by Frank LaRue Owen
Winner 2017 Homebound Publications Poetry Prize
The look on your face
is one I have seen in my own mirror.
I know you didn’t think
you would feel this tired at this age
but this is just a phase.
You’re in-between lives within this life.
As the old woman used to say out in Peyote Land:
‘Right on time, deary. Right on time.’
in the place beyond words
breathing is enough.
The world falls away in silence.
Whoever is secure enough
to let you enter the quiet-dark without them
is your ally.
Whatever is left standing
after your simmering ‘death-sleep’
In these times
when even a simple day
can feel like a firing pin
upon the earth
is not leisure.
It is medicine.
Frank LaRue Owen
Born into a family of artists, clergy, cowboys, fly fishermen, and poets, Frank LaRue Owen studied for a decade with a New Mexican wise woman and wilderness guide who guided him through a “curriculum” of Zen meditation, dream-tracking, poem-incubation, and earth-spirit work in the mountains, forests, and arroyos of Colorado and New Mexico. Influenced by the Chan (Zen)/Daoist/Pure Land hermit-poet tradition, American eco-poetry, and the wider human lineage of cross-cultural mystical poetry, Owen’s poems are shaped by dreams, the seasons, diverse landscapes, myth-lines in the deeper strata of ancestral memory, and experiences with a practice he calls “pure land dreaming.” Currently, he is working on his second book of poetry. Owen’s other poetry and writing can be found at: www.purelandpoetry.com.