etal that is dull,

Water that nothing quenches,
Wood that is rotted,
Fire that is but smoking snuff,
Earth that has not peace ~ these fail.

Whet-edge the metal,
Let us pour silver water,
Plane fairest light-wood,
Tender, fan, blaze a white fire,
Rise to life ~ bind peace in earth.

(Here, two short verses, or tanka, which is a Japanese poetic form, each of five lines following the syllabic pattern 5,7,5,7,7 These are written to make a succinct point, sometimes in the guise of a word game or riddle. This contrary pair illustrates the Five Elements/Activities, or wu-hsing, and perhaps too, a wrong-minded and then a right-minded way of living.)