by John McCall

For advice on writing
light verse & fiction:
A guide to this website
Colors Can Speed Up Your Thinking
In Clerihew Verse:
As a rhyming dictionary:
A  E   I   O   U
As jingles:
For the "I Ching"
On writing fiction:
Shadowing the Reader
Facebook for the Fiction Writer
In fiction (not for the youngest):
In English as a second language:
The People's Voice (English)
La Voz del Pueblo (Spanish)

Other places
Real links for the whole website
McCall Home Page


(that is, “Chingalings”)

There are real pearls in the “I Ching”, but you won’t find them here. These must be at least partly phony because the images here are seen through Western eyes. Yet other Western eyes will look at this website, and then some will search the “I Ching” itself – that great rice bowl of experience from gourmets of living.

Even without mind-set of the East, Westerners will find much – though not necessarily what I found. The “I Ching” can be a very personal experience. Personally, I read the “I Ching” as a collection of essays on almost every corner of life. Since its insights are universal, I give examples below from a variety of times and places.

(Approaching the “I Ching” as a series of essays is unusual. It is a book filled with powerful symbols. Many use it for fortune telling, others as a key to the subconscious, but I find it most useful as a reference to centuries of thoughtful analysis.)

The numbers below are chapter numbers from the “I Ching.” The jingles here, which I call “Chingalings,” are meant to vaguely reflect what’s called the “image” in each chapter. 



Want to push more? Pull back … the oar. 31

Need to intone? Use both web and phone. 44

The worm turns best -- with no haste or rest. 46

Hurray an array. 48

Under that cover, Turtle is fertile. 53

When your goal is microscopic, you can focus your the topic. 60

 Ignore charges atomic? Find costs astronomic. 62


Aren’t the best toasts -- to history’s ghosts? 16

Why hoard experience behind a dreary fence? 19

When your troops waddle, march up as their model. 20

We’re often best lead by books of the dead. 26

You’re the example for the Way?
Then who will you ever get to obey? 37


The standing tree bends -- for winds. 17

Corrected your dog? Now -- for treats! Let him hog. 18

Slow for bends (or this trip ends). 24

 “This,” I said, “is forever our home,” till a torch-lit Nero entered our Rome. 63


Checks someday bounce against big accounts. 14

The world may rot – still, tend your plot. 12

Seen your fate? Make her your date. 50


Is your welcome mat a “democrat”? 8

Treat, with a glove, the young that you love. 25

Be a true vine: intertwine. 32

Be a lady: wave to the shady. 38

Joking’s no joy when it’s just a ploy. 58

My mind you can win -- if you get in my skin. 61


May electrified wonder create all our thunder. 1

Say, “Have a ball” to the global all. 2

We scowl up bitter at heaven’s titter. 51

When awe dies, what’s left but I’s? 59


The State is a slob? Expect a mob. 13

He always reprieves -- and multiplies -- thieves. 21

The throne’s overthrown -- once groans have grown. 23

Under enemy occupation, practice … cautious … education. 36

Keep pay ample: mobs can trample. 45

Better a martyr than ruled by a tartar. 47

Revolution’s reason? Our globe turns every season. 49

The court delays: the gavel decays. 56


Do we dare mock our inner peacock? 15

Reformer or performer?  35

Gambling hots? Just blame the slots. 39

Each month, Ethics laud it: your internal audit. 43


Multiply repetitions for mental additions. 29

Beam your flashlight through your ignorance’ night. 30

The knowledge flame’s steady -- when its fuel’s at the ready. 57


Avant-garde splash or just slapdash? 4

Good tips? Good trips. 6

Polish smoothes no big grooves. 9

Just which fashions overcome passions? 22

Be smooth with jerks when you give them the works. 33

Never flash your credits or cash. 34

What are commercials but faked dress rehearsals? 54


Game’s not begun? Even so, have fun. 5

Are you sunning inside until the rain’s dried? 28

We borrow sorrow from tomorrow. 52


Before cutting starts, examine your quartz. 3

A beginning ends when the cocktail blends. 7

 Throw a raincoat away on each sunny day? 11

Seed for needs; weed out weeds. 42

Check both arches before your marches. 64


Parted lips broaden hips. 27

The gore on the door shows revenge can unhinge. 40

Gnash, don’t gash. 41

 “I’ll stay satisfied,” said the stomach (who lied). 55

Note: The numbers (for example, 55) come from the chapters in the Bolling Foundation’s edition of the “I Ching” with a forward by C.G. Jung. The “Chingalings” here do not necessarily suggest the content of chapters as a whole but only the “image” section within them.

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Rev 2010-1.