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


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) /

sound: Pure Autumn Moon / Li Xiangting / Sleeping Lotus