"Even at the time of death,

the lineage is there to call upon."

--Kuma-sensei (1949-2007)

Gray Day.

Sentinel Pines.

Swaying Wind.

Falling Silent.

No words...of my own.


Like the old man said last night --


is the road

to the interior.


Lightning strikes --

sizzles down the spine.

Warm breeze

gentle relief --

cascade of memory.


How did you think

the permission would be given

to chart your own course?


Would you know your own authority

if it bit you in the ass like trickster Inari?


Small bird

untested wings

kicked from the nest.

Falling through the air for years,

not trusting the wind;

then, filled-lungs, no-thinking, flight.


There is no greater stranger

than the soul

who has yet

to recognize herself.

This is the purpose

of the Dark Night of the Soul

the Night-Sea Voyage

the Long Hall of Mirrors.


There is no part of this journey

that isn't about turning you back onto yourself.

It's the work of finding practice-equilibrium.


Conditions change.

Waves arise.

Adjust heart-mind.


If you are paying attention to your life,

whether or not

you are the same person from day-to-day,

that is The Way;


is what the lineage

has always called

a practitioner.

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

To learn more about Erik Wollo's recording, Different Spaces, visit the album's Bandcamp Page