Peering past sharpened edges

eyes gaze out from a second-story window

at the hard-edged world beyond the known demarcation.

Words flow forth like a keening song: 

Too much. Too fast. Too fierce. Too hot. Too cold. Too dark. Too heavy.

The anthem of past innocence lost rings out yet again.


As if Mara's army of hungry ghosts were stampeding in again,

the cowering animal of the wounded-self hunkers down and braces for the onslaught.

Erect the battlements! Build out the fortifications!

Gather your swords around you to guard this circle of defense!


Then, it happens. 

In the still-dark-quiet of a Ch'an blue night, the swords melt,

become tributaries of tears quenching a long thirsty life.


Battlements drop. Fortifications fade.

Another Lone Sitting One takes up

the Sword of Heart-Mind and cuts everything away.

Ancient sentiments flowing like a river beneath the blue mountains

reveal the only thing left to say:

Rest, O Ego of Endless Fretting.

Rest, O Ego of Incessant Worry.

Rest, O Fearful Saboteur.

Smooth out your sharpened, hardened edges

and the whole world becomes a soft Pure Land again.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) / Pure Land Poetry /

sound: Oxycanta / Winter Blooms