(Update: Apparently I changed the settings on this blog post to ‘private’ for another post. The result is that this got posted yesterday, but in a way that no one could see it; and I forgot to change that… It appears for your perusal now… and now I’m working on the 2 September entry…)
Began doing tai chi and Qi gong on the porch of this little guest house in sweltering humidity at about 5:45 am. Not ideal circumstances, really. Didn’t do push-ups yesterday. Like the poem, the day sort of slipped away from me. I’m still very cautious about doing exercise in front of others.
I’ve tried to tackle the issues of Cloud Hands before in writing. It’s an odd maneuver. The body slides right and then left with sort of a windmill thing with the hands going on. The feet criss-cross one another, and it ends with sort of a spiraling, coiling motion.
A word about process, today: usually I write poetry longhand or on a larger computer screen. Today I’m composing on a mobile phone. If the line breaks turn out funny or the scansion is problematic, that’s probably why.
right hand ascendant and pointing to sky
As right foot impresses all weight to ground.
Left arm hangs parallel to ground. For why
would you bother to defend all around
(Though you should) when most attacks come face-first?
Left hand rises while right hand sinks inside;
At once with hands open and not closed fist,
Hands turn widdershins and right foot steps wide,
Both drawn across the body’s central line.
Right leg steps behind left, as left sinks in;
hands change places, inverting the incline.
arms spread outward, all open to within.
Right foot steps more, trunk coiling like springs —
the body tightens, as though bound by strings.
Wow. This one is terrible. I don’t know when I’m gong to return to this subject, so I’ll just say that I think this particular poem sucks. This is what I get for taking a day off from writing, right? Actually, it’s likely nowhere near so nefarious. It’s not possible to write dozens or hundreds of perfect poems, one after the other. Some will be good and some will be bad. Sometimes you can edit bad poems into great poems, sometimes you can’t. But I’m going to leave this one for now, and maybe fix it later. As Robert Frost pointed out, though, I don’t know if I’m ever going to travel back this way again; and therefore it’s not worth worrying about.