Nothing Has Changed

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Nothing Has Changed

I. The Top-Down Approach

A hermit of the mountain reached out to me.

The mad world had encroached on his quiet.


The irony:

He wanted a reminder

about the Grand Shape of Things

from this hermit down in the city.



I wish I had something bright to report, I said,

but nothing has changed.

Nothing has changed.

Everyone is still pretending...

pretending they aren’t strangers;

pretending that eyes aren’t being made blind

to the majesty all around us and within us

by the spiraling red dust of these times.


II. The Strange Air of Estrangements

A struggling brother reached out to me.

Estranged from his father, he wanted to hear

from another son who’d gone his own way,

who’d circled back around

and befriended his own father again another day.


Nothing has changed, I said.

The ancient rule of warriors still applies.

Sons still have to “kill” their fathers

so they’ll cease chasing after a blessing

their own fathers never got from theirs.

When sons and fathers

can finally sit at the same table

as brothers and dreamers,

then they can get down to business

with The Great Work they’re each meant to do.


III. No Shortcuts: The Tumbleweed Sutra

A former lover reached out to me.

The floor of the house of her life had collapsed.

In her own pained words, she felt “cast out to sea”.

She hoped to reorient to her life again

from the benefit of our long ago history.



Nothing has changed, I said.

If there’s a wound inside you,

you can’t take shortcuts

or drink or sleep your way around it.

You can only travel into it

and listen deeply

to what it needs to say to you.

Nothing has changed.


Romance is projection.

Two people, conjuring like sorcerers,

casting their illusions of the “ideal one”

onto the other, hoping for “completion”,

“belonging”.

If you’re awake to it, it’s all well and fine;

but best to belong to yourself, first,

find your own completion, second,

and then, perhaps, one day you can live

with your best friend.

Nothing has changed.


If there’s a lonesome hole behind your ribs,

you will never be able to fill it

through shopping

eating

winning awards.

Become a tumbleweed.

Roll on from all of that.


You can only fill the hole

with the soil of knowledge

and the sunlight of the Love-beyond-love.

Then, a garden will grow

whose harvest you can share with others.

This doesn’t usually occur

until after reaching a trail side sign

that reads:

mid-life.

Nothing has changed.


IV. Hoisting Sails

After all of this being reached out to,

I reached out to an old traveler myself.


I spoke of feeling the tide of life pulling back.

I spoke of feeling this body slowing down.

I spoke of entering a drift of time-aloneness-silence.

I asked, If I’m doing this now, what will my elder years hold?


The elder years aren’t for withering away, he said.

They’re for fashioning an invisible boat you will sail in one day.

A light and nimble vessel,

free of the barnacles of regret,

that will carry you across

the ocean of space and time.


The boat will need supplies:

an oar

a lantern for night-travel

for when clouds cover the stars

and you must consult your compass.

And the light in the lantern? I asked.


The hidden flame of heart-mind, the traveler said.

Nothing has changed.

Kindle it. Tend it. Follow its lead.

Look for it in other people’s eyes

in the smiles of people around a table

in your dreams.


(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: As the Weeks Passed / Intangible Imbrications / Andrew Lahiff

image: Chen YiChun



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Augur of the Curve

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Augur of the Curve

poems for headphones

Age of strain.

Ashes in people’s faces.

Ashes at people’s feet.

Souls chasing faces;

faces on currency.

Skin starved for touch.

Weathered hands rest

on levers of time, memory, sweat.

Click of hours come and go.

Bone dust of sleeping birds reconstitute.

Trepidatious creatures within

twitch

gather

stretch tendons —

move us all along

toward the augur of the curve.

Do you feel the road turning?

Do you feel time turning?

Do you feel your body

moving

in slow motion

as if your spirit

had already left the scene?

Somewhere,

beneath branches of prophecy,

the Hanging God

remembers the old language

reflected in the moonlit pool

all over again.

Within the orchard’s glow,

a child of the sun

hears the song of the sun.

A forgotten place

becomes a temple of the sun.

A child of the sun

through the song of the sun

becomes a priest of the sun.

A child of the sun

through the silent heat of the sun

becomes a priestess of the sun.

Someone remarks about familiar terrain;

how nice the breeze is tonight.

A lone traveler moves east along the strand.

Soft brown feet

leave tracks in cloud-white sand.

“Reincarnation”

— the kind that happens

multiple times within a given life —

is always

preceded

by a departure.


(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: phenakistoscope / A Novel Sense of Calm / Massergy

image: warm sunrise on beach / Rachel Cook

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A Call for Peace

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A Call for Peace

Have you ever noticed

some nights

some nights

it’s as quiet as can be


and it almost seems

for a moment

as if we’re all living on a planet of peace?


A cool breeze drifts in.

A few crickets — here, there.


We go on about our way

and nothing about the world of red dust

manages to get on some of us.


Other nights,

the air itself

holds the sting of existence.


Then, another night comes along

and something else happens.


A lone chirp.

That chirp stirs two.

Two turns to three.

Three becomes a cacophony in the trees.


You listen closely and realize:

Those aren’t the night birds of longing.

Those are frogs ‘setting up a calling’.


The chorus begins to carry.

The chorus rumbles.


The chorus actually rumbles.

The chorus carries and rumbles.


Then comes the thunder.

Then comes the rain.

And it’s like that movie

Emerald Forest


where the shaman

prays to the frogs


and the frogs

call the rain


and the rain

swells the river


and the river

knocks down the dam

that the Termite People made.


I can’t help but think

invoking The Spirit of Peace

works

exactly

the

same

way.


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At A Glance

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At A Glance

Best read on desktop and listened to with headphones.

Sometimes, in order to go forward,
you must journey back awhile
to that place where you first lost yourself —

that place behind the mountains
where you found handfuls of flint and shells
left by others long ago
to remind you of The Long Body;

the one we all have
that stretches free-and-light
across all man-made demarcations.

Sometimes, in order to go forward,
you must journey back awhile
to that time outside of time
where you first found yourself —

that place in the desert
where you found painted shards,
- morning ochre and sunset blue -
left as offerings by others
to remind you of The Long View.

Like a veil falling from a jilted bride,
white buffalo clouds rolled in tonight.

Fire hissed all the way down past The Thunderbird’s roost.

Until now,
this Scribe of Invisible Movement
did not fully comprehend
the Language of the In-Between.

Tonight, however, they all spoke-up
and they said the same thing:

Everything opposite is mirrored within.
Nothing truly longed for goes away.
No dream, no path, that once truly sustained life ever passes away.

At any moment, in any place,
you too can be First Human Waking.
Real love is boundless.
Real truth can never be suppressed.
Real freedom is a tree no blade or poison can defeat.
Real elegance liberates.
False elegance enslaves.
Whole worlds can be freed or upturned
with a simple glance,…or a single phrase.



(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Nightshade / SoMa / Steve Roach + Robert Rich

image: Jean Wimmerlin

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No Longer Dodging the Draught

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No Longer Dodging the Draught

All week I’ve been asking myself:

What value is there

that some unnamed mind-layer

registers this nutmeg wind


these invisible hoof prints

on my living room floor

these rising storms

before they ever meet the horizon?

We’ve had 5,000 years of poetry

and the world is still getting worse.

I am not Atlas.

Maybe this is what Lady River meant

when she said I would become

an unknown cloud in the desert

being blown about by breezes

the world of man no longer even sees.

Have I reached the end of poetry?

Have I reached the trailhead of entering full-anonymity?

Here…

someone burn all my names in a fire by the river.

Since poetry comes to me from upriver anyway

perhaps it can just flow on

of its own accord,

unencumbered —

part of the tapestry.

Those who are listening for it in the first place

will receive it in their own way.

How’s that for non-attachment?

The wandering clouds and orphan-scholars talk about acceptance.

Perhaps I’m having my first real deep draught of it,

here, toward the end of the Anthropocene.

Thank you, O Precious Cup of Life.

I’ve had my fill tonight.


(c) 2019 Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Today is Beautiful, We Have Things to Do / The Unfolding / Chequerboard
image: cup / sahil singh

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