There is a way of entering the forest

when the breeze of the trees

becomes your guide


when the cool gray-green days

and humid blue-green nights

become your own skin


where the unfurling paths

through the emerald light

become flowing streams.


Paths as luminous rivers

for your two uncovered feet,

salmon-like and aching,

to work out their

strange haunted yearning

for a home whose vista they haven’t yet seen

yet somehow know just the same.


There is a way of approaching the self

without a heavy hand


when the heart-mind

slowly becomes unburdened

by the past


where the body

listening with the whole of itself

finally becomes attuned

to all the subtle happenings

in the realm not yet stained

by the faithless world of man.

(c) 2017 / Pure Land Poetry / Frank LaRue Owen /

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

To listen to more of and purchase Forrest Fang's stunning album, Phantoms, visit the album's Bandcamp page. 

To read more about shinrin-yoku (a.k.a. 'taking in the forest atmosphere', or "forest bathing"), visit these links:

Mother Earth News article

U.S. National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health paper

If you are interested in going deeper with the study and practice of forest bathing, the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy offers year-round workshops, retreats, and a forest guide training program: Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.