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daoist poetry, anyone?

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Hello all ~ I just want to say that I really appreciate the level of communication and connection here at tao bums. Thank you all for your great writings and humor and wisdom!

I'm glad to have wandered my way here . . .


I have gained so much through the years from poetry. There is something about the transmission of a good poem that comes between the lines, from the space between the words which connects deep within me and helps me to remember. I was hoping this thread could be for sharing our favorite Daoist poems, or any poetry which has really touched your soul.


One collection which I always turn to is 'The Book of the Heart' by Loy Ching-Yuen. Translated by Trevor Carolan and Bella Chen. Here are a few of my favorites from this collection;




With a quiet heart it's good to practice Tao

exercising our power in the inner places,

the source of our knowledge.

Diligence fosters the effortless flow of ch'i

enjoins us with All,

omnipotent Tao,

self subsumed by non-self;

the pearl within the oyster.




Never forget the folly of greed;

we may as well swim against the current of

the Yellow River.


Training our inner self is like forging lead;

nine times a blacksmith turns his dipper in the flame.

Yin and yang, earth and fire

find their own harmony.

Precious metals and our inner pearl are waxed

and chamoised with the pass of days.


When the mind is empty, blue flame licks the firebox.




The fragrance of blossoms soon passes;

the ripeness of fruit is gone in a twinkling.

Our time in this world is so short,

better to avoid regret:

Miss no opportunity to savor the ineffable.


Like a golden beacon signaling on a moonless night,

Tao guides our passage through this transitory realm.

In moments of darkness and pain

remember all is cyclical.

Sit quietly behind your wooden door:

Spring will come again.






anyone else wish to share?


love qi,

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Not necessarily Taoist, but for sure Buddhist with a Tibetian twist; Norman Dubie. Particularly his later work. Spirit Tablets at Goa Lake knocked my socks off.

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Ch'iao Chi

Admonishing Myself


sit in the clean breexe

sleep in the high white clouds

no one can spit in your face

when you're there

hum a tune, and laugh

let the rest of them

yoke themselves to millstones

hide in a hole, with peace, and joy

east? it's within me.

and west? that too.


clouds may be thick or thin

windows may be dark or bright

take it easy,

you can break the poor old dragon's jaw

by pulling teeth for "meaning".

stumble along, as upright as you can

and don't

be avaricious.

who tries

to hold what flashes in the worldly storm, will drown.

flow and you'll fill the forms

stop, and you'll leave a hole

doing? within me.

and hiding? that too.


pretend to be stupid, act like a fool

pretend to be deaf, to be dumb

what can a man make that's lasting?

hum a few phrases, pour out more wine

dream white clouds coiling your green mountain pillow

see everywhere embroidered white with peonies.

flourishing? within me.

and fading? that too.


The uses of not


Thirty spokes

meet in the hub.

Where the wheel isn't

is where it's useful.


Hollowed out,

clay makes a pot.

Where the pot's not

is where it's useful.


Cut doors and windows

to make a room.

Where the room isn't,

there's room for you.


So the profit in what is

is in the use of what isn't.

Edited by Spectrum

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Chou Wen-Chih


when peach blossoms open in the court

oh, happy, joyous drunk

when lotus blooms perfume the pool

oh mornings, evenings, drunk

when golden asters cluster by the hedgerow path

oh falling, tumbling, drunk

and when the wax-plum on the mountainside

first blooms to herald the spring

oh coming,going, drunk

getting drunker, getting drunker

drunk and sober; sober, drunk




in spring I search the scent of bamboo

flowers by a stream, and drink

in summer sail through lotus blossoms

by a willow-shrouded shore, and drink

in autumn climb the aster path

to sit within a maple grove, and drink

in winter snuggle by a rosy stove

in cozy hall, and drink

oh happiness, oh happiness

all four seasons, lovely cenes

and suitable for drinking.

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The sun shines bright and warm in my heart

I go hAAaahhhh

My body feels the breeze, the air is dry and crisp

I breath out SSsssssss

The lake is cool and lovely, it fills the space and reflects the tao

I humm out Schooooooo

The forrest is sacred green and full of life

I whisper Shhhhhhhhhh




I lie on a mesa

it begins to rain

between the drops is dryness

darkness before and after the lightening

silence before and after the thunder

even in the midst of storm

it is dry dark and silent



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Fuller wa a Fu'ster. His trail name was Bucky. Coined the term "synergetic". Inventor of the geodesic dome and tensegrity. Bucky was wordy, yet meaningful and collected.



"No More Second Hand God" Buckminster Fuller


(an excerpt from his personal prose & poetry)



"for the fleeting revisits of paradise are

intellectual integrity flown missions

instrumentally permitted within

the almost static-free omnirange navigation

directionally oriented and accelerated

by spontaneous or reasoned

humility, love, dedicaiton, tolerance and faith


and the instrumented revisits to paradise

show it to be a comprehensively co-ordinate,

dynamically equilibrious earnable vantage

ever tuneably tenable

amidst the reciprocable complexities

of evolutionary, wave-frequency patterning growths;


and man is as yet

but fractionally informed regarding those complexities,

and the fractional information is furnished only

by those wave frequencies which are directly


exclusively within mans very limited

sensorial spectrum frequency bands-

tactile, olfactoral, aural and optical-


and these sensorial frequencies in turn occur

only as miniscule trace zones

and only at the middle ranges

of the now partially explored, obviously vast

and inferentially extensible

electromagnetic-frequency spectrum


and the break-out of mans pattern-apprehending processes

from within his directly tuneable

sensorial spectrum limits

and his break-through to apprehension of patterns

occuring within frequencies infra and ultra

to his naked, sensorially tuneable, perceptivety limits

first happened when man aquired micro- and macroscopic lenses

and saw organized patterns clearly existing

too small or too large for previous apprehension

by his unaided optical faculty


and after this optical extension,

man became progressively excited

by his aurally dominant

sensorial experimentations and discoveries

in octave step-ups and step-downs

of tonal-frequency-patterning transformations

lying within a variety of schematically tuneable

harmonic scale frequency patterns

each with minor and major mode frequency patternings

whose key and mode frequency-patterning relationships

were intra-transposable

by mans consciously disciplined modular co-ordination

both of which transformations and transpositions

he found to be transcendental to and secondly derivative

of his already long-developed co-ordinate abilities

in frequency modulation of cadenses


all of which disciplined co-ordinate articulateness

in respect to complex harmonic relationships

was implicit in frequency phenomena and

was discovered but not invented by mand

while he explored

entirely within the sensorial freqneyc spectrum limits

of his innate tuneability ranges


and the beckonging zones

of tonal-twilight and pattern-fade-outs

occuring at the indefinable limits of the various sensorial-to-nonsensorial

terminal frequency range experiences

unique to individual men

were combined and compared

and eventually furthered mans curiosity

and thereby, his developed success in the intuitively formulated experimentations

through which he progressively discovered

for instance, with tuning forks that the step-up and step-down frequency


and schematic transpositions

were equally permissable between the sensorial and nonsensorial frequency ranges,

or even directly between the nonsensorial spectrums octaves and keys,

as within the exclusively sensorial tuneability limits,

and mans experience-excited explorations,

ever opening with the intuitive formulations

in respect to the gathering glimpses

of new pattern-integreties,

led to Hertz discovery of the omnidirectional,

omnipermeative, exectromagnetic wave phenomena

and the fonfirmation of Maxwells experimentally-

informed mathematical generalization

of the operational laws governing

these infra and ultra as well as sensorial

integrities of natures wave-frequency patterning


and thus did man discover

that physical principles are

utterly abstract behavior relationships

existing only as reciprocal-event patternings

which persist independently of any instruments

which man may or may not employ

to tdetect chart, measure, and harness

their unique characteristics.


furthermore, man discovered that the integrity

of the utterly abstract "physical" principles

existed independently

of either the sensorial range

or of the nonsensorial range

frequency events

whose familiar patternings are interrupted

by the super-imposed unique patterning

of the thus discovered reciprocally permitted and purely abstract

yet communicably identifiable "principles"

of energetically regenerative

reformulations and transformations


and the identity of the purely abstract

and superimposed

unique patterning of principles

interweave or overlaying other principles

may be consciouly communicatd to self or others

by means other than mathematical formulae

for instance, by the visual cognition

and "operational" desciption of the patterning

of circularly regenerative waves

ever propaged by the dropping of a stone into water



which cicularly propagated waves

though circumferentially expanding

outwardly around earths water surface

and away from the stone-into-water contact point

do not involve circumferential expansion

nor radial motion

of the individual water molecules

for the molecules are only locally displaced

moving only inwardly and outwardly in respect to earths center

thus, to progressively accommodate the "apparent"

circumferential growth "motion" o f waves

which being only apparent

are purely abstract

synergetic motion-patternings


for they are not the individual motion patterns

of the separate water molecules

taken by themselves bu are motions of the

co-operative pattern of sequence events

of the aggregate of separate, local, nonsimultaneous,

in-and-out, molecule displacement events


and the complex information regarding

the integrated sequency of co-operative local events

is relayingly communicated to the observer

by an entirely separate, aggregate set of event-patternings

other then those upon which he is prone

to concentrate his attention

and upong which he bases his spontaneous exploation of the apprehended experience


for the synergetic pattern information

regarding the circularly propagated principle

of enterly abstract waves

thereby, apparently generated in water

is only relayed to the observer

by the patterned interruptions

of the observers optically tuneable spectrum

of discernible frequencies


for instance interruptions of

the optically tuneable,

integratingly scanned,

blues of the skies

and browns of the ships mast or wharf pilings

whose reflected frequency patterning "serenity"

is interruptingly distorted

to report other frequency scanning patterns


for instance, of the brown groups of frequencies

of the visable or bounced off the mast of pilings

and ricocheted again off the waters surface

into mans eye lens

and snakingly scanned amonst

the water-reflecting blue frequencies

refractively sieved by the atmosphere

and known as the "sky"


all of which complex of interrupted

frequency-patterning sequences synergetically chart and report

the progressive phases of the precessionally regenerative

abstract geometry of wave-circles

expanding cicumferentially,

in apparently visable principle only

amongst the only in-and-out-bobbing water molecules.


and the total complex of wave-relayed information

is never "seen" directly by man and

would remain optically unapprehended

and utterly uncomprehended

by the potential observer

were it not for his light-wave-frequency receptivity


which fact is proven by "night"

who sound-frequency patternings as a "word"

means that the optically tuneable spectrum ranges

of electro-magnetic wave phenomena

have been totally interrupted

until further notice


during which hiatus

no water waves can be "seen"

though their splashings can be heard at "night"

equally as well as in day


and the complex of information-relaying

by means of a series of patterned intettuptions

which step-up and step-down

the relative velocity of cyclic wave travel

of the interference propgated and angulately modulated

new wave series patterning

is known in the aggregate as a "carrier wave" relay


and this complex of pattern transforming

is superficially and erroneously apprehended by man

as consisting of "normally" and "natually"

continous behavior of various "solid things"

some soligly wooden, metallic or crystal things

he finds to be effected and interelated by a great deal

of what he concedes to be

inherently-nonsensorial "stuff"

ergo, to his "solid thinking" requirement

inherently "incomprehensible scientific phenomena"

which are in some ways both traveable and manageable

through incomprehensable mathematics


and so vividly does man imagine

that "solid" "substantial" finiteness

to be implicit in his tangible experiences

that he very readily participates

in the "reality" of a nonmoving "moving picture"

though his apparent motion is itself

only the ever-recurrent principle

of a non-man-appreheded "carrier frequency"

in this case of static frames

of light sieving patterns separetly viewed but at the periodic continuity frequency

swifter that the cyclic frequency

of visual module tuneability


which sieve-carrier freuqneyc-sequence

in turn intercepts

another non-man-apprehended carrier pattern

beamed as a radiation complex

in the man-visable (but non-message-carrying) spectrum ranges

which two separate carriers

of joinably meaningful frequency patterns men combine periodically to produce new synergetic interference patterns

thus to report to man, upon a tuly blank wall

yet in familiar moving "picutre" recalls

information regarding mans illusion vulnerability

without, however, stimulating

mans frequently processed realization

of the signifiance of that report


and the compounding complex of relayed illusion and the conseuqnecy misapprehended is cheifly caused

by the relative incompatability between the ultra-high frequencies

of the optically tuneable light-wave apprehensions

and the tactically manipulated apprehensions

for the optical frequencies are vastly accerlated

in respect to the frequency of encounter

of individual-memory-differentating experience

as apprehended only by mans primitive

and dominant tactile faculties

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She came to the entrance

at night and read the sign

that said, Violators

will pay a heavy fine.


She blinked and read the word

higher up that said, The Zoo.

She frowned and told the moonlight,

"Gee, I didn't have a clue!"


She fumbled for a jade key

and said, this seems to fit,

this key that makes all locks

on all cages obsolete.


When animals were leaving,

the sirens all went off!

She blew a silent whistle and

made all fake voices stop.


She rode a mighty elephant

into the land of vines,

and all the talking parrots

were reading all the signs --


The sign that said, Be brave,

the sign that said, Be free,

the sign that said, Be saved

and the sign that said, Just be.


© Bei AiLian

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