Four Taoist Poems Poem by Daniel Brick

Four Taoist Poems

Rating: 4.8


I

Scattered rocks lie
beneath the moss-covered boulder.
They are Tai Chi students
resting in the shade of their master.
They have learned enough for today -
It's time to stop
and speak softly to the earth.

II

The grasses display no ambition.
They grow everywhere along the Path
with a tangled sense of humor.
There is a deep truth hidden here
but I'm laughing too hard to care about it!

III

Walking in the Marsh

Balancing on one leg,
without a thought in her head,
the bird mocks philosophy.
I'm too stubborn to get the point.
I'll come back next week
when I'm ready.

IV

Suddenly I don't know what to say.
Perhaps I should keep my mouth shut.
The barren branch knows so much more
than I ever will
in the Ten Thousand Years.

Friday, January 10, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: philosophy
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
I attended a class on Taoism one spring evening. After talking about
the 'Tao Te Ching' for less than an hour, the instructor suddenly changed tactics. 'Take out your notebooks, ' she said, 'and write a Taoist poem or two. Do it quickly, without thinking, before you lose the mood! ' I wrote these four in less than 30 minutes! We were all surprised, every member had written at least two Taoist poems. We read them out loud with genuine delight and humor. 'You see how effortlessly you can flow with the Tao, ' said our teacher.
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Fabrizio Frosini 30 December 2014

amazing :) brilliant & funny... a native wit, quick and inventive, I would say! Sometimes, beautiful lines form themselves abruptly and fall from mind as precious drops of wisdom..

5 0 Reply
Kim Barney 23 September 2018

Daniel, I know nothing about Taoist poetry, but these are very pleasing to read (and make me want to learn more) . Congrats on having them selected (again) as poems of the day!

3 0 Reply
Diane Hine 28 April 2014

I like your second poem very much. I'd recommend it to anyone as a way to relieve anxiety and lift the spirits.

3 0 Reply
Lantz Pierre 23 September 2017

These poems demonstrate a fairly adequate grasp of Taoism. They have a strength of presence that radiates from the inside out, which is lovely. And even as they spring from a fundamental East Asian doctrine of thought and being they maintain their essential Western character of having to explain themselves to the reader. That is, each has a moment where it steps out of itself as a poem to try to build a bridge between the spare images and the consciousness of reader not fully steeped in interpreting this images for himself. The Eastern Taoist might see this as a momentary lack of confidence, the Western as a gracious offering to the esteemed other assumed at the other end of this act of writing.

2 0 Reply
Daniel Brick 23 September 2017

Lantz, this is a profoundly insightful comment on my poem. I've read it several times and each time have been enriched. I especially liked your insight into the Western/Eastern components of the poem. I found your point extremely persuasive, The next time I read Ezra Pound's CATHAY, which I revere, I will remember your distinction between Western writer/reader and Eastern.

0 0 Reply
Aniruddha Pathak 24 September 2019

Four lovely spontaneously penned poems, a product of Taoism, and the notes below making things clearer.

0 0 Reply
Ratnakar Mandlik 23 September 2019

Brilliant Taoist poems. I liked the one, " Walking in the Marsh Balancing one leg Without a thought in her head, the bird mocks philosophy" . Congrats on poem of the Day..

0 0 Reply
Akhtar Jawad 23 September 2019

Congrats! When a poet thinks time stops for him, when a poet writes his pen travels with a speed, that of light.

0 0 Reply
doug scotney 23 September 2019

lessons for humans from the non-human world

0 0 Reply
Lyn Paul 23 September 2019

Tranquillity is felt so deeply in your words. The 4 pieces are perfect with a surprise in the speed of time in each piece. Your sense of calm is amazing.

1 0 Reply
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