One who uses the Tao to assist rulers

30a

One who uses the Tao to assist rulers
counsels to not use force of arms.
Such a course will create resistance.

Where armies have camped,
thorns and briars grow.

Do what needs to be done and nothing more.
Do not use force to seize for yourself.

The skilled one achieves and nothing more;
does not use force to seize for oneself.

Achieving without pride;
achieving without bragging;
achieving without boasting;
achieving what is necessary.
This is called achieving without force.

Know the masculine and keep the feminine

28

Know the masculine and keep the feminine,
and be the valley of the world.
Be the valley of the world,
and eternal integrity will not desert you.
If eternal integrity does not desert you,
you will return to the state of infancy.

Know the pure and keep the impure,
and be the valley of the world.
Be the valley of the world,
and eternal integrity will suffice.
If eternal integrity suffices,
you will return to the state of the uncarved block.

Know the white and keep the black,
and be a model for the world.
Be a model for the world,
and eternal integrity will not waver.
If eternal integrity does not waver,
you will return to the infinite.

When the uncarved block is cut,
it becomes tools.
When the master is used,
he becomes the ruler of officials.
Great carving cuts little.

/ / /

Sorry. A day late.

A good walker leaves no tracks

27

A good walker leaves no tracks.
A good speaker speaks without flaws.
A good reckoner needs no counters.
A good doorkeeper
has neither lock nor key,
yet it cannot be opened.
A good knotter
has neither cord nor twine,
yet it cannot be untied.

Therefore, the master attends to everyone
and rejects no one.
The master attends to all things
and wastes nothing.
This is called following the light.

Everything that is good
is the teacher of the good man.
Everything that is bad
is the resource of the good man.
If one does not honor his teacher,
if one does not love his resource,
though he is knowledgeable, he is deluded.

This is the essential mystery.

cool

there were no tornado warnings
but we went down to the cellar
the dirt floor was cool on our bare feet
and the air was cooler too
stealing away humidity’s power

this was our music shelter
where we could play Beatles 45s
and sway and dance and sing
escape the adult frowns
and wait for the cool night and fireflies

/ / /

This poem was written to the shelter prompt at Poetic Asides. I borrowed “music” from Elizabeth’s words for day nine at her blog, 1sojournal.