from a collection entitled Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
First, you start with your own navel —
the place that once connected you
to your own living mother;
and her, and your grandmother,
to all of Time’s grandmothers.
Your navel —
long known to be an entrance to whole worlds
waiting inside you.
Your navel —
a doorway, a passage, a sipapu.
Though school failed to impart this map
or way of traveling to you
these worlds within are like adjacent counties
to whole other worlds beyond you.
So, lay yourself down...and enter.
The Great Eye of your mind's eye
sparked awake like a glowing ember —
enter the cave-like corridor
that carries you into the interior.
Like entrance to any other mountain, forest, or desert valley,
quietly receive the terrain however it presents itself to you.
with your swiveling 360-degree visioning-eye about you.
Travel through your navel to the very center of you;
into the cave-like chamber
that is a passage between the worlds that are available to you.
Moving, moving, slowly ambling along,
until the passageway opens up
and you encounter the light of day
or the shimmer of moonlight and stars
beaming down from your own inner sky.
It may come as a great surprise to you
to learn you have a lush jungle inside of you;
or a misty mountain valley with a river flowing through,
lined with trees bejeweled with Spanish moss and dew.
But there it is.
There it is.
Here it is.
Your inner-eyes don't deceive you.
A landscape as real
as any terrain outside of you
stands at the ready
to teach, heal, and welcome you.
The next order of business
in this ancient form of traveling
is to send out a call for a guide
to give you a tour around the place.
Only you will know
who or what the guide will be
but typically you will know them
when you sense their heart and see their face.
Just as you would with any doctor,
counselor, plumber, or trout-fishing guide,
interview them to your heart's content
to make sure their way of traveling aligns.
Some general pointers
from across different cultures
for your ongoing consideration.
If at all possible, avoid spiders, scorpions, or jackals.
They aren’t very helpful and may even
leave a nasty bite or sting on you.
Snails, though they be wise in their own ways,
will make any traveling around painfully slow.
But stop for the occasional conversation with them.
Snails taught a lot to poets Issa and Bashō.
Exercise caution with fox-women, coyotes,
and redheads bearing daggers in dark capes.
Stories abound of trickery, spells, close calls, and escapes.
My own method of travel once I've entered the great frontier inside?
I ride a horse named Memory — a bond of multiple lives.
(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com