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HomePoems > Lao Tse, On the Nature of the Way > From way back     

  

From way back

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  from
way
back
these things
have attained
the one--
  the sky--
it became
translucent
the earth--
it became
stable
the spirits--
they became
electric
the valleys--
they became
abundant
the millions--
they became
fertile
the kings--
they became
sovereign
if
they
weren't
each whole--
the sky
would
crumble
in the rain
the earth
would
wobble
then burst
the spirits
would die
the valleys
would dry out
the millions
would blow
away
the kings
would be scorned,
and overthrown
the mighty
spring from
emptiness
as the high
build
on the low
that's why
kings
call
themselves
weak,
orphans
too many
honors
mean
none at all
if
you forget
your source
why
try to
shine
like jade
when
you could clink
like stone chimes?
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