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About the Poem

I was once a caterpillar but I have shed my cocoon of sorrow. I wrote this poem at a time when I was coming to terms with my identity and my place in the world. I had also discovered the words of Lao Tze Tao at this time and they helped me focus my energy on the positive.

"All things flourish and each returns to its root. Returning to the root is called quietude. Quietude is called returning to life." Lao Tze Tao

Garden Of Tao

"What the caterpillar calls the end,
The world calls a butterfly" - Lao Tze Tao


My lamp, under dimmest light,
offers only shadows to comfort
for this day is taking too long.
Woken into this now I can not evict
from my head all the fury visited upon me.

I shower vainly to pacify my emotions.
Standing before a mirror; my reflection
as the only witness to my existence.
My exposed mind trembles with
the marks of boredom taunting eternally.


Under the shadows of the rose bush,
a lone caterpillar escapes its cocoon;
mutilation of its primitive self
shed to progress,
revealing a beauty nurtured within.


Construct a boundary bury my pity
within its fertile soil. Brittle leaves
wilt upon my scars, allow my garden to grow.
As a skeleton, in slumber,
of autumn. I await the cycle of rebirth.

Winter is unwelcome, unable to decay.
Death exists only within the cycle of renewal.
in the silken waves of tulips
I breathe the harmonies of nature.
My spirit, lulled of the tortures, is truly free.
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© 2000 Brian Madden Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

9 Visitor Comments

The piece is phenomenal . I personally appreciate the suttleness in choice of words and the highly observant extract( chinese saying) in it's forefront . It's not only shows promise but talent. courage, mature refined artistic reverance and above grwoth through writing . Overall the poem is a grand entry!
This is truly inspiring, thank you
Great way of sharing your experience . I hope i'll find the same path some day :)
lots of depth. I like this. I relate. this strikes a chord in me Thank you
its simply great feeling to read such beautiful words and they takes u more closer to urself and ur life. hats off to u!
Let me just say wow! I have also been inspired by Lao Tze Tao and it rocks finding another poet who has also. Your poem is beautiful and so touching. Keep it up!
i like the ending. words like mutilation and decay dont sit well with me. but i do like happy endings. good poem
I read your poem at just the right time in my life, it made me feel not so alone in my equal thoughts
wow! this is really beautiful. Very moving, very touching, VERY intuitive. I'm impressed, thank you

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