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
avoiding their grief.
(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com
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 Prize. The School of Soft-Attention will be published by Homebound Publications and available for purchase in September 2018.