Nature is indifferent,

respecting all creation as straw dogs.*
Wise men are indifferent,
respecting all that humans do as straw dogs.

The hollow between heaven and earth,

how like a bellows it is:
empty, yet inexhaustible.
The more it empties, the more it gives.

Words fill space needlessly.
Hold fast to the center.  


*straw dog: object of sacrifice, created with care solely for that purpose, initially due the utmost deference and reverence, later deliberately abandoned or destroyed.

© Douglas Allchin 2002