Maybe yours is meant for a deep valley

or perhaps it will be washed clean from your brow at the riverside.

It could be lifted from you by a human embrace

or an unexpected glance standing in line at a busy coffee shop.



with the mystery of the way the soul works,

it can be taken from you in the midst of a dream,

leaving you fresh and child-like with the arrival of morning

as if you didn't have to do a thing.


Mine is a hardscrabble road

that leads to the mountaintop

where I lift mine up

to all there is

the way I was taught.


But whoever you are, for goodness sake,

please listen to me when I say: Grief has to move.


Through you and beyond you, grief seeks a release.

It isn't to be feared.

It is a rare golden dove 

with a temporary roost inside you

all so it can carry

what you need to let go

into the heart of the sun.


Once you open and release,

and once it arrives into that fiery embrace,

your renewal is moments away.


But if you hold onto it,

grief becomes stored in your bones

and that will be your undoing.


Much of the world

is not what it could be

all because

of people

avoiding their grief.

(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: Mountain Above, Mountain Below, from Watermusic, by Remco Helbers

Born into a family of artists, clergy, cowboys, fly-fishermen, and poets, including the late Texas poet Pearl Owen Gentry (Evening Red, Memories, and Hilltops and Hollows), Frank LaRue Owen studied for a decade with Darion Kuma Gracen (doña Río), a New Mexican wilderness guide and Zen wise woman. Inspired by the Chan (Zen)/Daoist poetic tradition, his studies of eco-poetry with the late Jack Collom of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, and the wider human lineage of cross-cultural mystical poetry, Owen's poems are shaped by dreams, the seasons, diverse landscapes, Jungian archetypes, forgotten myth-lines in the deeper strata of ancestral DNA, pots of green chile pozole, and occasional sips of tequila and sake. His poems have been published in literary journals with a contemplative and ecological focus, such as Written River: The Journal of Eco-Poetics and The Wayfarer, including The Wayfarer's 5th Anniversary / Autumn 2017 issue. In the Spring of 2017, Owen's first book of poetry, The School of Soft-Attention, was selected as the winner of the 2017 Homebound Publications Poetry PrizeThe School of Soft-Attention will be published by Homebound Publications and available for purchase in September 2018.