When you are part of the caravan of crazy clouds

you start to become a little less domesticated

and a little more like wild mountain weather.


Allegiances shift from the outer to the inner,

and when the rains come

you drop everything

to worship the silence found within it.


When you get too much of the world on you

that which is natural in you starts to struggle.

This is when rivers freeze and land turns barren.

This is when thirsts develop that can never be quenched.

This is when life-force stagnates

and the sparkle in your eyes

that others have come to rely on

can fade.


They don't teach this in churches and synagogues, mosques and temples.

The best of them want to soothe you from the aches of the world.

Some want to lull you back to sleep.

Others want to hammer you into a shape of their choosing

so you will behave and keep your mouth shut.


But the old mystery schools and rustic enclaves

of dervishes, curanderas, and Zen women know:

There's a form of nourishment

that only you can give to yourself

and if you don't learn the language of how that's done

even on your last day here

you will have remained a stranger to yourself

and all those with whom you kept company.


(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen / purelandpoetry.com

This poem appears in The School of Soft-Attention, now available for order from Homebound Publications or Amazon.com

To learn more about the soundscape of this poem, visit the site of Patrick O'Hearn.