in memory of Jack Collom (Nov. 1931 - July 2017)

"It is only with the heart

that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye."

--Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Wave-washed feet

teary eyes dried by wind,

you've turned to face

the last direction of travel now.


Your words still vibrate in the shimmering air

and land like a hot iron musket ball at the back of this skull.

"There are no maps, so stop looking for one."


The mapmaker, you taught us, is none other than these senses here

and the messages and lessons presented at every corner.


Like an old crow at dawn, you'd squawk:

"Turn, turn, turn...look, look, look!"


Now the signs come from everywhere.

The inner and outer worlds have collapsed into one

like Basho's frog offering up crystal-clear instructions with a...



There is no approaching the world the same way after today.

Nothing to do but

turn, turn, turn

look, look, look.


Jack Collom / image:  Boulder Poetry Tribe

Jack Collom / image: Boulder Poetry Tribe

(c) 2017 / Frank LaRue Owen /

Jack Collom was a poet and essayist who taught in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. His courses ranged from haiku and world contemplative poetry to courses focused on the evolving lineage of ecological poetry. All poetry involves observation; Sir Jack specialized in teaching this to poets.

Jack's book, PARTLY: Selected Poems: 1954-2016, the last poetry compilation he put together before his death, is available at Spuyten Duyvil

soundscape: "Ollin Arageed," by the late, great Hamza el Din - Nubian Egyptian composer, oud and tar player, who also studied biwa in Tokyo, and worked closely with both the Grateful Dead and the Kronos Quartet. His Sounds True-produced album, A Wish, can be found here: A Wish.

image: "Looking Up Into Maple Leaves," Breitenbush Hot Springs, Oregon, Douglas Beasley. To learn more about Douglas Beasley's photography or his Vision Quest Photo Workshops, visit: Earth Meets Spirit


This poem will appear in the Fall 2019 release of The Temple of Warm Harmony (Homebound Publications)