I. Tug Of War


They're at it again.

Raised voices. Gnashing teeth.

Barking like rabid dogs.

Toxic cells spooling up rage, spinning out of control.

Couples who fight don't make any sense to me.

Who are the 'two' that think they are actually 'two'?

II. Troubled Lands and Dwelling Places


The only thing worse than erecting battlements is pretending,

or going numb for years in each other's presence.

What is this territory everyone is fighting for?

Point to it!

With as much conviction as you can muster,

describe its actual boundaries.

III. Will You Be Conscious of Your Breathing When Your Partner Is Gone?


I have finally become that "old Zen goat" I always talk about.

The Grasping-Logic of the Floating World escapes me.


Why fill your nights with door-slamming conflict

when your bride could be the quiet falling rain;

your husband could be the gentle songs emerging

from a dharma-realm of crickets and night herons

hidden in a grove of moon-lit bamboo?  

IV. Why Old Men Look At Younger Women



the 45th President of the United States

likes to "grab-pussies"-by-force.

His words, not mine.


What must a person be 'cut off from' to try to seek connection that way?


I guess when you feel

your life slipping away

and you're finally realizing you weren't truly present for most of it,

and your "worth" on paper

isn't worth a pile of manure

at the gateway of your own.....slow......mind-drifting death,


the luscious vitality of a blossoming maiden

with her dimples

and curves

and smiles

and stories about the day


must really feel like a last straw

at having a semblance of a chance

at ever having felt truly alive.


The only thing worse than speaking like this

is blatantly undressing her in public

with your eyes.


V. The Key


The manna of life is found in the giving, not the taking.


VI. I've Only Known One Truly Ecstatic Couple...and They Weren't Married


He was handsome. Scottish.

She was beautiful. Dark Irish.


He would say, "Yes, dear", with his right hand over his heart.

She would say, "What can I do for you, honey?"


He would say, "I like the black dress because it matches your eyes and hair."

She would say, "Play that song for me again, dear. It makes me 'see' things."


He would serve her breakfast in bed.

His only question: "Coffee, Lyons, Earl Grey, or Oolong?"

She would blush and reply, "You know I always want it ooooo-long."


She would massage his injured shoulder from football

as if it were her last act on earth;

then, they would "do each other's feet"...simultaneously.


She was really into gardening.

He learned everything he could about plants

because he was addicted

to the delight in her eyes

when she had harvested a basket

of color, life-force, sweetness, succulence. 


She became self-conscious about her hips in her 30s,

and her ass in her 40s.

He would make her and her girlfriends laugh

when he'd cook dinner in his kilt and refer to himself with:

"Built for comfort, not for speed, honey"...

or her with: "More lovely cushion for the pushin', baby".


He channeled the music of the spheres;

his guitar could morph into the pipes or even a sitar.

Her voice was a majestic accompaniment -- complete with flute, whistle and drum.


One day, I asked them their secret.


They smiled and looked each other in the eye

as if, indeed, they shared an ancient story between them.


"Only when you've learned to find peace in your soul alone

can you sustain it with another who has learned how to do the same."

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen purelandpoetry.com

To learn more about the music of Jeffrey Ericson Allen and the CHRONOTOPE PROJECT, visit the Chronotope Project Bandcamp page.