With the fading light of day comes a reminder.

Pulsing just behind the veil of time,

walking alongside us in perfect symmetry,

Change-Maker has arrived.


With nothing bolted to the ground,

the inner tides rise and swell

and push us toward new ways of flourishing.


We were born from the soil.

Did we really not expect

the husk-cracking of self

when we flirted with the light of awareness?


The Teacher says:

If you go, you will be stretched.

If you remain, you will be stretched.

It is a question of scenery, and whether one is truly fed.

It is a question of blooming and where best and with whom one can do so.


Even if it means being stranded

with only the vast sky as company,

there's no denying the longitude and latitude of a calling.

It can be denied for a while,

but Change-Maker ripples through the seen and unseen

and will be waiting for us come morning.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Glimpse / World's Edge / Steve Roach




Kenma (Polishing)


Kenma (Polishing)




Let us walk among the trees.

They are the first shrine






Let us breathe deep

as if our own chest were a vast valley between mountains

being filled up by silken clouds on a breeze of holy intent.


Like the essence brought forth from the polished rice in saké,

the Golden Spirit of Life is within us all.


Oh, but how we hide the light.

Oh, but how we hide from our Great Life.

Oh, but how the world,

with its incessant need to mold us,

becomes a false, wavering mirror

that has even the most ardent of Travelers

doubting the glimmer they've been carrying

since the very beginning.


Like the essence brought forth from the polished rice in saké,

the Golden Spirit of Life is within us all.

It must be properly harvested




(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Walking Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Acacia + Arbor Vitae / Tree of Life / Loren Nerell and Mark Seelig


Pulse of Night


Pulse of Night

Last night, a brother and I paddled the river of memories.

We took the deep trails and the switchbacks of laughter.

We drank like Scots chasing Romans away before the building of Hadrian's Wall.

We found our stride.

Relocated our swagger.

Everyone needs a night like this now and again.

A night to reclaim one's holy wildness.

A night to remember bonds that do not fade with age.

A night of fearless spontaneity.

A night to grab a goddess by the hand and dance the spinning cosmos awake.

You may not remember everywhere you go on such a night

but when the Deep-Seeing Eye of the Traveling Self

pieces the shards of the evening back together again,

you'll see that every step of the way

you were accompanied by the light of humanity

and the deep faith of the ten-thousand things.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Mira La Luna / Dandara


Moments-as-Monuments: Five Memory Poems


Moments-as-Monuments: Five Memory Poems


Being an empath in this world is like swimming nude in an ocean of thistles.

You walk by.

Our gazes connect.

I feel what's stirring in your heart.

Your betrayals, your disappointments, your longings.

It's etched in the landscape of your face

and bends your spine into a slump with a hump.

I'm not one to step beyond my bounds,

and I don't know you,

but I spend the rest of the night sipping sake

thinking about your beautiful, pained life.


The Relation of Passing Ships

Two ships pass in the fog.

For a brief radiant moment, they catch a glimpse of each other.

After that, they become invisible to one another

and try fruitlessly to be heard with blaring horns through thick veils.

Onward they drift, carrying fog-like memories, aching from not having been truly seen.


What A Real Christian Looks Like

My father was a minister.

One day, a drunk-homeless man

wandered into a church service in progress,


and sat down in a pew toward the front,

next to all of the "prim-and-proper" ladies in their crisp, white linen clothes.

Some "Christians" today would have dragged him out like it was a Trump rally.

"Get him outta here!" they would say,

not considering the possibility that he was

the spirit of the Christ come to test them.

My father invited him forward and served him Holy Communion.


Get Real (for Mississippi)

Have I ever told you I worked on a museum once?

I learned things nobody wants to talk about;

like the story of "fancy maid" sex slaves and Southern governors, for a start.

No wonder there is so much rage boiling under the surface of this nation.

We haven't owned the shadow of our history or gotten real yet about who we really are.


Some Things Never Change: The Lone Wolf Manifesto

When I was but a wee lad, I decided to leave home.

My parents were fighting and I'd had enough of it.

I packed my little suitcase, which was bigger than me, and informed them I was leaving.

I shuffled up the sidewalk into the darkness of night,

one toy and one coat my only possessions.

Unsure of how to feed myself, I came back, of course,

but it hits me like a Rinzai master's fierce Zen striking stick...some feelings never change.

So here I am, a modernista, embedded in suburbia;

a "ninja" practicing the ancient art of concealment and disguises,

all the while, day-by-day, taking up more and more of Musashi's Dokkodo

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Telomere / Filaments / Robert Rich

image: Monument for Miyamoto Musashi, Ganryu Island, Japan

Liner Notes: 

Composed one week before his death, The Dokkodo (獨行道), sometimes rendered as 'The Way of Walking Alone,' 'The Way To Be Followed Alone,' or 'The Lone Road,' is a short work composed by Miyamoto Musashi (Buddhist name: Niten Doraku), a master swordsman, artist, woodworker, philosopher, hermit, and author of The Book of Five Rings, a classic text on swordsmanship and strategy. Written as 21 precepts, the Dokkodo lays out a path of discipline, focus, solitary spiritual practice, and mind-training.



Tender-Hearted Warrior


Tender-Hearted Warrior

in memory of Bill Scheffel (Western Mountain)

News of your fiery departure reached my tender eyes tonight.

I gasped in utter disbelief.


My heart-mind lunged forward as if tied to a great galloping garuda.

What fell from my eyes next I still do not know.

Tears? Sparks? Stars?

I'm left with the question, Bill:

Now, where will you go?


I light a stick of hinoki incense, earthy and pure.

It reminds me of all of my teachers along this way of ways within the greater Way.

I had studied meditation before.

You taught me how to sit like a warrior.


Midnight comes and goes like a forest without fireflies.

I pour a large cup of sake

and drift yet again through your 'vertical time yoga'

and all of the excellent films you made about

masters reflecting on the life of your teacher,

conscious dying,


the troubles down in New Orleans post-Katrina,

and precious memories of your mother,

whom you go to meet.


All I can say now is:

May we all craft a life with such heart, tenderness, and attentiveness.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: "Real-Life Mystery" / They Grow Layers of Life Within / Alio Die

Liner Notes:

Bill Scheffel was a poet, artist, filmmaker, and teacher of meditation in the Shambhala tradition. He chose to self-immolate in early July 2018.   









"Every day, priests exhaustively examine the Dharma

and incessantly chant complex sutras.

Prior to that, they should really learn

how to read the love letters

sent by the wind and rain,

the snow and moon.

Who needs the corrupt Buddhism of corpse-like masters?

Me, I've spent three decades alone in the mountains

and solved all of my koans there, 'Living Zen'

among the tall pines and high winds.

--Ikkyu Sojun (a.k.a. Crazy Cloud, 1394-1491), Zen hermit/poet

Golden pedestals of lineage falling.

Waves of regret crash on the shores of non-duality.

Another "teacher" falling and fallen, yet teaching-by-default.

Whole mandalas weeping at omissions, admissions, blame, fault.


The dark winds and gluttonous dripping fat of the Setting Sun World

has flowed into the Valley of the Great Eastern Sun again, thick and sickly.

There is anguish, fear, rage, confusion of heart-mind.

The wheel of the Dharma can turn forward or backward in an instant,

but troubled weather systems of human-failing does not defile the original teaching.


In this era of unskillful means,

and clownish unveiled shadows dancing,

when even the supposed "leader of leaders" declares:

"grab 'em by the pussy,"

everything is being carried back to the drawing board.


Perhaps the time has finally arrived

to sidestep human gurus and lineages of mindless obeyance

and find the Original Teacher of the original teacher

back out in the forest, under a tree that shades your own silent sitting.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: "Kuroda Bushi" / Tessen: Music for Shakuhachi / Cesar Viana


Samten Bardo


Samten Bardo

Last night,

I swallowed the last bit of poison from your memory

and vomited up all of the false jewels I'd been holding onto

out of a strange sense of loyalty.


When the Dawn Road appeared,

shimmering through the swaying trees,

I cut the cord with a single breath

and knew I was finally free.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Flooaw / Aventura


Messages Across Time


Messages Across Time


Memory Echo: Dream Poem Preface


I have a relative over on Honshu.

With a 'certain kind of travel,'

it's really just a short distance across the water from here.


“A sister from another mother,” as the saying goes.

Or maybe a long-lost brother from another time.

Who knows?


Perhaps we are

of some other luminous shape

for which there is no known label yet.

Either way, one does not mistake one's ancient-familiars

or second-guess the stirring echo of ancient codes that have always been.


Like shinobi, "hidden ninjas,"

living in villages on distant mountains,

sending hilltop messages across wide moonlit valleys,

our ancestral tongues are different

but somehow, some way,

we speak the same twilight language of forests and memory.


On a night when the moon was bright and full,

a dispatch came from her side of the valley.

A question tied to a crow's ink-black wing. 

Have you received a message in a dream?


In an instant, a long-forgotten message returned.

A fire was relit.

Now, it glows and grows and burns.

Koyasan: Beacons Being Lit On The Mountain


It arrived years ago after a dark night of feeling like giving up.

I contemplated all the old warriors who'd ever opened up their own guts.

I meditated on the practice of offering up one's soul to the passing hazy moon.

I fell asleep in a stupor and woke from a dream just after noon.


Through the Great Eye that dwells behind human eyes,

I saw myself moving, carefree,

gliding along like a heron in flight.

Across tree-lined valleys

along rivers of light

down walkways of stone

illuminated by lanterns on either side.


It was then that I heard the old instructions again.

The words passed through me

from the voice of a long-dead friend.


Your path is not done.

Stay to The Way.

Wander forward through this world on fire.

Stay to The Way.

Practice until you are solid like stone.

Stay to The Way.

Stay to The Way.

Tend your inner light until you become a flame.

Stay to The Way.

Stay to The Way.

Remind others of the Faithful-Light they have within.

Stay to The Way.

Stay to The Way.

Become a wandering stone lantern again.

Stay to The Way.

Stay to The Way.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Ascension of Protection, from Cavern of Sirens / Steve Roach + vidnaObmana


The Dance In Fallow Seasons


The Dance In Fallow Seasons

There's something in my spirit that forever aims for the Other Shore.

In my "samurai" life, I never had to draw a sword.

In my life as "fisherman-farmer," I often went hungry.

Yet, in both, I always had something else that sustained me.



Mountain Guide.

Old Blind Drunk.


The Other Shore was always on my mind.


This time around, the Other Shore is the song of opposites.

It arrives as a pattern that goes against the tide of these times.


The world accelerates.

I slow down. 

The world becomes loud, angry, cacophonous. 

I become more silent.

Everything marches toward the illusion of hyper-connection.

I pull back and slowly cut ties.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / Pure Land Poetry

sound: "Luminescence" / Particle Horizon / Synphaera Records