Friday, 14 January 2011

Power of the Dao (Lao-Tzu)

Verses 26-41 of Lao-Tzu's Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) in haiku form. This completes the section on the Tao (Dao) and includes the first four verses on the Te (Virtue).

The image is "Streaming Wind" by Jia Lu.

Centred at the root,
Heavy and still in one’s self,
The world becomes light.

The skilled leave no mark.
So the wise king neglects none
And values the raw.

He knows right and wrong,
Yet returns to origins
And does not cut up.

Some strive to control.
I see they will not succeed.
The world is sacred.

Putting aside arms,
He achieves without cruelty.
In victory, he stops.

Weapons bring bad luck.
Gentlemen do not relish war.
In victory, they mourn.

Nameless, seeming small,
Like the streams that fill the seas,
Dao cannot be grasped.

Know others to last.
Know self to die to yourself.
And last in the Dao.

Unrestrained, innate,
Clothed in the ten thousand things,
Though meek, Dao is great.

Sanctity of peace,
Plain to taste, unseen, unheard,
Its reserves endless.

To lay low, raise high.
Mildness overcomes proud strength,
So powers should hide deep.

Dao takes no action.
When maintained, and desires calmed,
Things transform themselves.

Unconscious, unplanned,
Virtue’s the fruit of the Way,
Ethics its brief flower.

Remembering the One,
Rather than tinkling like jade,
Rumble like the rocks.

When they hear the Dao,
Some poor souls burst out laughing.
Else it wouldn’t be Dao!

Soft means are its ends.
Dao teaches by example.
Through non-being, it is.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Delta Goodrem - Running Away

Why this creeping sadness that overcomes me?
Much better this than anger or indifference, but why?
What does it signal, is it I or is another suffering?
I bend double with a sneeze that reverberates,
Then silence returns, but for the ticking clock
And the sound of my blue pen tracing these lines
Of silent grief without a reason why –
I hope you are well, my blessings to you always.


Really, I'm fine. And I hope you are too... Just a strange post-holiday feeling.

Here's a song that came into my head after I wrote this...

Running Away

I close my eyes and make a wish for
Inner peace and tranquillity inside
My mind I feel it's changing
Breaking down the defences of my heart
It's like a new adventure
And this is my life
No longer know the girl inside
The stranger in my mind

I'm running away. Running away from you
Though I beg you to stay. I'm running away from you
I'm running away. From predictable
Miss reliable. So methodical
Wanna be individual. And original
So radical. And desirable

Put a message in a bottle
Watch it sail across the ocean blue
So free of limitations
A vision I can only fantasize
I'm floating in a new direction
As this is my life

No longer know the girl inside
The stranger in my mind

Thursday, 6 January 2011

In Truth, Breaking Free


The image
"Sower of Systems"
George Frederic Watts.

Notice the cloaked figure that fills the picture. It is supposed to be a symbolic representation of the moment of creation. But because of the overall haziness, it is at the crossroads between symbolism and abstract art.

As for the poem, I have only the vaguest idea what it means, so any help you can give me in that regard would be most welcome!

On the River Nile four thousand miles from home,
I weep for time lost and lands I'll never roam.
"Bear patiently," she told me, "Don't lose your heart."
But fate, slow and painful, tore our hands apart.
Reason has no answer to the vital lust
That drives us ever onwards from dust to dust.
Warm breath lights a cold fire, hard graft tills soft earth,
Tenderness stirs resolve – do we know their worth?
A painting of creation hangs on my wall.
I dream, reflecting on life before the fall.
But wake! Truth's light dawns bright as I hear your call!


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Counting the Stars

The image is 
"The Star: 
Dancer on Point" 
Edgar Degas

What price for human freedom?
More than seven hundred suns.
Who can capture sunlight's joy?
None but Love herself divine.
How to know what hand Love holds?
Play, play, play! Now close your eyes –
Dance, dance, dance! The heart knows all.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Searching for Spring

Where in the desert can I find a flower?
Only by searching in the shade of a palm.
Where in the desert can I find such a palm?
Only where waters gurgle up from the depths?
Where in the desert can I find such waters?
Only where the ground is cracked, the heart open
And from Earth's dark vaults, her grace and love spring forth.