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May 2020
-I live, breathe, it seems
Awake in a dream
Memories ail and fade
I take naught away
But my soul never strays
My soul and love's aches
Only these two of the same
Could cross over the gate-

The men in the desert
Seek chalices not water
The men in the desert
Among grains of gold falter
The men in the desert
Frantically climbing upon one another
Failing hands towards the celestial river
The men in the desert
Suffocate in reach of height of matter
Wind sweeps dust, falls the ladder
The men in the desert
Their desperate faces fade and alter
A short deluge of ashes and dust later
The marks of the men in the desert
Were found still a few mirages further
Dissipated near the translucent border
"Only fools believe in unseeable water!"
They proclaimed louder and louder
Till thirst conquered them and only
Silence, the presence of absence lingers

Like the shadow that deathly cowers
When the light tears all slumber asunder
Rising in the East to empty my cup
Lowering it in the West to runneth over:

The Chalice of Life and Being
Is only a momentary timely vessel
For the absence of plentiful
Within without to hold
The clear, transparent
Truth of Water
Across the labyrinth of shadows
Till we safely reach home
The Boundless Ocean of the Void
Where it is not devoid of anything
But could ceaselessly hold All

-Beyond time and space
The Boundless Ocean of the Void:
My Chalice of the East and West

By: Yue Xing Yitkbel ****
Friday, February 28, 2020 11:39 p. m.

     See Tao Te Ching "Chapter 11"
The Story of the Stone Translated by David Hawkes
While reading The Story of the Stone, I came across the line: "Each in the end must call a strange land home," which by its original Chinese version and interpretation/footnotes I understood it more as "we mistake a strange land as our home."
This, along with its lively description of the Void, (The Truth according to Buddhist philosophy) I finally gained a new understanding of what I had previously deemed as a rather nihilistic view of the hereafter.
     The idea and manifestation of "the lack thereof" permeates my life, ponderings, and poetry, yet I found no meaning in the idea that life is a blink of a dream between the Truth of the void, The Emptiness that is at the core of Eastern Philosophy.  But the answer was always there, ( as Lao Tzu dictated "The empty space makes it useful."
      I had always interpreted the void or emptiness as the lack of anything, and the inability to contain anything, true nothingness. (Though I just went back and looked at my Chinese copy of Tao Text Ching, and having read again the original and the accompanying commentary I realized that I had previously interpreted the Taoist idea of the "formless" birthing all of form and the 'there are matter within the void’ to be the relationship between our material and physical world and the exterior nothingness. And now I could reconcile it with my faith of the great beyond that is far from empty and runneth over of that which I could carry back and forth between Dreams and the Awakening: that sweet essence accented by a more earthly love that lifts me up far beyond it.) Yet it had always hinted to me throughout my own poetry, from the silence that beckons me to hear more mindfully to the love that is made much more profound in its absence, that the truth unseen really is like Lao Tzu's empty cup that is much more useful than a full one or one without a cavity to begin with.  

     The void, although seemingly contradictory, is possibility and space to contain everything.  

Continuing the cup analogy:
Truth is the space without and within the cup, formless thus unbreakable and eternal, yet endless and endlessly useful, endlessly possible.

The fragile weatherable cup of matter that is our blink of life and being. You wouldn't want one that is all cup and no space, all visible and observable without the cavity and gap.

And our souls are the water.
Yue Wang Yitkbel
Written by
Yue Wang Yitkbel  30/Toronto
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