My first teacher taught Letting-Go Mind.

She was human,

very human,

but also a woman

made of thunder and lightning.


Her slate-gray robe

and long strand of mahogany-red neck beads

placed her centuries before

despite what the calendar said.


Toward the end, she pulled out an unmarked box.

From it, she pulled a map.

'The World,' it said

which I read

as she spread

the tattered brown paper across the table in front of us.


Enso-like circles

made from wine stains

covered the map.

Clearly, late night discussions

had occurred over it.


Spirals inside of smaller circles

covered the world, East and West, North and South.

Without speaking, my eyes made their own inquiry.

Seeing this, she nodded and slowly

moved her hand over the unfolded paper. 


"A network of courtyards, linked, dedicated to The Way," she announced.

"Each one has a Keeper.

In time, you will visit them.

In time, you too will become

a Tender of the Long-Night for others."


My new teacher teaches No-Adding-To Mind.


She is not human,

but rather

the rain of summer


from the edge of the roof.

(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen /

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

To learn more about Roy Mattson's album, Melancholy Moon, visit the album's Bandcamp page here >> Melancholy Moon


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