"His poems are guideposts, some freshly-painted on roadside signs, others etched onto rocks we may have to dig a little through the underbrush to discover. The digging is the key. “Right outside your door is a wonderworld,” Owen reminds us. His words are an excellent companion for the exploration."
author of One-Sentence Journal:
Short Poems and Essays from the World at Large, winner of the 2018 Montana Book Award
"The Zen-influenced poetry of Frank LaRue Owen comes from a place of great emotion, restraint, and insight. His work honors the memory of his teachers, with words of encouragement that move the mind forward, while still mindful of the travails of the present. I am honored that Frank uses my music during his creative process. His short poems function much like music that wafts in and out of a listener’s consciousness, in an abstract realm of understanding."
Forrest Fang, Chinese-American composer, ambient musician
"These poems are a healing balm for the spirit; a beautiful map into the inner reaches of the heart. Thank you for sharing these wonderful teachings with the world, which will give many a gentle respite from the more drab aspects of living. To light another's heart is the greatest gift! They touched me deeply."
The School of Soft-Attention
"What I appreciated most about The School of Soft-Attention is the tension of opposites — the desire for clarity vs. the ambiguity of all important things; the summons of desire, and the reminder of the task, the search for something out there, and remembering it is already within."
Dr. James Hollis, Ph.D., author of Living An Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey and Through the Dark Wood: Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life
"These are reverent and revelatory poems that walk out of the mist, sit down among us on authentic contemporary soil, and offer us glimpse after glimpse of an inner-outer spaciousness we can open into. I love that the poems blend a humanness into their mysticism."
Walker Abel, author of The Uncallused Hand and Stories Dreamed from Dust and Distant Light
"With echoes of Dufu, Basho, Thoreau, Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and others, yet with a voice throughout that is authentically and distinctively his own, The School of Soft-Attention gracefully incorporates many influences, both ancient and modern, East and West."
Frank W. Berliner, author of
Falling in Love with a Buddha and Bravery: The Living Buddha Within You
"The School of Soft-Attention will awaken thirsts you didn’t know you had. Frank LaRue Owen’s poetry comes from where any good poetry ought to: in the earth and in the breath and from drinking the tea that is found there. It cuts like a sword forged in the crucible of the heart and leaves only the sound of wind through pines, cicadas on a summer night. Drink deep."
Jason Kirkey, author of The Taste of Water and Stone: New and Selected Poems
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 caves, 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.
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The Temple of Warm Harmony
"Inzan is a true man of the Great Way. A contemplative poet of the highest rank, breathing out poetry with each exhalation. The Temple of Warm Harmony is an act of devotion, a spiritual roadmap of the Way."
Andō, Zen poet, writer & mentor
"A book to revisit any time you feel disconnected from living in a way that makes you glad to be breathing."
Heidi Barr, co-founder of 12 Tiny Things, author of Prairie Grown, Woodland Manitou, and What Comes Next
"Each poem in this gorgeous book outdoes the next. Frank LaRue Owen’s work is lyrical and wise, overflowing with spirit and soul, delicate but tough. This collection is, indeed, a temple of warm harmony, built word by word from love."
Jennifer Heath, Founder/Director, Baksun books & arts, author of A House White with Sorrow, The Scimitar & the Veil: Extraordinary Women of Islam, The Map Is Not the Territory: Parallel Paths - Palestinians, Native Americans, Irish, and On the Edge of Dream: The Women of Celtic Myth and Legend
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.
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Stirrup of the Sun & Moon
"I read these simple, straightforward words with gratitude. I recognize in them a tradition that helped me stray into the woods as a youth: American Zen. Stripped of pretension, blending the mundane with the arcane, Frank LaRue Owen’s words have a gentle way of reminding us what’s interesting about life without preaching, nor seeming above an earthy level of living."
Robert Rich, composer and ambient musician
"I’ve been a fan of Frank LaRue Owens’ books and poetry for almost two decades. Frank has a gift — a unique way of activating the soul of the reader to a connection of the collective Soul — to the personal and transpersonal qualities of Presence and Essence. All of Frank’s poetry, and especially Stirrup of the Sun & Moon, suggests to me that he knows these places within us and around us and we are the better for it. Highly recommended!"
Byron Metcalf, Ph.D, Musician and shamanic practitioner
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,
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!
Visit Homebound Publications to purchase Stirrup of the Sun & Moon