Saturday, May 29, 2010

In the Labyrinth with Lao Tzu

"In the Labyrinth with Lao Tzu"
A poem by Erica Jong
Be broken to be whole.
Twist to be straight.
Be empty to be full.
--Lao Tzu (trans. Ursula Le Guin)

Hoping to walk
The circle of my life,
I put my toe
On the labyrinth's edge.

A crowd of black crows
Veers above
And drops fall
In this place
Where it never rains.

Writing has been my life
But my writing is stopped
By the crows
And the deaths they portend.

In the middle of the labyrinth of my twisting life,
I find myself under a cloud of crows
and the straight way is lost.

Lao Tzu would say
I must learn to write
Despite the haggling of the crows.

And perhaps he would also say
there is no
Straight way and no
Middle of the road
Of anyone's life.

Oh Lao Tzu, muse of labyrinths,
I should listen to you
And not the everlasting cawing
Of the crows.

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