This is not a bright golden banner waving against a turquoise sky.

This is not a climbing
ninety feet up a desert mountain
hoping that reaching the vista
will seal unions
in the eyes of ancestors and stars.

This is a burial of a human heart
so it can become one
with earth powers again.

This is a place-setting for two
that will only be used by one.

This is a cutting-open of a long-held dream bundle
to let all the unlived dreams fly on.

My skull rests in the valley
of the Mother of the Dao again.
Thank you, O human teachers,
who have ever instructed me
in the way of great disappointment.
Perhaps this is what the old ones meant by tutelage-by-soul friend.

Other Shore?
A paradise to aim for?
There is no "enlightenment."

There is only in-lighten-ment...
and letting-go mind
and moving on
and taking the quiet road
into the land of clear-eyed maturity.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen (Wandering Stone Lantern) /

sound: Chahar Mezrab Abu Ata by Hossein Alizadeh / Oud: Negar Bouban