In Chinese painting first to learn

With soft and yielding brush

A grove of them so straight and tall

So green and swaying lush.


Stalks of green and others black

Leaves of varied size

When comes a storm it does not care

And will not fear demise.


Winds will blow and snow will fall

And ice will be so cloying.

It bends and folds down to the ground

And finds it not annoying.


The winds will die, the snow will melt,

Change is always lent.

The stalks will rise and stand up tall

No sign of having bent.


It is alone in nature wide

To yield so soft and pliant.

It bends and bows to fit the moment,

Never stands defiant.


The oak so tall with roots so deep

Suggesting strength and might

Against the wind that blows so hard

Instead will choose to fight.


The huff and puff of winter storm

Will test the oak’s resolve.

But nature’s will is always strong

And oaks will oft dissolve.


Its rigid stance can not withstand

The worst that nature tosses.

Refusal to give in to storm

Can cause it many losses.


Acorns fly and branches fall

And oaks begin to wobble.

That one last gust will be enough

To cause the oak to hobble.


One is life, the other death,

As bamboo yields and oaks defy.

The bamboo bends, the other falls,

But can not know the why.


Laozi says the answer’s clear,

It’s one to understand.

Soft can overcome the hard

And doesn’t need a hand.


Rigid represents the hard

And often leads to death.

While soft and yielding enables us

To take another breath.


I oh so rarely give advice

That is not mine to give.

But if I had to make a choice

I’d always choose to live.


Of bamboo and the mighty oak

Soft and hard their due,

I recommend for you to choose

Today to be bamboo.


Life’s winds and snows are want to come

And reckoning is due

I recommend for you to choose

Again to be bamboo.


There is no shame in yielding

To always choose to give

The point of life is pretty clear

So always choose to live.


The best of ways is learn to yield

To care the best for you.

I recommend for you to choose

Again to be bamboo.