I. Rivers, Mountains, Names


Her body: Earth-Realm bone dust.

Her spirit: Graceful, flowing ether,


Her name: Now I call her Dao-Sentiment River.


She named me, too -- after mountains not of this Earth.

I had thought it would make me solid,

but when I look to the West each day,

I still feel the river's teaching

carving another part of me away.


II. Singing, Disrobing, Flying


When I was teaching

I used to think of the wolf as my totem. 



Zen-Mind following Dao,

I think it must be the cicada.


Their drifting cacophonic symphony 

wafts through the humid air --

blasts through the open sliding door,

sends me traveling back

to lives where this was always the soundtrack.


Like then,

every season I am stepping out of another layer of skin. 

This is why, regardless of who you are,

I have nothing solid to bring you.


Cicada Teachings say:

At this rate, death will be a piece of cake.

We enter the world empty-handed

and leave the same way.

Nothing to ponder but singing, disrobing, flying.

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

Sound: Maestro-Sifu ambient composer Forrest Fang, Following The Ether Sun