DAO Has No Need of Words

DAO as archetype,
is bereft of counterpart.
These eighteen stanzas,
as words, cannot express it.
They serve only as template.

DAO has no need.
DAO has no need of words.
is the nature of DAO.
Silence is its expression.

Silence needs no tongue,
and thus it is not rigid.
It is like new life;
full of so much potency…
like a bubbly new-born babe.

Language, as rule-based,
is stiff — and it is rigid;
full of righteousness.
It is very prescriptive
about what is ‘Right’ or ‘Wrong.’

Language captivates.
Entices us with its words.
Human artifact.
Provides us yet with hubris
to make us think we are gods.

But we are mortal.
Language is what defines us
to the very end.
Our entrances and exits
are nuanced by our language.

Shakespeare said it best;
that “All the world is a stage…
All…merely players…
with exits and entrances,,,”
‘til death all do us part.

Language, as corpus,
is strange bedfellow of death.
Both are sentences
that focus on their ending;
the predicate of their being.

Language is like death.
Both are stiff. Both are rigid.
Not so baby’s breath…
At intake of the first air,
full of life — with much promise.

When life first begins,
it is weak, and quite tender;
ever so subtle.
Yet, softness is its own strength;
enabling its endurance.

Soft and pliable,
DAO has no need of words.
It is what it is.
Beyond our comprehension.
An existential wonder.

DAO looks at life
in a very different ‘Way.’
The Way of Wu-Wei.
DAO’s view is wholistic.
That of the Ouroboros.

The DAO observes:
When all things are examined,
unity prevails
to underlie existence;
binding all ‘dualities.’

DAO informs us:
All things at first breath of life…
every single thing…
are of pliable nature…
the blades of grass, the flowers.

At last breath of life,
all things begin to wither.
Both are seamed together.
Therein lies the harmony.
And therein lies the balance.

DAO is life’s breath,
as intake and as outtake;
full of much vigor…
The pulse of all things living…
subtle — and ever prancing.

DAO is The Way.
It is The Way of Nature.
Bending with the wind.
Finding strength in tenderness.
Eloquent in its silence.

Dao Is Oneness.
DAO is pure unity.
As a  Principle,
DAO is unnameable.
The Alpha and Omega.

About this poem

Stanza two of Chapter 76 of Tao Te Ching (Tarcher Cornerstone Edition, Jonathan Star publication), informs us: “…that the soft and subtle/ are the companions of life/ While the stiff and unyielding are the companions of death.” Full of life, promise and hopefulness, ever flexible, ever subtle, DAO without judging, gives without taking, receives without expecting, nourishes without desiring,sustains without being overbearing. For comparison, see my earlier composed poem entitled “The Wisdom of Silence.  

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Written on March 03, 2023

Submitted by karlcfolkes on March 03, 2023

Modified by karlcfolkes on March 05, 2023

2:24 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme xabxx xCdxe fghdx xgihx xcxix jixxx xxkba ilbmm lglxi xnjxo jCxen hppfb xxxob ihmnk hnndo lxnmm pnxio idjjx
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 2,278
Words 481
Stanzas 18
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

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 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem DAO Has No Need of Words with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    You comment captures the essence of DAO, its inner core of wisdom remaining ever evasive from human understanding.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Teril
    Your beautiful images and comparisons allow me to almost feel the Dao, almost for a moment understand the description... but, in the end, a word becomes its rigid self...
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • suzib.53754
    Great thyme-ing as I wais Engaged In my Study of Dao☯️
    LikeReply 11 year ago


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Are you a poetry master?

Repeated use of words for effect and emphasis is called ________.
A rhyme
B assonance
C rhythm
D repetition