--poem before my 10th annual mountain pilgrimage in 2017


Don't get me wrong. She was gorgeous.

Tan legs like long pines.

Laguna Caldera eyes.

Pink dress like a neon camellia.

But she wore her saturated red dust materialism on her sleeve

and like all of Mara's daughters

came bearing honey-covered hooks.


She lamented the dating scene in this dirty old town.

I nodded, smiled, knowingly.

No comment. 


Transaction complete

it was almost as if she wanted to hold my purchase hostage

but I already had a date

with a bottle of seishu

and my lady the moon.

_ _ _ _

Horns from a train cry in the distance. 

A light coral sunset drops.

Steam rises from a dark sea-green tokkuri.

Kusatsu-Bushi pipes into my ears.

I imagine I am wandering in a far away city

where people actually know me;

where no matter where you are within it

you can see the turning leaves on the mountain.

(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Tower of Babel / Above the Desert / Chihei Hatakeyama