the transformation of things, a poem . . . and your Wednesday Writing Prompt

Zhuangzi Dreaming of a Butterfly, Ming dynasty, mid-Sixteeth Century – ink on silk

A Man sleeping …
A Butterfly flitting… 
Zhuangzi, dreamer of Butterfly,
ponders what joy there might be
in that tiny Butterfly brain

so subtle

too subtle to be perceived by I or eye

Is he dreaming me? Zhuangzi asks.
Imagine the Universe thus engaged.


a Cosmic Belly Laugh 

Ho! Ho!

Then Zhuangzi knows: He is silent,
flitting from flower to flower in eternal spring.

coming and going, going and coming

This is called the Transformation of Things.

©2011, Jamie Dedes


Zhuangzi dreaming a butterlfy, a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi

Zhuangzi dreaming of a butterlfy; a butterfly dreaming of Zhuangzi

I love this allegory from The Book of Zhuangzi, one of the two greatest books of the Chinese mystical Tao. (The other book is the I Ching.) The allegory is about chi (qi), the energy of creation, which some might call God. 

Write and share with us a poem or poems that illustrates your experience with or perception of transformation. It does not have to be related to religious or spiritual allegory unless that is what calls to you.

Share your poem/s on theme or a link to it/them in the comments section below.

All poems shared on theme will be published next Tuesday. Please do NOT email your poem to me or leave it on Facebook. If you do it’s likely I’ll miss it or not see it in time.

IF this is your first time participating in The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt, please send a brief bio and photo to me at in order to introduce yourself to the community … and to me :-).  These will be partnered with your poem/s on first publication.

Deadline:  Monday, July 2 at 8 p.m. PDT.

Anyone may take part Wednesday Writing Prompt, no matter the status of your career: novice, emerging or pro.  It’s about exercising the poetic muscle, sharing your work, and getting to know other poets who might be new to you. This is a discerning nonjudgemental place to connect.

Illustration credits: first illustration courtesy of Lu Zui and in the public domain/ second illustration courtesy of About Qigong.