- Opening, circled hands, ward off left, ward off right,
- roll back, press, push, single whip, stand like tree, shoulder strike, white heron spreads wings,brush knee/twist step, playing pipah, brush knee/twist step, grab needle at the sea floor,spread hands like fan, throat strike, retreat to the mountain camp, false close, (I had to make a number of changes in the order of movements here… why did I get it so wrong?)
- roll back, press, push, single whip, golden pheasant left, golden pheasant right, kick left, kick right, half-spin, kick with heel, bounce the baby, box ears with fists, roll back, press, push, single whip,
- Buddha’s twist (not its name but what I called it after I couldn’t remember its name), step back to drive the monkey away, cloud hands, spiral inward, diagonal single whip, elbow defense, fair lady works the shuttles 1, fair lady works the shuttles 2, fair lady works the shuttles 3, fair lady works the shuttles 4, ward off left, ward off right,
- roll back, press, push, single whip, step to the seven stars, bend the bow, double fist, ride the tiger, full spin, windmill kick, left-hand push, closing.
Laying it out as five bullet points kind of makes clear that the form is roughly divided into five sections of unequal length, and that I’m about to begin working on the poems of the third section. I’d been wondering about that quite a bit, actually. I’ve decided that I’m going to revisit the poems of these five movements: roll back, press, push, single whip, that are already written, and see if they need adjustment or revision, rather than writing completely new poems.
Here’s what I wrote before, about Press:
To the left and down, the arms fall away
from roll-back position to guard the hip:
but don’t grab the chi in the normal way;
instead, permit all received force to slip
past and behind you. Yet don’t come to rest,
but now right hand rises to block the path,
gently seeking home on opponent’s chest.
Left hand launches, strongly but without wrath
unwinding torsion from right foot to wrist—
as your hips twist, the whole body’s full weight
pushes out the palm instead of the fist.
As left palm meets right, the right arm’s whole freight
is transferred from you to your surprised foe —
right hand deceives; while the left lands the blow.
Working through the movement, line by line in the poem, I think it works. There’s a reasonable flow, and a reasonable accuracy between the movement described and the movement during Press. So I think I leave it as it is. No, I take that back. I’ve highlighted some sections in red that I’m going to review again the next time this comes around, and see what I think then.
One of the things that I really like about this sort of blogging is the degree to which I get to review and rewind little segments of my practice. Doing these poems for the individual movements has really helped, particularly when it comes to the movements that I keep revisiting throughout the form. All the same, I look at how much more there is to go, and it’s mildly discouraging. Did I really take on this very public project just as the school year was commencing? I won’t be done until around the 22nd of September, and that’s assuming no days off.
I think I have to give myself license for a day or two off here and there. Still do the tai chi of course, but not write nor revisit a poem.