The Great Alliance


The Great Alliance

from The Temple of Warm Harmony (release date: August 2019, Homebound Publications)

When did we stop hearing the songs from the inside of things?

The ones we heard at 3, 4, 6, and 9

collecting tadpoles, walking the fence line.

The ones that reached out through the haze of late morning

when the Great Mother’s warm hand

fell softly on our shoulders in the form of sunlight.

Oh, how we trusted our affinities then

and needed so much less.

We knew we were perfectly knit from some ancient flow

that wove together the light of stars


the luminous glow in a grandmother’s eyes.

Like a growing mandala of memory,

some are being guided there again

and realizing there-is-here, then-is-now.

No time has passed.

The ghostly beat of an owl wing in the middle of the night.

The smell of autumn spices simmering on a stove at dawn.

The small tap of a teacup coming to rest on a table at 4 a.m.

The simplest of occurrences

become a switchback

to a doorway of communion.

I still hear the hiss of the heater

smell its strangely-comforting sulfur tones.

The tick-tick-tick of expanding metal

as if some unseen entity were tapping out a rhythm

from long-forgotten hearth songs.

A round table.



The sudden pop of pine sap in the fireplace.


Space-time is an illusion.

So is the notion of finite bodies.

It’s why,

whenever I see you,

I ask:

How’s your world?

…because I know

we carry infinite worlds inside of us

and in one of them

a great spinning star-flung song

is trying to wake us up again

to the Great Alliance that binds us.

(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: Pathways / Echo of Small Things / Robert Rich





from the forthcoming August 2019 release of The Temple of Warm Harmony, Homebound Publications

It is possible

to live in a time

and not be of it

to look at your fellow countrymen

and think they’ve all lost their heart-minds.

It is possible
to see a woman’s face,

to hear her voice,

and despite her age

see the little girl inside.

It is possible
to see a whole room
of women dressed to the nines
and instead of seeing
“prospects” or “celebration”
to perceive a glittering banditry of desperation.

This isn’t a poem
for those still bought-into


If, like me,
you removed the linchpin

of hope and fear

and you’re floating free

walking between
the truth-telling of the void

and this world on fire,

I offer you
an unobstructed breath

in the middle of all this dust.

I offer you
an unobstructed thought
we can hold in the midst of the storm.

Disharmony has existed for twenty-five centuries.

Shakyamuni taught about it.

Yeshua preached about it.

Laozi wrote about it in a book

before leaving on an ox
because he just couldn’t take it anymore.

But if you and I

can sit like warriors

and still drink tea

despite the endless

refractions of madness

we see around us

we still have a chance
to be a rivulet of pure water
flowing through
and into
this trouble place,
this troubled age.

(c) 2019 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: What Dreams May Come / Jameson Nathan Jones


Ascending Red Top Mountain


Ascending Red Top Mountain

It can start anywhere.

A sunlit wall.

A swaying branch.

The sound of falling water.

A sparrow piercing dawn silence.

Steam rising from a midnight teacup.

Seeing the face of an old traveling friend

as if for the very first time.

Some call it ‘stirring to life again’.

Others speak of

'old souls waking up in a new age'.

Master Ikkyū gained his vital remembrance

from an old crow over open water.

Having quaked awake this morning,

I turned pen to page.

My night-flying body offered instructions

to my groggy daytime self.


Right outside your door

is a wonderworld.

It beckons for your

practiced observation.

Right outside your door

is a celestial pureland.

It beckons for your

full participation.

You wander alone

but there is a form

of abiding accompaniment

that waits among the congregation

of maple-covered mountains.

Surrender the weight you carry

and be carried

by flowing paths and unfurling clouds.

After a full churning of day and night ch'an-seeing,

there will be no doubting it.


have stepped

inside a poem

about a journey

that ends

in the silence

of the

ten thousand things.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: Transitory Season / Intersecting Skies / Roy Mattson


Before Entering: Supplication

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Before Entering: Supplication

The heart-mind is boundless.

Once you've become true allies,

there is no distinction between

arrival and departure.

– Dao-Sentiment River –

The Mizong mystics down in town talk about Great Surrender.

Fools in the tavern overhear this and think this means: "Go mindless."

Those vagabonds cook up all sorts of ways to justify

"tying their boat" to any ol' shimmering thing passing by.

The real wayfarers have sampled it all and handed it back.

They can tell you to your face without blinking:

It's all empty. Taste every morsel to your heart's content.

Just know: It still leads you right back to where you started.

I'm not telling you not to enjoy yourself

as you move through this House of Smoke and Mirrors.

Even Crazy Cloud used to say: Have a drink, get laid, you're only human.

But two-legged dragons from the mountains

and peacocks down in the jungle

are masters because they're free from impulsive supping.

If they enter at all, they enter fully, like Jesus' Last Supper.

They've taken-in all pleasures,

imbibed all the poisons of forgetfulness,

and transmuted them from solids into vapors

through the luminous mesh of the Rainbow Body.

You'll know such a one because they don't enter anything lightly.

No matter the sweetness of the honey dripping from the hook,

they bypass 'the dangling'

and go straight to the heart of things.

Having drunk from the Deep Draught of Memory,

and seen back to the time when you and I

were known by names like

Autumn Traveling Coat

and Bright-Integrity Radiance Mountain,

there's no turning back for me, you see.

I'm just a Zen cowboy

whose horse

was shot out

from under him.

But I can tell you this.

If you have the chance

in this life

to cross paths

with a maestro

of the Bright-Knowledge,

even if you're left

wandering by the roadside,

it will be enough.

Sit knee-to-knee with them,

and brace yourself for the questions

that will change your whole life,


Are you really 'in' your life?

What are you inhabiting?

Are your days about new vistas of understanding

or are you being vanquished

by illusions you've taken to be reality?

One of the poems appearing in the Fall 2019 Homebound Publications release of The Temple of Warm Harmony.

(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: Dharma Rain / Chronotope Project

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Dispensation &amp; Knowing


Dispensation & Knowing

People are essences —

essences that come in

and parade around as two-leggeds.


resplendent warm guardians

humble and pure

healing flames sustaining others.


cold serrated sorcerers

calculating, conniving finaglers

side-glancing graspers

pondering the existence of others

as a means of getting what they want.


bent-light wavering sombra

parched, hungry shadows

unconscious how they enter a room

and feed off people.

They drink from the well

of other people’s souls

rather than their own

the way they’re supposed to.

If you're not careful with this last one,

they will leave you depleted, empty,

as if some dark wind sucked

all the sweet fragrance

out of your well-planned garden.

Here’s a little poet-curandero medicine

to hang around your neck.

Ask yourself in the presence of another:

Are we equal in spirit,

or am I an eventual meal for a viper?

Here’s a little curandera-poet medicine

to wrap over your shoulders like a shawl.

When you depart the radiating atmospheric-aura

of ‘so-and-so' and 'such-and-such', do you feel:



Cared For?'

Do you feel:






Do you feel: Embraced?


Do you feel: Emptied-Out?


Beaten Down?


Do you feel: Scraped?




Do you feel: Neglected?


Do you feel like a stranger?

To quote the whispered words

of one Traveler now gone:




(c) 2018 / Frank LaRue Owen /

sound: Snake Song / Forgotten Gods / Steve Roach + Jorge Reyes + Suso Saiz





inspired by the work of Douglas Beasley

Wading through

damp golden ferns

blood red leaves underfoot

the Old Way of Nature

teaching artists and poets


Even on nights

cloaked in the enigma

of autumn darkness,

the pointing-out instructions

are offered in the shimmering air.

Pull your soul away

from the world of red dust

for a time.

Boundless renewal awaits

beyond the city lights,