Tao Te – 22

and yield and overcome and
and bend and straighten and
and empty and fill and
and age and birth and
and enough and flourish and
and abound and bewilder and

thus the wise embrace background
set a model for any who would notice
without entertaining
they shine
without taking advantage
they become a standard
without a boast
they are recognized
without bragging
they do not have to backtrack
without demanding their due
no one quarrels with them

thus ancients affirm
and yield and overcome and
what say you

be with one
all will come

Tao Te – 21

virtue arrives as Tao is plumbed
intangible Tao sought is not Tao
Tao is an elusive image within without
elusive intangible form within without
dim and dark is Tao light
such light shines in darkness trust trusts within
from a beginning until now this name surfaces
from light within I see creation without
how is nature met
from within

Tao Te – 20

demote learning as a solution to troubles

yes and no are part of every response
good and evil never resolve
learning to fear what others fear is nonsense

some are comfortable participating in cultic celebrations
others spring quickly to revel in seasonal events
alone I drift not knowing my place
like a newborn thrashing grimacing
alone testing and trusting without a foundation

others have a surfeit of things
alone I have nothing a confused fool riding in all directions

others have bright-line guidance
alone I remain muddled

others profit from their cleverness
alone I appear stupid dull

like waves of the sea
alone I am tossed by wind
everyone is diligent busy
alone aimless directionless
my difference
I am nourished by mother’s grandmother

Tao Te – 19

surrender sainthood
give up genius
everyone will benefit
a hundred times more

don’t attempt kindness
move away from morality
people need to find their own
family and love

refrain from a creative edge
distance work from profit
grifters and conmen
will have no purchase

such are artificial forms of no substance

apply energy to see
a simplicity of nature inside and out
apply energy to set aside
selfishness of untempered desire

Tao Te – 16

everything is empty and to be emptied
mind and heart become still
ten thousand things rise and fall
their return simply watched
again they rise and return to their source
a still source is nature’s way
nature’s profligacy is unchanging
entering such constancy begins wisdom
denying ignoring the way of nature begins disaster
trusting such constancy opens mind
an open mind connects to an open heart
open heart expands gracious acts
from heavens to earth
revealing already present Tao
against body death Tao is still

Tao Te – 15

honored ancestors
subtle-responsive mysterious-profound
knowledgeable beyond our grasp
deep into our loss
we can only describe and build upon
watchful crossing a stream on winter stones
alert to danger lurking near
courteous as a guest as a host
yielding like water to ice and steam
receptive as wood to a carver’s tool
hollow like a cave repository
opaque as a pool muddied by cows

who has time for mud to settle
who will wait for action’s moment

watchers of Tao receive enough
ready for change not swayed by its desire

Tao Te – 14

look anywhere – you will not see a form beyond form
listen any time – you will not hear beyond vibration
reach as you will – you will not grasp the intangible
these three cannot be defined or achieved
this is their commonality

above is not brighter
below is not darker
a thread between is slipperier than words
journies return to nothingness
forms fade to formlessness
images become mirages
in silence rests the unimaginable

stand and search – there is no beginning
quest and follow – there is no end
sit with ancient ta*
move with the present

an ancient beginning embraces today

Tao Te – 13

readily accepted personal disgrace
recognize misfortune as a condition of life

what means – readily accept personal disgrace –
accept your unimportance
loss and gain are false measures
this is a willing acceptance of life as it flows

what means –accept a condition of misfortune –
you have a body and misfortune happens
don’t give up your body to avoid suffering

live humbly with your reality
now/then you can be trusted to care for all
receive the world as yourself
then/now you can care for and with all