The Mists of Dao

Tao, Dao, painting, sylvia, vetta,
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A writer is inspired to verse by watching a Chinese painter weave his magic with brushstrokes of colour and visions of future.

Memories of Shanbei come in shades of black and white.
Amid the stones of Oxford past and present he paints it.
I reach out to touch it, real but not concrete.
Celtic mists swirl in with rain from the West
to shower  the East, clouded in the spirit of the Dao, and meet
in the mind of the artist. Fingers grasp the brush to request
the muses for movement, swift and light.
Brushstrokes colour the paper red with his spirit.
His being connects time and his energy fires
a gateway to the here and now, and clear
ahead cranes point skyward with the dreaming spires.
Visions of a future beyond hard lines appear.
To the music of a new time in a new place
The artist walks alone into the white space.

Dao literally translates to ‘the path’ and is the guiding philosophy behind Taoism. There is no one way of looking at it, and accepting its fluidic meaning is part of following its doctrine.


Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do mail us at


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  • The Madras Courier needs to be congratulated on its excellent articles of note. It is indeed a pleasure to read some of them. What I find fascinating is the choice of articles that have been published. A great variety indeed. Especially enjoyed the piece written by Srinath Rao on the Elephants, The poetry of Dao and the story of Muharram. Also in your biography section the one on Janaki Ammal and the Chromosomal Atlas of Cultivated Plants was fascinating. To think an Indian woman received a DSc from the University of Michiganin in 1931 is remarkable. And, that Janaki Ammal was responsible in making Indian sugar cane sweeter and more importantly had a hand is preserving the forests of the Silent valley even more creditable.

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