Chapter 15 of the Tao Te Ching as Poetry

23 February 2017 Poetry
The mysteries of old can no man know
nor see the face of the masters.
An honest attempt at illumination will show
--with exquisite juxtapos,
the contours of befores and of afters.

Shrinking looked they like travelers chilled
Irresolute like prey nearing slaughter.
Grave as a guest lodged in opulent build -
--evanescence fulfilled!
Unpretentious and dull as mud water.

What clarity is gained by stirring the pot?
What energy in ceasing of motion?
Muddy water resolves into is and is not
--through stillness of thought.
To find calm you must be the ocean.

Emptiness was virtue, so the masters viewed
Appearance and pride were droll.
They looked as rough as timber unhewed -
--vainglory eschewed!
Incomplete is the sage made whole.