Tao Te Ching #38, Veneer

The motions of faith-
and rite

are indicators of chaos,
soon to come.
When they mean nothing
but words (growing thin),
the words (even thinner now)
become someone’s property.

That’s when forts are built
and trenches are dug
and bastions are fortified.
That’s when truth becomes stagnant
and must be enforced,
rather than accepted,
because it stinks.

That is also the time, though.
for those
with eyes that can see
and ears that can hear
that there may be perceived
(look hard, breathe deeply)

the beginnings of everything new.

Tao Te Ching #37, no Desire

Sitting beside an early-springtime lake,

the wind in my face is still a bit chilly

and the shore plants- reeds and grasses-

are now barely beginning green.


I try to imagine  what it would be like

to watch this lakeside world


I was the only one doing so.

To watch with

no anticipation nor anxiety but my own,

no memory nor regret

no lies

and no truths.

I would

(I also imagine)

hear only the unending echo of

“I Am.”

without Desire.

only Attraction.

and in some green-leafy,

insect-clicking, cloud-rolling


a very real Love.

Tao Te Ching #36, Holy Ground

We are standing on Holy Ground.

At other times, the earth falls away:
beams fall, mountains burn,
and water levels all that remains.

Yet, it begins anew
and green sprouts appear, then trees
and fruits and then-
against all odds-
fish begin to walk.

One day, eons later, Holy Ground
will be proclaimed,
sung about,
and stood upon

Tao Te Ching #35: G-O-D

If I talk about

YHWH (the name not a name),

I wave my hands around first,

run my eyes across the sky,

draw a picture of Nothing= Everything

with my fingers

and then, and only then,

reluctantly say



because the sounds of

G, O, and D

only diminish


with my

hands, eyes, and fingers.


because the sounds of

G, O, and D

don’t sound to you

as they sound to me,

so What-I-Am-Saying

may mean to you

something altogether different

than what-it-is

my flailing arms,

my sky-spanning eyes,

and my cursive-curling fingers

are trying their best

(and doing a fair job of it)

to get across.

Tao Te Ching #34, the Source

In perfect receptivity,

rivulets of morning’s gathered dew-

rivulets no wider than an eyelash


down between grains of sand

down through the green grooves

of coastal grasses

down around the ridges

of sand crab journeys


always down toward the source:

the omnipresent

gravitational destination,

the source, the destination

the beginning and the end

and the beginning.

Deepwater, flowing deeper

and down and down

between through around over

all that emerged from the depths

and is returning to those same depths.


The cacophonous silence,

the luminescent darkness,

the holy wholeness.

Tao Te Ching #33, Mirrors

Qoheleth declared all to be


emptiness encased in

shiny superficiality,

marketed as meaningful,

but quickly forgotten in the glare

of that which is shinier,


and just beyond our reach.

Vanity, my name is Vanity..

until I learn my true name.

And that name can be learned


by leaning into the image of myself

in the mirror of a pine tree’s

sticky, sap-stained bark;

or in the mirror of a mountain range

where snow-covered peaks are hidden

behind winter’s-grey/golden clouds;

or in the mirror of a thousand soldiers’

graves at the edges of a

Pennsylvanian battlefield;

or in the mirror of flashing fish scales

or a red/yellow/blue/white supernovas

or in a drop of sidewalk rainwater.


I am, too:

in Meaning without words

in Reflection without plot

in Holiness without divinity.

And my true name?

My true name is that

I have

no name.

Tao Te Ching #32, One

In that space between you and me,

and between me and the tree,

and between the three of us

and the rose

and the four of us

and the sky, the moon,

the porpoise, the rabbit, and the


that space, that seeming


full now, we know now

of strings- strings of being

which bind all that is in a

mass of light years long

connectivity in which time curls

in on itself and becomes space

more space filled too with

that which has no name

and will have no name

because there is no name

pronouncable or

teachable or

of any meaningful

etymological consequence.

So, let us breathe

that space instead

that is between us

but also

in us

around-under-over-through us,

without naming anything

only allowing everything

to be