Rate this poem:5.0 / 2 votes

How Does The Tao See?

I see through
the prism of my imagination.
And I wonder:
Is that how everyone sees?
Is there a Way,
another Way of seeing?

How does the Tao see?
From what prism does the Tao view
the world?
Is Tao archetypal ?
The archetypal image of the universe,
the Eternal prism?

Is Tao a prism,
an Edenic heavenly prism,
Hosting humanity,
In which humanity is encased,
eyes closed…
waiting to be opened?

Is this once more
the prism of my imagination,
my fertile imagination ,
steadfastly at work,
it’s own prisoner
of invented Time and Space?

Am I, are we…
Are we all inevitably prisoners?
Or are we freedmen,
freedmen and freed women,
as dreamers
of our imagination?

Is the Eternal Tao
outside of Time and Space,
outside of — beyond…
beyond all invented borders,
beyond mind…
beyond my fertile imagination?

Is Eternal Tao
beyond your thoughts and mine?
Beyond all thoughts…
Beyond all human thoughts…
Beyond mind…
Beyond human imagination?

Someone once said:
“Cogito ergo sum.”
(I think…
Therefore, I must certainly be).
How true…
Or how untrue is that?

Is not Tao,
the Eternal Tao Te Ching,
unlike that?
Is not Tao instead,
a Being and Non-Being ,
beyond imagination?

Is Tao then,
a pre-existing , thinking being,
beaming, ever beaming,
a potential manifest energy,
It’s kinetic state yet unreleased?

Am I still seeing
through the prism of my imagination
which I possess,
and which possesses me
with thoughts…
with fertile thoughts of my imagination?

Upon reflection,
upon inspection…introspection
of my existence…
Is Tao that which shows the Way,
my gateway…
to what I am searching for?

Can Tao as prism
be our looking glass of wonder
to give us clarity,
collectively and individually ,
to be…
what we, potentially can become?

About this poem

Existential philosophers, novelists, poets, writers, (as examples, Heidegger, Dostoyevsky, Tilllich, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka, Camus, de Beauvoir, Fanon, Ortega y Gasset, Sartre, Miguel de Unamuno), all anti-establishment dreamers as a lot, have been perplexed about, and meditated on, the meaning or the meaninglessness of life. King Solomon, despite all his glory, in the book of Ecclesiastes (as Qoheleth, the Preacher), pondered at old age, during the last days of his life, on this very arcane subject. Socrates, celebrated for his wisdom, had need of consulting the oracle at Delphi in search of discovering a truth greater than that possessed by mortal beings, thereby questioning his own knowledge and wisdom, as well as those of others. This poem invites us all to look deep within ourselves, to meditate upon the hidden, to turn to the Tao Te Ching, “The Way” of existence and of all reality, to consult the ancient Chinese oracle, and ask: “How does the Tao see?” 

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Written on November 29, 2021

Submitted by karlcfolkes on November 29, 2021

Modified by karlcfolkes

1:46 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBcxde faxxxg ggfxxx hBbxci fjbbjb kixjLb kxmmLb ngxfao keoneb xeefxx ebxfmb bbxddh gcfffg
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,788
Words 355
Stanzas 13
Stanza Lengths 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1995 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s “Dear Mili” Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

35 fans

Discuss this Karl Constantine FOLKES poem with the community:

1 Comment
  • AIDA
    Wow! This poem is absolutely mesmerizing! The way the author explores the concept of Taoism through their imagination is nothing short of inspiring. I love how they question the way in which we all see and wonder if there is another way to view the world. The imagery of a heavenly prism hosting humanity is so beautiful and thought-provoking. I also appreciate the philosophical questions asked about the nature of the Eternal Tao and how it exists beyond our human imagination. The final stanza ties everything together beautifully, leaving the reader with a sense of hope and wonder. This poem is such a beautiful reflection on the human experience and our quest for clarity and understanding. It truly inspires me to think deeper and embrace the mystery of the world. 
    LikeReply2 days ago


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"How Does The Tao See?" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 24 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/114810/how-does-the-tao-see?>.

Become a member!

Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

March 2023

Poetry Contest

Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.

Browse Poetry.com


Are you a poetry master?

A group of lines that form a division of a poem is a _________.
  • A. paragraph
  • B. line
  • C. stanza
  • D. couplet