Daniel Brick

Gold Star - 73,593 Points (June 10,1947 / St. Paul MN)

Four Taoist Poems - Poem by Daniel Brick


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.


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!


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.


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.

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 about Four Taoist Poems by Daniel Brick

  • Denis Mair (9/25/2017 12:50:00 AM)

    Spoken straight out of the beginners mind....yet I see that you have internalized some key texts. For instance, the second and third verses remind me of Tao Yuanming. The grasses and the bird and your laughter...they all communicate just by being what they are. The bird on one leg indicates the importance of balance and the value that life places on continuance. When this is presented to your eyes, the wholeness of life is completed on the level of consciousness. Why this should be so is a wonderful riddle. The barren branch effortlessly gave up what it had to give up. Now it stands as a gesture of former intent. Absent greenness is part of that gesture, again showing the wholeness of life. Each gesture points to other stages that are embedded in time. The barren branch makes its gesture of once-having-been-green...and in the fullness of time, the stage of greenness is never absolutely separate from that. Such reflections are best handled intuitively, and that is what your poems do. (Report) Reply

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  • (9/23/2017 11:37:00 PM)

    You have captured the oriental ambience so well and the oriental way of communicating with Nature.
    With respect and devotion and passive emotion, if any.
    This was my impression, written before I read your notes.
    You have certainly written some very beautiful and different verses here. Totally successful with Oriental Mystery and Magic added to them.
    Congratulation to whomever? , had the very good taste to chose these lovely Verses as Poem of the Day and best congratulation to the poet, Daniel Brick also.
    (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/25/2017 1:02:00 AM)

    Thank you, Sandra. You extended the scope of my poem.It's like a relay race: I wrote a poem and passed it on to you, and you carried it forth. It's gaining a life of its own!

  • Chinedu Dike (9/23/2017 9:25:00 PM)

    You amaze me with versatility of your knowledge. Thanks for your continued enlightenment. Always remain blessed. (Report) Reply

  • (9/23/2017 8:30:00 PM)

    Naturally inspirational..love it.. a Facebook share and a ten.. (Report) Reply

  • Akhtar Jawad (9/23/2017 7:41:00 PM)

    Learning truth by starting within ourselves for a few minutes and not wasting thousands of years is a truthful philosophy. Daniel Brick has explained it nicely in a great poem. Congrats. (Report) Reply

  • Bhargabi Dei Mahakul (9/23/2017 5:45:00 PM)

    My heartiest congratulations to you. This is our pleasure to see your poem as the poem of the day. This combined poem that contains four poems is really interesting that carries perceptional philosophy and experience of yours on Taoist culture. This amazes mind that within and less than 30 minutes you have written this. Excellently penned poem is shared here.10 (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (9/23/2017 5:39:00 PM)

    I am so delighted to see your work being celebrated on Poem of the Day. My computer just took me on a tour of 6 of your other poems- -so I will try to be concise before my computer skips off to Never Never Land. You always challenge yourself with new poetic styles and topics. I shall go see if I can do one of these- -but it looks like it needs a very delicate and sensitive hand at the pen. Brilliant poems and BRAVO! ! ! ! ! 10+++++++++++++++++++++++ AND ON MY FAV LIST (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/25/2017 1:16:00 AM)

    Thank you so much for your faith in me as a poet. It is my highest wish, my daily effort and yoiur support is like a Jacob's Ladder to the realm of poetry.

  • Marie Shine (9/23/2017 4:37:00 PM)

    A superbly crafted metaphoric philosophical gem! Heartiest Congrats on a very merited and well deserved 'Poem Of The Day', Daniel. SO pleased and happy for you. Bless you always... (Report) Reply

  • Simone Inez Harriman (9/23/2017 4:07:00 PM)

    So happy to see these lovely poems highlighted. Congratulations for a well deserved award 'Poem of the Day'. (Report) Reply

  • Geetha Jayakumar (9/23/2017 4:04:00 PM)

    Interesting poems twinkling in different colours and fragrance. Loved reading it. Congratulations for member poem of the day! (Report) Reply

  • Geeta Radhakrishna Menon (9/23/2017 12:37:00 PM)

    Wonderful to see your poem as the poem of the day. Congratulations Daniel!
    Writing a poem on Taoism is not an ordinary work. That too within a limited span of time.

    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.

    Brilliant write on Taoist philosophy. A full score Daniel :)
    (Report) Reply

  • Bill Cantrell (9/23/2017 11:17:00 AM)

    Daniel, this is the genus that I wish I was gifted with, your connectives of meter with images that embrace the moment..extracting poetic essence from what is seen in a matter of the quickest pen! I must say, it is a pleasure to read this masterpiece! ! (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 1:22:00 PM)

    Thanks very much for your appreciation, Bill. I'm glad you found my poem embraces the moment and extracts poetic essence. That's what lyric poetry should do. And knowing my poem reached a reader and writer of your quality is reward enough for me.

  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/23/2017 8:20:00 AM)

    Scattered rocks! ! With the muse of life. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Savita Tyagi (9/23/2017 8:04:00 AM)

    Congratulations Daniel for member poem place for these beautiful poems. Life's philosophy is hidden in Nature to teach us every truth of life as we live and experience it. Pleasure to read these poems again. (Report) Reply

  • (9/23/2017 7:36:00 AM)

    Congratulations Daniel on being selected. So glad I got a chance to read this one! It is a beautiful poem to read and I'm sure equally rewarding to write. When reading this, mind goes into euphoric state blending with nature and all it's glory and mystery! Thank you for sharing this! (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 8:14:00 AM)

    BLENDING WITH NATURE is the heart of Taoism. And I love your statement: MIND GOES INTO EUPHORIC STATE. Euphoria is one of the gifts of poetry, a purely natural high. It makes me proud to realize one of my poems accomplished this for you. But it's your sensitivity to poetry and truth that made this possible. Thanks to you for your creative reading.

  • Anil Kumar Panda (9/23/2017 7:29:00 AM)

    Beautiful poems. All the four are shining gems. Especially the one..
    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.' I liked the most. Congrats.
    (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (9/23/2017 7:20:00 AM)

    yay, daniel! a good poem from a good man. -gk (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 1:36:00 PM)

    Thanks as always, Glen. I appreciate very much the common wave length we are on, as Poet of the Southwest and Poet of the Midwest. Your comment reminds me that poets of a spiritual temperament
    consider poetry a moral pursuit, that is, good people write poetry out of a core of goodness.

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (9/23/2017 5:38:00 AM)

    This is nice to see your combined poem of four Taoist poems as the poem of the day. Congratulations! Every poem is unique in expression. Tai Chi students resting in the shade of their master. Their speaking of soft nature is well heard. Grass grows everywhere and displays emotion. Walking in the Marsh and balancing on one leg entirely amazes mind. The barren branch knows so much more. Wonderful philosophy is shining inside these Taoist poems. Brilliant presentation is done.10 (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 7:50:00 AM)

    how Taoism and poetry itself express ideas or values, Kumarmani! The Taoist and the poet have to trust images and metaphors to be carriers of the philosophy and not express it directly. themselves. You have given us the heart of this kind of poetry. As William Carlos Williams put it, NO IDEAS BUT IN THINGS.

  • Tom Allport (9/23/2017 3:29:00 AM)

    a lovely harmonious poem for every one to share Daniel's words of wisdom they could not be any clear? .............wonderfully written (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 1:30:00 PM)

    Thanks much Tom. I appreciate your reference to the HARMONY of the poem: I believe Eastern Philosophy is especially rich in teaching to live in harmony with our fellow creatures. As for my words of wisdom, I am humbled but since I turned 70 in June I better have some wisdom to share!

  • Lantz Pierre (9/23/2017 1:36:00 AM)

    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. (Report) Reply

    Daniel Brick (9/23/2017 1:44:00 PM)

    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.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, January 10, 2014

Poem Edited: Saturday, September 20, 2014

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