Tao Te Ching #20, Where..

I would have liked others

to not be in such a hurry to

see the next tree

pet the next animal

stand before the next painting

go to the bathroom


or see the next tree, then that one..

I would have liked that but it will

not happen.

Dawdling, daydreaming, doodling-

I am thinking or walking

near the edges of the abyss

where silent choirs sing

and where holy spirits shimmer;



there is where I’m stuck

and where

the sun becomes roses and

roses crash through sidewalks,

where Louis Armstrong is still alive,

(what a wonderful world)


and where

babies cry out the God within.



see other reactions to the TTC: http://taochow.wikispaces.com/

photo: http://www.beautifullife.info/art-works/fabulous-artworks-by-jeannette-woitzik/

Tao Te Ching #19, Emptiness

The Servant emptied himself of

uniform, honor, and accolade

by kneeling on a plank floor

with a towel

and washing street dirt and shit

from the feet of his friends.


No volume of leather-bound

liturgical ritual, written on calfskin

in illuminated inks of gold and indigo

can change that dark and beautiful

scandal-filled night.

No doctrinal platitudes

spoken in sonorous sobriety

by centuries of bejeweled shamen

can drown out the sounds of

the wet towel, the filled basin, and

the guttural wonder of

men confronted by true


and perfect




see other reactions to the TTC: http://taochow.wikispaces.com/

Tao Te Ching #18, Ruach

That which we see is shaped
by that which we cannot see.

When we see our Great Home as
a reflection of our will, however,
rather than formed by the
winds of the universe,
then we are inviting those with the
biggest voices, the
biggest fists, and the
biggest armies
to fly flags in the
shapes and colors
of their own wills,
and to hide from our perceptions
any recognition whatsoever
of the invisible winds..

see other reactions to the TTC: http://taochow.wikispaces.com

Tao Te Ching 17 (a response to, and an embrace of)

Beyond the gods of everyones’ words,

above the forest’s canopy

and below, far below

deep river-cut canyons,

there exists all of that which has no name,

and never will.


We will run out of answers

before we run out of questions

because the best answers

give rise to new questions.


It is in the throne room of silence then,

that galaxies become lovers

and give birth to bacteria.

And it is from nameless, invisible oceans

teeming with mysteries

that Brahms Symphony No.1 in C minor,

Jimi’s “Electric Ladyland”

and the colors of ecru, mauve, and

burnt umber (among millions more),


Read other chapters of reaction to the Tao: taochow.wikispaces.com

Tao Te Ching #16, The Source

Whenever it was that I first saw them

(I know it was when my dad lifted me to see)

I saw chickens hatching

from their eggs. The chicks were wet,

I remember that they were wet,

and I remember that the coop was dark,

but that dad had a flashlight.


Years later, I saw a horse dying in a pasture.

I was riding a bike that day to a neighbor’s house

(which would mean I was about nine)

but when I walked (frightened, yes) toward the horse

lying there (dying there, I thought)

a little horse stood up,

and I was too surprised to run.

So I watched the mother,

who wasn’t dying, only waiting,

stand herself, and

lick herself and her colt clean.


And then today I wanted to see if

the finches, the junkos, and the titmouse

would come near if I stood

beside the feed I’d spread

on the snow-covered ground

near the pecan tree,

long enough, still enough, quietly enough.

I stood, motionless, intentionally breathing

slow and low, minutes and more minutes-

breathe in 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8……

breathe out 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8…..

then, in slow movement

as smoothly as possible

I knelt

to be even closer, when they returned

if they returned..

and they did.

One, a junko, landed about ten feet away then,

a thistle seed at a time, came closer and closer,

then another junko (charcoal and cream) and another.

A titmouse swooped-twice- then landed, then was gone.

Finch- two, four, ten, tiny, delicate, aggressive and golden

and more junkos

(the junkos chirping, the finches crunching).

I am still still and I am breathing quietly

and I am feasting, in memory and vision,

with hatching chicks

and standing horses

and (now) chirping, crunching birds

and it is proper that I am


and I am only there because I am

invisibly present

and I am


It would look to some

as if I am praying..