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.’

For now,
in the place beyond words
just know:
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’
is faith-worthy.

In these times
when even a simple day
can feel like a firing pin

stretching corpse-like
upon the earth
is not leisure.

It is medicine.

Frank LaRue Owen

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.

The School of Soft-Attention

by Frank LaRue Owen