Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hexagram 27: The Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment)

No yarrow stalks? A handful of hay
will do just as well. Cast. Your fate
is scrawled in the dust.

Nine at the beginning means:
You let your magic tortoise go
And look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping

Not encouraging, to be clobbered
by a flipping coin
but it’s no use wailing about it.

Through the corners of the mouth
food and drink come in
words go out.
Watch them carefully.

--I Ching translation by Richard Wilhelm
--for Poefusion

Collection available! Knocking from Inside


Michelle Johnson said...

Excellent write. I'm still trying to learn I Ching from the books on my shelf. This has inspired me to take another look. Have a nice day.

Lirone said...

What on earth do they mean by a magic tortoise? The mind boggles! It works well in this poem though - I particularly like the double meaning of "flipping". And the last verse is very wise!

Cynthia said...

intriguing poem, the corners of the mouth,
are almost as telling as our eyes.

Anonymous said...

I thought that I had found my way to the center of the Invisible Labyrinth; and I had — perhaps — discovered no more than the entrance. Watch my dust.... There is no walking backwards, and I am lost in the Labyrinth Invisible. I cannot retrace my steps. I wrote my name on the wall of the Invisible Labyrinth. I was so diligent in my studies; gave my whole time and heart to the pursuit. I wrote my name but I can find it no longer; My ashes blow like dust around the Invisible Labyrinth.

Watch my dust...