"Every day is a journey,
and the journey itself is home."
The School of Soft-Attention
It has been said that poetry can be a marker of where a poet has been, or a way for a poet to point to places where we, the reader, can go. Both types of poems appear in The School of Soft-Attention. Not corralled to any one poetic style, the heart-mind-river that forms this flowing collection has been shaped by the author’s diverse cross-cultural experiences, spiritual tutelage with a New Mexican wisewoman and wilderness guide, and fueled by such practices as meditation in the Zen tradition, mountain pilgrimages, fasting in the deserts of New Mexico, and intensive dreamwork. At every point along the way, the poems in The School of Soft-Attention invite the reader to turn to a new way of seeing, a new way of paying attention to the life within and around us.
The Temple of Warm Harmony
The Temple of Warm Harmony is a book of poems, but it is also something of a map. Some of the poems are about the author, some are about the reader, while other poems are about the times we’re all living through. A blend of mini-exorcisms, healing incantations, dreams, and invitations to numinous ways of observing and experiencing life, the book is divided into three parts: In the World of Red Dust, Heartbreak and Armoring, and Entering The Temple of Warm Harmony. On the heels of his award-winning first book of poetry, The School of Soft-Attention, poet Frank LaRue Owen invites “fellow travelers” to consider ways we can regain a sense of harmony even while navigating challenging terrain, personally and collectively.
Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
We Two-Leggeds are not limited to a physical body. We have capacities of perception beyond the usual five senses. Landscapes — inner, outer — can hold wisdom, healing-energy, memory, and teachings. A practice of attunement to the spirit of place is one viable path for the activity of a poet.
So begins Stirrup of the Sun & Moon — a collection of poems rooted in the seasons, landscape, ancestry, memory of place, and the churning gyre of the soul. As you make your way through Frank LaRue Owen’s third book of poetry, you will notice two features — both inspired by customs from early Chinese poetry — that orient and augment the poems. Every poem (with the exception of one) was composed be read with music and contains a liner note that includes the name of a song, its album, and composer. Additionally, some of the poems are place-centric and include the name and place coordinates associated with the poem. As you travel through Stirrup of the Sun & Moon, you will encounter poems-as-memory and poems-as-markers on a map, inspired by such diverse places as Northern California and Colorado, Mississippi and New Mexico. Saddle up!