Invoking Laozhi – Yuan Changming

Hiking along a less trodden trail in the Pacific Spirit
Forest, I almost have to stop to find my Way out
Because all roads have led me to nowhere
But I keep walking until it is almost Laozhi himself
Pointing his fossilized fingers towards Dao
(Which he says is no ordinary Way if it can
Be named. Similarly if I can find it on my own
It’s not the real or the right one.) Like a tour guide
Who seems to know every path to and from the destiny
Leading me like a dog, sometimes running well before him
Sometimes beside him, more often going astray by myself
Among the low bushes. I cannot help but follow him because
The leash is getting so tightened I want to protest aloud: you
Claim the great Way is no Way, but just follow Nature. Then
Why keep me with a rope? Like every other domesticated dog
I have a delicious bone right above my mouth, which makes
Me keep running to my death, but never allowing me to have a bite.

 


Yuan Changming  currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the Naji Naaman’s Literary Prize 2018, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1,469 others worldwide.  

 

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