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Darwin’s Tao

I watch the news as if it were
The human nature channel. Look -
There’s the fork-tongued politician
Surrounded by long-snouted journalists
Who suck up all his sounds
And leave him pale and stiff.
But tonight it’s the lower links
From the chain of being – the convict
Set free because he’s been found innocent
Years later who says he’s grateful for
His badass self going in or he would never
Have survived his enlightenment’s concussions.
There’s the child molester who asks
Never to be let out so long as he’s allowed
To quit rehabilitating. The history channel
Has a piece on Genghis Khan who late in life
Tried to become a Taoist, but the builder
Of an empire could not be commanded by
Two ideas: “Simplify” and “Avoid desire.”

To be saint or conqueror? A world of rabbits
Or a world of wolves? No one could choose.
Suddenly the moral ecology of human nature
Opens up and I see Darwin’s Tao –
TV a kaleidoscope of yins and yangs,
Thousands of multi-coloured eyes blinking in
What I thought was darkness. This is why
Despots and messiahs can’t impose their uniformities.
Only some of us are born to change –
Machiavellian chameleons – most not.
The great Khan and the philosopher parted,
By the way, enlightened only about each other.
Then I was back to the TV –
So many channels to choose.