Yin & Tao


You can’t get a tiger cub without going into his mother’s den.


The one who gave birth to us
This was our mother.
How did she do this?
She prayed and she sacrificed
To cure her barrenness
And she trod on the giant’s tracks
Proved herself, and had her desire.


This is a poem in praise of loving determination.
To be barren in ancient China, 
as in much of the ancient world, 
was considered a disgrace.
However, using all means possible 
– including prayer and magic – 
the woman succeeds.
That which is really worthwhile involves effort and even sacrifice.

©Loes Raaphorst 10/2005