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.”


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