When water rages, torrents thunder –
Snowfalls gently subdue hardest stone –
Neither one making apologies –
as gentleness overcomes the strong –
and yielding cannot be resisted –
But by misunderstanding Nature –

– a 9 syllable Mountain Poem

This poem is a culmination of two main provocations. The first is the Zen expression, “When sitting, just sit. When walking, just walk. Above all, do not wobble” as reflected in the observations about the ways of water in the first two lines.

The remainder of the poem works with the perspective of chapter 78 of Lao Tsu’s Tao The Ching about the paradoxical nature of water and all reality that the greatest power comes from gentleness and flexibility as opposed to rigidity and strength.

The photo was taken on my Android phone not far from the base of the Mitsumata Ropeway at Kagura Ski Resort in Niigata, Japan.