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




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