from a forthcoming collection (April 2020) entitled Stirrup of the Sun & Moon

Become the cold rain

and the rain ceases to be cold.

Become betrayal’s rage

and a trapdoor opens

onto the grief you’re hiding there.

Become the well-attended despair

and depression starts to release

because you’ve given its voice

a hallowed space.

Become the anxiety

and it reveals itself

as the intelligent awareness

of your inverted bravery.

Become the fear

then surrender

to becoming larger than it,

cascading gently

into your dormant fearlessness.


Become the longing for a lover

and you realize there is only The One

and never really has been an ‘Other’.

Become the space of the chasm

and there is no place

where you are not home.


(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

sound: Luminescence / Particle Horizon / Ascendant

Inspired by the Dharma talk “Suffering and Empowerment” by the late Zen master John Daido Loori (1931-2009).

Be the barrier. When you are the barrier,

there isn’t any barrier. When you are the barrier

with the whole body and mind, it fills the universe.

There is nothing outside of it. If it’s pain, be the pain.

Fear?…be the barrier. Dissolve into the situation you are in.

Be the anger. Be the fear. Be the barrier.

It’s possible to work with your fear. It’s possible to work with your pain.

It’s possible to work with your anger. It’s not something that happens to you.

It’s something that you do that makes it happen. The only reason there is a barrier

is because we’ve created it. Un-create it, and it’s no longer a barrier.

— John Daido Loori, Zen master (1931-2009)

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