Your Beautiful Wound, Really

 

It comes of having
an umbilical cord—
out of nowhere,

out of the forever
that locks the soul
and throws the key

into one abyss or
another.

It turns us to Grendels
on the heath, howling
at the dark, complaining

of the local musicians.
It looks like boredom
sometimes; sometimes

despair, sometimes
voiceless, panicked
terror—or all—it’s

hard to tell when
you aren’t
breathing.

It is the wound
that make you
rise and shine.

That leaves you
staring out windows.
That leaves you

spelunking.
That corners
your songs.

It’s the rip in
the fabric of
your only

space and time.
It comes of belly
buttons and leaves

never. It’s what
you’re holding in
every song.

Daodejing 32

 

The unchanging way remains
unmanageable. Even though
it is small and simple, no one
dares claim to be its master.

If leaders really mastered it,
all would submit to them—the sky
and earth would suddenly unite,

raining down plenty, and
all people would share,
fairly, without compulsion.

When the way becomes action,
we have a name for that action.

When we have a name for it,
all people see it is correct,
without any effort or guessing.

Our reality is related to the way,
just as rivers are to the sea.

Singing the Way

Go ahead–you

know you want to 

sing a song of
the earth to a

new tune. The
imagination

more real than real—
isn’t the song sung
deep all songs, and
madness firmly

embraced, all
clear-eyed sanity?

Sing on, heedless of
the droning—your
notes can be
something new.

Listen: where is
that firm voice?

Is it more than
the monkey chatter
of “more, more”?
To the one we see, 

all qualities cling.
But to the one

living in a self,
caught in the
machinations
of merely being,
each quality is
a struggle with
the real, each

quality a leap
over some abyss.
This world, this place
of the real, is not dis-

enchanted. Merely not-
enchanted when the
chanting leads only to
the in-cantation of

superstition. Of
the not-real.