probably lost my soul to the ink on a page
or graphite since i write with a pencil
righteously fight like the grapes of wrath
i chose my path and drew a bath
because it’s past the time where i can define
a new skill set without a pill yet
i try
cuz i’m not a personable guy
staring down at my still blank page
never know if i should flow about love, life or rage
and i feel our minds are enslaved
and the deranged changed the face of the pain
i watched the same shame puncture your veins
but if you’re plain complaining offers nothing to gain
the voting machine’s are hacked
our education’s held back
we’re told we’re free
in fact
most of us believe it
but that doesn’t mean my dream
of true equality
will never be perceived as how it all should be
intentionally treacherous then suddenly soft
being publicly perilous gets you cut off
like disease in trees spreading with ease
bringing crowds to their knees with tear gas
with bigger crowds begging “please
gas these assholes they’ve got bad intent”
the constitution was burned with overwhelming consent

the shell – 7/2007

i’m broke
living without hope
a shell of a man with no plan provoked
it’s hard to step to improve my life
my motivational trip resides inside
it doesn’t take much
did i even try
and i cried as i walked beside
the life i contrived into a lie
so shallow was i to think i could hide
but now i see this man is me
my past actions just distracting til this one day comes
where the sun show paths
previously cast in shadows
across my soul
as i become whole again
finally see some involvement
and each installment
leaves me cautious for more
alone on the shore
taking in the view
and energies so pure
that i need freedom to decide
whether i’m dead or i’m alive

Pot Rant 2011

Benjamin Bernier

Maine, USA

The Right to Breathe


One thing that the US government can not argue that it owns my lungs. Using this as a basis, it cannot reasonably own the receptors put in my lungs genetically to receive THC and cannabinoids. How can they create an argument with persuasiveness to tell me what I can and cannot inhale, especially if it causes no harm to anyone else?

As I see it, there is a massive moral difference between smoking pot in the infant ward of the hospital and with my other adult friends in my house on my couch watching my TV. One thing is public, and potentially harmful to developing bodies and minds, but the second of these two scenarios poses the question of how far can the government control what I do, and who gives them the right to say that it is wrong?

As recently witnessed in Denver, even when people work together toward a shared goal, and it passes as a legal law of the town or city, it is threatening to the government and they continue to uphold laws of a different citizenry and a completely different jurisdiction.

I am far from saying that universal legality is the correct answer, or even what I would ask for, but there must be a point where the government backs up and says “This is on you now.” As functioning adults we all take responsibility for our actions whether we want to or not, and whether we plan on it or not. My actions have consequences too; I spend more on junk food than the “average American” whoever that may really be (I have never met this person). Who I have met are adults, both young and old, who appreciate the therapeutic nature of this powerful herb. Too often classified with the opiates and the uppers the general public rightly calls pot a gateway drug. It isn’t so much that pot opens ones eyes to other drugs, because it doesn’t take away your ability to say “no,” but it rather makes us ask, “If marijuana is illegal and I cant morally see anything wrong with it, then what can be wrong with these other drugs that we are taught about in the same way?”

To change the common misconceptions about pot would also change the misconceptions about hard drugs, clear to anyone who has ever experimented they are vastly different worlds. Have you ever seen a functional crack-head? Probably not, but chances are that at least one boss you’ve had in your life was a functional stoner. Were they a terrible person, or could you not tell them apart from the other bosses you’ve had? Or was it simply that they handled stress more advanced and having the chance to alleviate those stresses makes them a kinder, more reasonable boss in touch with themselves and with the people who make up the worlds around them.

I believe that people hold themselves back, and drug use whether over the counter, prescription, therapeutic or dangerous drugs are an easy scapegoat for the mistakes that we make in our lives. No one expects perfection out of other people, including themselves, but if not dangerous and not rubbed in faces, why can’t pot use be looked at as a habit no less offensive than biting ones nails? There are times to bite your nails and there are certainly times when it is not appropriate: I wouldn’t bite my nails the first time I meet a girls parents or during a presentation.

It’s about the right to decide what’s good for me. It’s about the right to be an independent person, and mostly it’s about the right to make mistakes and be our own judge.

Smoking pot is a right that no one can ever take away from me. Simply because the law does not protect people who share this view does not make us wrong. We are a powerful and thoughtful part of society, with a large obligation to ourselves and to others to preserve these rights. It is the responsibility of the people to correct an unjust society, to smooth it’s edges, to refine it’s views.

This is why I smile when I ask you, “How will you improve your own life?” Because I know that prohibition will not stand.

poem 5/9/2014

where has the spark in me gone
inside the calm
churning and turning
and carrying on

lost in my head, lust in my heart
two worlds drift apart
blossoms and bosoms
the beginnings of art

can you find in you a brightness
between the tightness
released and at peace
feeling a lightness

and the trickle of water sounds
love abounds
with curves and smooth words
in sky, and on ground

but all is not lost
whats the cost
passion or poison
or souls on a cross

What Does Open Source Mean to Our World Community?

Open source is more than software. It’s more than a license choice. It’s more than one person or company or entity or idea, but rather it is the collection of ideas and concepts, whether sounds, feelings, images or words, that encourage shared knowledge, shared contribution, shared benefit.

If two minds are better than one, than 7 billion minds are better than any other combination possible.

Embracing open source as an ideology means to embrace community, to give and to receive, to yield the power of the collective conscious and collective unconscious of every individual, together, at once. At the core of the open source ideal is the idea that information should be free, and that by having information we all are empowered. In a time where curiosity and creativity are handcuffed by the Digital Millennium Copyrights Act (DMCA) and it’s not even legal to take apart your coffee machine to see whats inside, I find it refreshing and rewarding to participate in something bigger than myself where information can be shared and is encouraged to be shared across borders and languages and political affiliations.

A common misconception about open source is that money cannot be made by using open concepts as the foundation for business; but I disagree. Open source 3D printing has evolved rapidly and becomes more affordable every day by not having a licensed or proprietary overhead (thank you RepRap and the other pioneers). Microcontroller layouts and circuit board designs also have harnessed the same benefits through projects like Arduino, resulting in a 90% cost reduction versus traditional, closed controllers. Open source programming languages like PHP grow more rapidly with increasingly increasing stability versus their closed source competitors. Blog management software from WordPress took the web by storm, easily becoming the most dominant, versatile content management system in just a matter of five years, accomplishing a task the giant corporations could not have. In the days of for-profit open source, the code is no longer the product and the consumer wins by having options as to who and how their systems get serviced. It’s hard to talk about open source and not mention Linux, and through Linux our small company has tools that compete with the big boys for which I am grateful, but the prime example of for-profit, open source success is Red Hat, who broke the billion dollar mark in recent history, not through direct sales of software, but through enhancements, support, consulting and system design among many other streams of income.

At this day and age, where vendor lock is a scary yet real problem, one of the few ways to avoid it to to implement systems that can be managed by any number of worldwide experts. Open source offers a real solution here through competitive technologies, stable platforms, opportunities to re-invent, improve, enhance around the individuals and back upstream around the world.

Is the strength based in the thousands of minds focused on solving one problem?

Is the advantage of open source the ease of access to the product? Or to the documentation? Or to a competent community, willing to help each other tackle the impossible?

I don’t know what the most exciting and promising part of open source is for you, but I know that my reasons are ever changing and evolving, liquid to the problems we face, morphing to our needs, and benefiting our customers for each of their unique applications and needs.

So people of the world, as you open your code and open your patents, I hope you too find peace in the reward of your opening hearts and minds. And as you go into your lives and you are faced with challenges, remember that you have a community, maybe I’d even say a family, ready to help you, ready to empower you to help yourselves, ready to say no to the status quo and demand the excellence we all deserve, together, moving forward through time and space as all of our individual challenges and goals somehow unite into a destination of fascination, connectedness, trust and monetary savings.