+ ARTIST STATEMENT +
Apprenticing to Bright Forces
Seek not the paths of the ancients;
seek that which the ancients sought.
17th-century Japanese poet
Inspired by Basho’s spirit for the quest, in my early teen years I embarked on a meandering 30-year journey of deeper inquiry and study — contemplative, cross-cultural, ecological, psychological. Regardless of the setting, I was always tracking something. A way of being. A way of living attuned to the creative, the numinous.
Eventually, I encountered a New Mexican wise woman who would be a “root teacher” for me. doña Río (as some called her) was part-”holy clown”, part-curandera, part-”dangerous friend.” For over ten years, until her death in 2007, this “horse-woman”, wilderness guide, dreamer, Zen practitioner, and creative mentor guided me in a path of exploration.
From her juniper-shaded adobe bungalow in Santa Fe, to the shapeshifting landscapes of northern New Mexico, the work, play, and “tortilla wisdom” that was the focus of her “Dust in the Wind School” was how to be a deep-seeing poet, a deep-feeling human being, a deeply-observant creative being attuned to what Zen tradition calls heart-mind, and to the dream of the land wherever one may live.
The poems you encounter on this site are but a glimmer of that learning process, then and now.
Frank LaRue Owen
near the Chisha Foka Trail
If you would like to be in contact,
write to: purelandpoetry [at] gmail [dot] com