My practice hasn’t been great lately, I’ll admit. Between some racing around at work, and some timing challenges, I’ve not been doing the workouts as intensively as I’d like, and the poetry has actually challenged me — writing it has taken me far more time in the course of the work than I would like, or have expected.
Today is our first repeated motion: Brush Knee with a Twist Step. I wrote about this here:
Draw right hand back, as though drawing a bow,
and shift all weight to the foot on the right.
Step with left foot, and be prepared to go
forward the moment things are even slight-
ly to your advantage. Thrust the right hand,
and sweep left hand and arm across, and down.
Sink the left foot, as though it were in sand;
right foot lightens as the movement makes known
the force from left foot to right hand expressed.
Left hand sweeps attacks to the knee and thigh,
and when all defenses are thus addressed,
the body is almost ready to fly!
But check the attack: re-plant the right heel;
your forward thrust, it will anchor and steal.
So that was the first attempt. In between these two motions came Playing Pipah, but the goal is still that this movement is a parallel to the first; and that the first movement is parallel to the second. So one poem should be able to inform the other. Here’s the second:
Now, with your right foot anchored to the floor,
pull left and right hands away to the right.
Imagine, if you can, there is a door
just in front of you, and you must now fight
through that narrow gate. Let your left hand sweep
across the left thigh to defend the knee
as your left foot steps. Your right hand will keep
pushing forward — and though the hand is free,
the right arm transmits the left foot’s pressure.
Shift all your weight from right foot to left sole,
fit through the narrow door: golden treasure
lies beyond! Balance your weight, become whole
with left and right heels equally grounded
and your trunk on left and right defended.