The Ancient Conversation

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The Ancient Conversation

for Sir Charles Hooker


In the glimmering light of the tavern

I crossed paths with a familiar traveler.

He walks with a cane now.

Occasionally his hand trembles.

Sometimes he grimaces

at what is happening in the world.

But, he’s one of those wayfarers

who will look you in the eye

and tell you how it is.


On this particular night,

in between sips of rum and wine,

we discussed the watercourse way

of putting verses on a page.

He lamented for a moment

like a man trying to break out of a cage:

I want to learn

how to write poems

that don’t rhyme.


I knew what he meant.

I knew he was standing on the precipice —

longing for the unencumbered

the terrain and the terroir of verses set free

like doves from a cage.


…but suddenly I wanted to embrace him

and say:

I wish you could see you

the way we all see you

a holy rhyme unfurling in space-time.


I wanted to embrace him and say:

Rhyme away.

Rhyme

the same way you are the soft rain

that falls on the fields of the people you love.


Rhyme.

Rhyme away.

Rhyme the same way

sunbeams shine out of your chest

when your granddaughter runs by

and catches the sweetness in your eye.


Rhyme.

Rhyme away.

Rhyme the same way

you ask the rest of us

to stare down the forces of harm

to look out at this torn and tearing world

and ponder

how it can be made

a better one.



(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Heaven Here On Earth / Prayer For Compassion / David Darling




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The Forgotten Honey

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The Forgotten Honey

With these feet, I walked upon an earthly journey.

But other feet I have, which even now are making

the journey between the two worlds.

— al-Hallaj, Sufi saint and martyr (853-913)


O, Jamal, Jamal!

O, Jamal.

Why do we keep coming back this way?




O, Jamal, Jamal!

O, Jamal.

How is it

they do not see

and, even without eyes,

you do?


O, Jamal, Jamal!

O, Jamal.

How is it

the Great Beauty has not embraced them

yet, even without arms, you are?


The scaffolding of truth will be turned over soon

and like al-Hallaj’s sweet flowing verse

a vat of honey will pour forth onto this once-loving Earth.

Even inside jail cells the golden light will grow bright again.


O, Jamal, Jamal.

O, Shahid Jamal.

Why do we keep coming back this way?

How is it the hungry dogs of war are still allowed to play?


One day,

one day,

may they learn

why arms are truly made.


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Soupir Eternal / Dhafer Youssef

Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post contributing columnist, a U.S. resident, an advocate of women’s rights and a progressive Arab world, and a critic of the Saudi-led war on Yemen and other human rights abuses by the Saudi government.

U.S. intelligence intercepts reveal Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, ordered an operation to entrap Khashoggi once he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Turkish intelligence has video footage of Khashoggi entering the Saudi Consulate but Khashoggi never re-emerged. Subsequent Turkish intelligence suggests, while his fiancee waited outside the consulate in a car, Khashoggi was tortured, dismembered, and disposed of.

Jamal Khashoggi’s final article in the Washington Post, published by his colleagues after his death, is entitled: What the Arab World Needs Most is Free Expression.


shahid: martyr in Arabic

al-Hallaj (858-913): a Sufi martyr who was dismembered by human powers for speaking divine truths


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Memory Shard

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Memory Shard

shard (/SHärd/): a piece of broken rock, glass, or pottery, often with sharp edges

Day and night they are agitated by this quest. They

may hear a few words said by someone good, or they

may see words of instruction from the ancients. With a

flash of insight, they have an awakening. Only then do

they know for certain that the Great Tao is right in this

body. Then, the mind becomes the ruler of the body.

The body becomes the dwelling place of spirit. A person

is content when these two are enjoined in harmony

and suffers if they become disjoined.

—Luo Rufang (1515-1588), Confucian-Daoist scholar-hermit


After Four Nights of Thunder Below Lobo Peak

Year of the Ox, 4695 (Roman Calendar: 1997)


Toes curled over a stone ledge.

Great Eye between the eyes

taking in the cloud-covered valley below.

Lightning dancing along the far ridges

like Apache Crown Dancers coming home.

Another storm on the way.


Heart-Mind spreads out its white and brown feathers

and sails carefree to the horizon line.

For a moment in time, I am the mountain and the valley’s depths;

the rivers slithering through and the precipice.

The vastness embraces me

swallows me up

adopts me as one of her children.


Daxiong interrupts the silence:

Now you are a ‘shan long’ - a mountain dragon.

You are destined for high wooded places.

Make it an annual practice, at least.

You may even merge with the mountains one day

but you will be gray by then.

You are a long, long way, and a long, long time,

from leaving the world of red dust behind.

>|<

I grimaced.

I was in my twenties.

Already I’d had enough of the world.


My teacher had moved south

“down the dragon’s spine”

from Seven Hills to Arroyo Mora.

She was staying.

I was going back.

I didn’t want to go back.

I didn’t want to re-enter my life there.

Four hundred miles north, everything was a facade.

Work, marriage, “practice,” even breathing.

A going-through-the-motions

a gradual falling asleep

an uncomfortable “comfortable arrangement.”


Before we departed “hermit camp,”

she declared: You need a map.


I thought she was referring to the trail down through Yerba Canyon.

It was new to me, for sure, but I was fairly certain

I could find my way back, even in the dark,

even in the middle of a storm.


…a map for taking your life back

a map for moving forward

a map for how to practice

as a mountain dragon “living behind the courtyard wall.”


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Lhotse / Nada Himalaya 2 / Deuter

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One Mountain Dragon’s Heliocentric Model of Poetics

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One Mountain Dragon’s Heliocentric Model of Poetics

You have to work with your heart

and your vision, what you hear and feel.

If you don’t use the eye anymore, it fades out.

If you don’t use the ear, it fades out.

If you don’t use the heart, it fades out.

— Bobbie Billie, Seminole


The Dao is my sun moving through space.

My now-gone teacher,

Dao-Sentiment River,

threw off her human robe

and is over there now,

meditating inside the Big Dipper.

Back on Earth, I practice her way within The Way

and slowly make it my way.

I walk, and swim, and dream, and spin

round and round the sun-like Dao.

Solar flares and echoes of ghost stars

pass right through this dreaming body.

I catch them in my midnight nets

wash them in moonshine

and let them dry for a season in the sun.

After they have dried and cured,

I offer them up to travelers in their various forms.

I don’t know what to call them,

but passerby after passerby

refer to them as “poems.”


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Petrichor / Flora and Fauna / Roy Mattson





















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Speechless

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Speechless

In the crisp dawn light,
stepping softly 
past burrowing creatures
and the egret's flight,

a new autumnal fire was lit
behind these ribs
made from the sparks
of the three teachings.

Flowing down from Dao Mountain
through Ch'an Awareness Meadow
down into the anxious city
that aches for Heaven-Earth Alignment,
three tributaries merged
at the headwaters of heart-mind.

Celestial.
Cosmic. 
Primordial Embodiment.

World of Red Dust.
Persistent forgetfulness.
Yarrow stalks and coins tossed
in place of years 
of casting bones of desire.

Wandering quietly now,
this weather-blown corpse
moves through invisible pockets
of Yockanookany's ch'i-filled places.

Full comprehension of the meaning
'one who is set apart' washes in
and leaves this poet's dreaming body speechless.

Speechless.


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Setting Out / Endless River / Roy Mattson

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Sweet Wandering

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Sweet Wandering


Nothing Stands Outside The Great Pattern

If you beat the dawn bird to the sunrise perch,

a vast unparalleled joy awaits.

Cup of shining mountain tea.

The skin of the old self falls away.

The Way gathers in stillness

like a cloud-riding sage

gathers wind without striving.

The trick is to beat the dawn bird to it.

Then, Change-Maker becomes a chain-breaker.

A chain-breaker.

A chain-breaker.

>|<

Address the Hang Up and Immortality’s Gate Swings Open

All the Daoist masters

male and female

including the Seven Perfected Ones

originally had a hang-up to overcome.


Attraction to Wealth and Baubles

Though living like a king,

messaging in the brain

that one is impoverished.

Though living like a queen,

messaging in the brain

that contentment, completion,

comes from outside oneself.


Incessant striving after validation

or the “blessing” one never got.

Herein are the roots of fame-chasers

and “retail therapy.”


The Soothsayer Hao Ta-t’ung

relinquished all such reference points,

succumbed to an anonymous life with very few comforts,

and finally found his way within the Way.

Then, he was wealthy beyond measure in spirit.


One-Track Mind

Allure of women.

Allure of men.

Breathless at the sight of curving shapes.

Pulled through the floating world

like a fish hooked by the lip.

Chasing after a four-second tickle

or a cosmic explosion

to bring-on the illusion

of impermanence-defying bonding.


Dao-master Liu Ch’ang-sheng

spent a year in a brothel

to master the energies of the “dragon in his pants.”

After an encounter with Bodhidharma,

he finally saw it possible

to fully enjoy the “blooming spirit of a flower”

without having to “pluck” it.


In the end, he became “just one of the girls”

and, at last, blew-on from the brothel —

a purple cloud vanishing into the mountains.

His last words for the season:

You won’t have any suffering if you don’t bite the hook.


Haunted Drunkenness

The steady “discipline” of self-depletion.

Drinking lightning trying to lighten the load

of all the things carried deep in the soul.

Drinking rare nectars until one goes numb

to what one doesn’t truly want to be free from.

At least the haunting is a ghostly form of connection, right?


Whether poison, lust, or useless prophecy,

T’an Ch’ang-chen mapped the way

of turning one’s back on anything

that keeps the practitioner intoxicated by fruitless visions.


Over-Intellectualism

Changchun, early on.

Daoist “sexual intellectual” a.k.a. fucking know-it-all.

Constant interruption of his teachers.

We all did it when we were young.

Trying to convince everyone you know something

so maybe they’ll respect you and accept you

in a way you haven’t come to respect and accept yourself.


For Ch’iu Ch’ang-ch’un, he had to stop

with all the pontification and interruptions

to make way for the native wisdom of his own Empty Mind.

Sun Pu-erh had to stop with all the seeker’s questions

long enough for the Dao to finally saturate her Being.


Lazy Dragon

Failure at necessary exertion.

Ma Tan-yang wanted enlightenment

but the whole pursuit of it

got in the way of his nap.

And on and on and on and on…


Whatever shape or form

flavor or fragrance,

until we’re each clear

of our own House of Smoke and Mirrors

there is no abiding peace.


There is a fiercely-resistant “dragon”

whose primal energy exists

to test our True Resolve on the path of awakening.


Until the dragon is saddled and harnessed

we can never truly be aligned with our flow within The Great Flow.

Until the dragon is saddled and harnessed,

we can never truly be clear

and carefree

or sweet in our wandering.


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Seven Coronas / Letters To The Farthest Star / Forrest Fang

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Meditating on Heron

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Meditating on Heron

If I had another day with you

I would take you by the hand

and walk you out to the edge

of this troubled world of man.

I would point out

the tiny kingdoms of Brilliant-Clarity-Mind waiting there

the invisible temples of warm harmony

the quiet instructors who live from the Inner Pattern.


If I had another day with you

I would propose we stroll in silence —

billowing clouds moving toward sunrise.

I would suggest we leave behind

our daytime eyes for a time

and adopt Shih-shu’s way of seeing all existence

from the perspective of stones and trees.


If I had another day with you

I would tell you about the night

— rice wine on lips —

the spirit of my dead teacher, Dao-Sentiment River, paid a visit to me.

She looked like one of the Immortals you see in the old paintings;

twinkle in her eye, belly full of laughter.


She held up the hexagram: Lake Above, Lake Below

then left me in the dusky forest light

to contemplate the instruction:

“Place your heart-mind on the correct joy. Consummate joy.”


Meditating

on heron-meditating-on-fish below the water’s surface

this is how ancestors of the Way

came to live-in-step with the joy-abundant Dao.


(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Woodland Cacaphony / Flora and Fauna / Roy Mattson

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You Do Not Go Alone

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You Do Not Go Alone

“It is cruel. Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert.”—Laura Bush, former First Lady, 2001-2009

Years from now, regardless of gains or losses in the economy, the Trump Administration will be remembered for other things, from its response to Charlottesville to its failure to respond to the crisis in post-Maria Puerto Rico. However, like the generation that allowed the illegal seizure of assets and imprisonment of innocent Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, we will all be remembered as the generation that allowed what happened at the U.S. border in 2018. (As 400+ Children Remain Separated from Parents, Trump Admin Wants to Detain Kids Indefinitely) — Frank LaRue Owen


Though there be a tempest inside your chest
though you are afraid and do not know rest,
you do not go alone.
You do not go alone.

Though there be unrealized dreams of yours
still trying their best to churn into form,
you do not go alone.
You do not go alone.

Though you've been ripped from the loving warmth of someone's arms
and had your guiding hope of freedom and safety wrenched away,
you do not go alone.
You do not go alone.

Invisible.
Imprisoned.
Cast aside.
Forgotten.

Out of Sight.
Out of Mind.
Exiled.
Downtrodden.

Nameless.
Faceless.
Placeless.
You do not go alone.
You do not go alone.

 “Detention” by Nalidsa Sukprasert / www.facebook.com/Nalidsa

“Detention” by Nalidsa Sukprasert / www.facebook.com/Nalidsa

Donate to help reunify children with their families: https://texascivilrightsproject.org/


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

sound: In November / David Darling

image: The Art of Nalidsa Sukprasert

2 Comments

Jìngtu

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Jìngtu

Autumn’s First Ch’an Stillness

There’s an ancient conversation that’s been going on for months

between the sun-reaching pines and dream-heavy clouds.

Tonight, I started eavesdropping and taking notes again.

There’s an ancient autumn festival dance that’s been going on for years,

with the fog-covered hills and thunder’s delightful children holding hands.

Tonight, they’re asking us all to join in.

There’s an ancient love affair that’s been going on for centuries

between forgotten valley trails, the ridgelines around them,

and poets stepping into the gray morning light in between.

Heaven-Human-Touching-Earth: the only menage a trois I’m interested in.

Then, there is the type of Zen

when you put even Zen down.

An emptying-out of all striving.

A burning or ripping-up of credentials.

A peeling-off old layers

that finally allows one to ‘Just Be’

inside one’s own skin.

This is what the old ones meant by a mountain dragon swimming in the river.

This is what the old ones meant by a land-walking golden-haired lion.

Moonlight on rooftops.

Cooling breeze through pines.

Jasmine tea steeped just right.

Though the world of red dust

still spins with 3,000 years

of the three poisons of heart-mind,

on a 7 x 5-ft. platform,

suspended in the dreaming trees,

there is - at least for a time - an oasis of peace.

Traveling Pure Land Body

There are multiple bodies within us.

The Desire-Body.

The Questing-Body.

The Pain-Body.

The Memory-Body.

The Dreambody.

There’s a Spring Body.

A Summer Body.

An Autumn Body.

A Winter Body.

Each body within The Body has a wisdom.

Each body within The Body has a teaching.

Sometimes, each one of the bodies

can be ‘on’ about their own things, ignoring all the others.

The dreambody dreaming; all-night, all-day.

The pain-body aching, slow uncoiling trauma moving on.

With enough stretching

purifying

lightening the load,

one can turn toward instructions waiting

encoded in the stardust inside one’s own bones.

Then, all the bodies within The Body align.

Like flint striking steel,

the Pure Land Body sparks…awake.

Just in time.

Just-In-Time.


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

sound: The Bridge of Chan-Chou IV / Folklore / Forrest Fang

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Having Walked

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Having Walked

Having made a study

of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Void,

the warrior-artist picks up the brush

and puts away their sword.

Having sidestepped the traps

of Mara’s handsome sons and alluring daughters,

the warrior-artist focuses energy-attraction

toward the practice of journeying with night-traveling feathers.

Having seen the emptiness of form,

having made the practice of non-attachment like a second skin,

the warrior-artist sweeps away the hooks of others,

moves past the Floating World of projections.

Having broken down

the scaffolding of the dense-bodied self,

the aura of the wayfaring warrior-artist becomes

a billowing white cloud blown about by autumn gusts.

Having stepped beyond the world of red dust,

having tasted the true nectar of freedom

in the green world at the edge of town,

the warrior-artist becomes a citizen of the void

and learns the old way of walking alone.


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

sound: Taking the Void / Particle Horizon / Ascendant

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The Lineage Tree: abiding, trailing

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The Lineage Tree: abiding, trailing

I follow in quiet footsteps.

In the shaded owl light, I consider each of them.


Kasu of the Sword Mind.

He predicted I would journey the 88-temple loop of Kobo Daishi.

Not sure I’ll make it.

Quiet Standing Tree.

Playful bodhisattva of reverent verse.

He taught us to: Turn, Turn, Turn. Look, Look, Look.

I’ve been turning and looking ever since.

Kuma - the Great Bear of the Western Hills.

The female version of Stone Lake.

She knew conventionality-in-vocation

partnerships

relationships

marriage.

Plying her way through the world of red dust.

Then, in life’s turning edge at midlife,

she took the way of the hermit;

living on the edge of town

like a mountain dragon resting

behind the courtyard wall.

This, too, has become my way.

I only need to vanish into the mountains

for that road to be complete.


White Wolf Woman

known to the shaved-heads as Mountain Blossom

radiated the light of the Dharma

until the Spirit of the Road itself

took her into the Pure Land.


Now, me, and my old names

Lao Shan - Old Mountain

Saizan - Western Mountain

Horo Ishidoro - Wandering Stone Lantern

collapse into The Nameless.

There’s nothing left

but a blue cord around my neck

that speaks of eventual arrival.


I feel gratitude knowing

that out there beyond the night air

are the likes of other wayfarers.

Ando - Zen poet of western Iberia.

Fa Hsing of the Fortunate Mountain Way.

Orchid Dragoness / Fearless Dancer.

Taiyoko Kongo - Vajra Sunlight.

Lady Hoshi of Stars and Gleaming Forests.

Ryuzen - Dragon Flute of the North.

Brother Fang of the Fragrant House of Healing Sounds.

Four-Step of the Ten Thousand Mountains.

Hawkeye of Luminous Juniper River.

Star Eyes.

Even the (Zen) “Dude” Abides.

I’m just not sure

how much longer

I will.


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

sound: Shadowline / Electric Ladder / Robert Rich

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Spoken-Word Temple

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Spoken-Word Temple

Three sips.

Awareness clarified.

This Way-infused way

calls me quietly

to the midnight veranda.

Another sip.

Another.

Late-Evening Empty Mind

mirroring the deep space

from which rivers and mountains flow.

Final sip.

Pen in hand.

I await for the Wide-Rambling Spirit

that first taught me how to bow down

and worship at Spoken-Word Temple.

Tightly-wound coil of the soul

loosened by way of silent illumination.

There is no such thing as aloneness

with ride-alongs the likes of Pine-Forest-Clarity-Mind.

But,…I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Every morning I awake

and ask the same question:

Who is riding with whom?


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

sound: Reverie / Resonance:Dissonance / Khyam Allami

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仚 xian 仚

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仚 xian 仚

From Zhongnan to Tremper

Koya to Amicalola

Uncompahgre to Montesinho

and the Ouachitas in between,

pilgrims are carrying their offerings

into the mountains again.


Though a time of masks, shadows, and sorrows,

this Poet’s Dreaming Body climbed the escarpment tonight

and drank the wine of tomorrow.

Keep the faith, Friends of the Way.

Immortals are still observing

from a ridgeline in the clouds

and a great solar wind is gathering

that will fill all our sails.


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

sound: Xylem and Phloem / Flora and Fauna / Roy Mattson

image: Dresden 116 Days 2014 Solargraph / Johanna Moore, from her Diary of a River

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the quiet circuit

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the quiet circuit

Stirring to Meet the Autumn Spirit

with gratitude to roy mattson for his latest

five a.m.

autumn spirit

cup of old mountain tea.

like iron holding tea-water heat,

this body rises from a night of dreams;

a halo of memories reach out to me.

Self-ablaze in the dawn-light hours,

there is gratitude for solitude;

for these tendons stretching

this spine sitting like a mountain

these lungs breathing like a forest

this spirit flowing like a river

these notes from far-away travelers

these old books upon the shelf.

How else

can a person of the Dao

journey through the wilderness of the self?

>|<

Travels: Outer

with gratitude to k.o.b

Living in the world of red dust, one may find a losing of their trust.

An invisible armor can slowly form that cuts one off from the flow of the Dao.

The first day of autumn is good for putting one’s armor down.

Whether purified by sun or rain

laughter or wine

shared-journeying-silence

or story-filled hours,

sometimes the soul

needs to spend time with fellow travelers

who don’t come bearing agendas

or a holster filled with daggers.

>|<

Travels: Inner

with a bow to my late teacher

I walked with Mountain Lake last night.

After purifying beneath Bright-Recompense Falls,

we ducked low under branches

and placed our feet on a new sun-lit path.


As we walked, we talked of the soul of modern men.

I openly stated, “I don’t understand them.”

He replied, “Some are rigid, some are afraid. Some are sticks in mud.

Others are poisoned by anger in their blood.”


As we reached the vista of Wind-Sweeping-Mind-Summit, he added:

“It is rare to meet a good ch’an man; a man of tzu-jan.

It is rare to meet a man with a childlike heart and a good, open seeking mind.

In the end, there are three types of men.

Those who have found the Great Spirit of Peace within.

Those still waging an ancient war inside of them.

Those still asleep to their deciding

which will be the realm that holds their citizenship.”


I awoke thinking of my teachers now gone,

Dao-Sentiment River, Pine-Forest-Clarity-Mind.

It left me with a feeling of being born in the wrong time.

It left me staring at a blank page again.

It rendered me speechless in the gray-green light.


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

sound: Pure Autumn Moon / Li Xiangting / Sleeping Lotus





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Savour

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Savour

— in celebration of Roy Mattson’s newest release of sonic artistry, Flora and Fauna


seasons have a taste.

having survived late-winter poison,

the spice of autumn is on my tongue.

even this summer’s batch of sake seems sweeter

with the waxing-power of the September moon.

I don’t know what the new season holds.

between ch’an-stillness and mountain-thunder tea,

perhaps my eyes will clear and a new vision will be revealed.

— journal reflection, Eve of the Autumn Equinox, 2018 —

IMG_20180921_210237.jpg

Across the sidewalk, a neighbor’s ringing wind chime

registers in these cells as a thousand year old temple bell.


I brush off the previous season’s red dust malaise,

and find myself pondering the nature and essence of sound.

Sound. Simple sounds.

Sounds in the dirty old city.

Sounds deep in the forest.

Sounds up in the mountains.

Sounds that drive out

the previous year’s stewing bewilderment.


Did you know in the old tongue

regret means to weep again?

Let’s don’t.

Let’s dry our eyes.

Let’s step back into The Ancient Membership.

Even from here,

I can hear the warm harmony bell

at Abiding-Radiance Mountain.

Even from here,

I can see the Lanterns of Delight

being lit again

telling poets down in the city

to climb the path to the cloud’s height.


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

sound: Hyphae / Flora and Fauna / Roy Mattson

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At the Autumn Gate

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At the Autumn Gate

Some days a gentle garden; others a charnel ground.

Some days a battlefield; others a boneyard of innocence.

Some days a funerary feast in the mountains

where we toast the darkness,

then the light,

then our passage in-between.

Some days a shaded valley of torment;

others a Friendship of the Roads

tilts the heart-mind back toward Heart-Mind.

For a split second,

the heddles on the Dao’s Great Loom

begin their transfer.

In the blink of an eye,

the beat of a heart,

a gasp of delight,

a sting, a memory, a pang, a bite,

it’s possible.

It’s possible to enter the moment like a shuttle passing through.

“Finally!” we call out.

Finally, the long strand of nights-in-grief turn to nights-in-relief.

Finally, you’re standing on your own two feet.

Finally, we’ve noticed we are not chained-up stand-by-ers.

We are

part of the Great Pattern.

We are

among the Pattern-Makers.

We are

the Great Pattern itself.

We Are.

>|<

Stop to notice the clouds tomorrow when you leave your place of toiling.

Adopt their Carefree Way

of flowing

without knowing

of the direction of their going.

The same wind that blows them to the far eastern hills

is the same Force that fills your lungs

when you finally

when you finally

come back to yourself.

>|<

Release your breath as an offering

and step into the new season

with its slowly lengthening nights.

Allow the amber-light of your own silence

to conjure up a different kind of hunger.

Summer’s bounty has been turned under.

The Autumn Spirit says:

“Trade-in that pesky little identity for the greater one.”

Enter the place where all the old poets

threw-off seeking the Way for dissolving into the Way.

Therein, there is only one identity.

Therein, we walk around bobbing like corks,

bowing in remembrance,

mumbling:

Hello, my relative.

Hello, my relative.



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

sound: Clinging / from The Night You Caught Fire / Clinging / Hammock




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