Tao Te Ching 15, Like A Cat

God is a jaguar:

where there are no words to hide behind,

he is aware of all.

He moves in stealth and grace,

with unintended injury to nothing,

and in calculated swiftness.

God is a jaguar:

lying low in the grass,

then leaping over it,

now crouching within it.

With golden black eyes-

eyes like glassine knives

piercing the darkness,

while caressing all that is seen

in the deep and widening

sweep of his view.

God is a jaguar:

waiting

waiting

patiently watching

and perfectly still.

Utterly Present.

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Tao Te Ching 14, falling

I sat in a lovely garden on a white metal bench

dedicated years before

(per a copper marker attached to a nearby Live Oak)

In memory of Barbara and Wayne……..”

(there once was a last name there, too, but it was not readable-

hit perhaps by a passing mower,

or more likely because of all-too-common shoddy workmanship)

I watched the gardeners (illegals? Maybe, but very polite)

tending rows of roses-

Grandiflora, Polyantha, and Centifolia

in carefully intoned shades of mauve, magenta,

and a deep, very pleasant chartreuse,

growing in dark musty mulch and

being pruned now in measured

quiet snip, snip, snips.

 

An attendant brought glasses of wine-

chosen by a host

(somewhere, where? I turned to see..)-

a lovely red with a dense concentration to the nose

of dark cherry fruit,

Chateau Ste. Michelle? 2004?

 

At that moment the

crisp white linen of my existence

*snapped*

and the name by which I had come to be known,

and by which I knew myself,

ceased to mean anything.

It meant nothing at all,

and I was not unhappy:

I laughed!

And in celebration I looked directly into the sun

watched it dance

and did not go blind.

 

In fact, looking away I realized I could

for the very first time

see.

I could see the serrated edges of rose leaves,

and the sensuous bulge of rose hips

both against the rich loam of earth’s bursting forth

toward the sky which had no name

and the chattering of earthmen with hoes and trowels

became the music of the spheres

and their dark cocoa eyes were my windows now

on this world without end

this world without beginning.

Tao Te Ching 13, wholly/holy

When I was young enough that

everything was me-

my hand, my mouth-

I knew what the cormorants

at the lake know now as they sit

on the bare limbs of submerged trees

and wait for, dive for,

and swallow fish:

they are not a part of anything;

they are the tree, the water, the fish,

the sitting, the waiting,

the diving, and the swallowing.

The baby (me) understood that so well

that no words were needed,

but then I grew up and built walls

with words as I was forgetting

who I am.

~~

If I could ask the cormorants, or the fish,

or the tree for more information-

if I could make myself known to them

not as they are known to me now

but as the baby (me) would have known them

then,

(if that were possible)

then, then I could

maybe learn again to

stop fearing

stop hoping

stop suffering

and simply

be.


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Tao Te Ching 12~ Sense

The desire of the bee for the honeysuckle

is no greater than

the desire of the honeysuckle for the bee.

That perfect equilibrium of

honeysuckle and bee

bee and honeysuckle,

in fact,

is the very essence of

the Cosmos,

the precise story of the Universe.

Some would even say

that the

perfect attraction

between

honeysuckle and bee

bee and honeysuckle

explains

the Upanishads,

the Koran,and

all schools of musical theory.

 

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Tao Te Ching (11) emptiness

I lift my hands into the air

(a kind of prayer)

not because I might better grab

something I want,

but because my hands are already full

so full

so full that I must give what I have

away

so that I will be able again to feel the wind.

 

My hands fill easily with what I want.

But they must be empty to receive

what I need.

 

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Tao Te Ching, #10, an apple and snow

I can see this nighttime snowfall

in its prismatic whiteness,

deeply white:

layers of light on light

white so white

a fiery whiteness

and breathtakingly

cold.


I taste this apple

golden fine meat and sweet

red-yellow healing fruit

for the nations beginning with

my tongue, then yours,

then shared

in noisy gratitude.


But quiet now:

hussshhh in the silence and

listen

deeply


listen


because there is more

there is always more

world without end

white and sweet

amen

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Tao Te Ching, Number Nine (#9..#9)

Is it possible to imagine an obese Jesus?

Or one who demands a corner office?

Did he “consider the lilies”

then put them in a nice vase, to die?

I wonder if he considered the cut of his robe,

the company he kept,

or the bouquet of his wine?

Did he turn the temple tables

in a fit of feng shui, or fuss at Peter

about the amount of filth on his feet?

Did he ever once, ever, even under his breath,

bitch about the food he was given?

Or say he was just too damn tired to go?

Here’s a tougher one:

Did Jesus care

whether or not

people knew

his name?

 

Other chapters and responses here; feel to discuss, or add your own: http://taochow.wikispaces.com/Chapter+09