When you are part of the caravan of crazy clouds
you start to become a little less domesticated
and a little more like wild mountain weather.
Allegiances shift from the outer to the inner,
and when the rains come
you drop everything
to worship the silence found within it.
When you get too much of the world on you
that which is natural in you starts to struggle.
This is when rivers freeze and land turns barren.
This is when thirsts develop that can never be quenched.
This is when life-force stagnates
and the sparkle in your eyes
that others have come to rely on
They don't teach this in churches and synagogues, mosques and temples.
The best of them want to soothe you from the aches of the world.
Some want to lull you back to sleep.
Others want to hammer you into a shape of their choosing
so you will behave and keep your mouth shut.
But the old mystery schools and rustic enclaves
of dervishes, curanderas, and Zen women know:
There's a form of nourishment
that only you can give to yourself
and if you don't learn the language of how that's done
even on your last day here
you will have remained a stranger to yourself
and all those with whom you kept company.
(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com
To learn more about the soundscape of this poem, visit the site of Patrick O'Hearn.