Unlike the Before-Time,

I don't live in a place

where I can walk out the door

and face-off with the tengu --

the testing-spirits of the mountain.

I have to go to higher elevations for that.


Such testing,

such fierce facing-off,

has its time and place.


I still recall the tales of Ushiwaka

who became a master of the sword

under the watchful eye and beak of Sojobo.


But endless testing

and fierce facing-off

is not what I've ever wanted

from Cupid's Arrow.


Tending a garden.


Day-long walks among dragonflies.


Letting-down within a sanctuary of soft words and arms.


A gentle place for two world-weary souls to land.


Sharing a midnight omelette.


Daggers of doubt.

Swords drawn.

Once-flowering tongues turned to venom.



Cupid, stop aiming in this direction.

I go to meet the tengu of Akiyama;

I prefer to endure my endless testing that way.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / purelandpoetry.com

sound: "Bello Revive" (Animatronix Remix) / Daniel Waples & Hang In Balance