Treatise on Lao Tzu III


He who obtains has little
He who scatters has much
So be like water, go everywhere
Experience everything, experiment

That is the quickest way to learning
She who loves the world
Finds easiest the world inside herself
The sage does not hoard, for there

Is no such thing as real hoarding
The more he helps others
The more he benefits himself
the more she gives to others

The more she gets herself
The career of the sage is personal
Yet the rewards are always impersonal
Nothing is softer or more flexible

As water, so be as water
Nothing will then be able to resist you
Agree to lose yourself, that you may
Be transformed into something else

When virtue is lost, compassion appears
When suffering is endured with a smile
Order begins to stir in the system
For all systems are the same, like water.

Another Elegant Poet’s Rite


I heard you became a poet
After many miracles
Of the power of words
You decided to take on

A magical identity
a mythical persona of renown
to pause at the door of art
Before stepping through

I heard you became a poet
After finding ancient sanctuary
With many old books
It was a transfigured community

Of self-teaching the way
To universal truth, where
A few pagans found in nature
All that was needed for songs

It may be placebo, but the idols
We create last a lifetime.

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