from a collection entitled Stirrup of the Sun & Moon

You ever met a ghost?

I have.

Plenty of ‘em.

That’s not so much a big deal.

They’re everywhere, actually.

The big deal

is when one of ‘em

ends up being you.


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I was standing there

minding my own business

out there in Peyote Land

enjoying the flickering stars

the sound of crickets

the crackling glow of the fire…

…and up walked my self.

Stepped right out of the shadows,

and said:

“I need you to look at everything

I’ve been holding for you all these years.”

>|<

This kinda thing happens from time to time,

especially out there where ‘people’ aren’t just people

where ‘animals’ are people

where ‘people’ are animals.

It happens in different ways to different people

and I don’t care who you are,

you never get used to it.

It’s exactly the way Juan Ramon Jimenez says it is.

You know his poem? “I Am Not I”?

I am not I. I am this one walking beside me whom I do not see,

whom at times I manage to visit, and whom at other times I forget…

He goes on with the poem and lays it all out for us.

There’s never been a clearer map.

>|<

If you want to know what’s really going on here

if you want to know why we’re all

walking around haunted

in pain

doubting ourselves

killing ourselves

wearing ourselves down

just to catch a glimpse

of the beauty that’s riding along with us;

if you want to know what’s really going on here

how there’s a great unseen something

that holds all our disappointments and fears

if you want to know what’s really going on here

how we have the same blood

the same stardust bones

how we breathe the same air

but we’re so afraid to bare our souls


then study

that poem

for a year.

Every

day

for

a

year.

Walk with it.

Sit with it.

Sleep with it.

Drink with it.

Dream with it.

Talk about it

with people

you trust your soul with.

If you step through the gate of that poem,

and keep going,

eventually

you will be brought

to the edge

...and it’s there

at the edge

that you meet

your ride-along.


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

sound: A Skein for Skin / Tactile Ground / Robert Rich
image: @fastturtle / Robert Murray

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