Flower, from CHINESE FOLK DESIGNS compiled by W. M. Hawley

Celebrating coming of age
from the Tao Te Ching

Ten thousand beings, reach for you
[groans of delight & yearning]
all our reaching, is for you
our hands made to caress you
our bodies made for your caress.

Mother-love abides in us
as we spring forth from you.
Our root drinks deep of you
your waters, our flow
your breasts suckle & give us rest.
No limit to your giving
how pathetic, our need for control.
[fine line between need to control & need to constrain.]

You are that in us
which lives long & sees far
which lives sparingly in the lap of fullness
which responds eagerly to the first whisper
which gathers your daily harvest.

Farmers know to store
some of last year's grain in this year's storeroom
I know to store
the bread of the living & of the dead.

Wind dances the grass on the tombs of seeds
roots reach deep for living water
shoots reach high for living light
...seeds of light fall again into the earth.

Can I be free of my own ideas
be tolerant as spacious sky
be all-pervading sunlight
be mountain fastness
be a wind-bent branch, going wheresoever wind goes
receiving what comes in reverent joy
birthing that which is ready & holding not back.

~~~ for those who are curious ~~~

We are heavy with you [chung chi te]
Mother of the world [kuo chih mu]
live long with enduring vision \see long/ [chiu shih]

Frank John Culley

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