I still feel like I have to go back and fix the Cloud Hands poem. Twenty push-ups today, in sets of eight, and twelve. I was unhappy with being unable to do eight, so I cranked out twelve even though it was painful. The first of the eight was a nose-to-the-floor push-up, so, progress.
The two qi gong forms kind of blended together. I’m not supposed to do that, but I found myself mixing and matching movements from the two systems, so I just ran with it, and did all thirteen movements in a single form. It felt kinda nice; I may alter my program and develop the Thirteen Ways Of Looking at a Blackbird as a qi gong form, a la Wallace Stenger.
The tai chi form was OK. As I get closer to the end (or even past the middle), I find that I want to race ahead, and finish working on the sequence — and I mean this both about the poetry and about the tai chi. It’s easy to rush now, because we’re coming up on the movements called Fair Lady Works the Shuttles, and I find that once I’m aware that I’m approaching that, both physically and poetically, it’s difficult to slow down.
Here’s where we are:
- 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
- roll back, press, push, single whip, golden pheasant left, golden pheasant right, kick right, kick left, 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, diagonal single whip, elbow twist, 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.
From one perspective I have about 19 poems still to write, and from another perspective only thirteen (since I’ve written poems about the six poems in the second-to-last bullet line before). Getting close… a couple of weeks left, although it’s tricky. I know what the next couple of weeks look like… there could be a break-day in there somewhere…
Anyway, Elbow Twist. I’m writing this poem front-to-back, unlike yesterday, which should make it quite a bit easier:
Pull your left arm back as you shift your weight
from front to back, sinister to dexter.
With bent arm, right hand open, block the gate
of the solar plexus. Be the trickster
as left hand passes down between the chest
and the right arm with all due force and speed.
Left hand passes underneath the right wrist,
and then pops up again, outside, as need
may dictate. In this way a foe who grabs
may find their grip is gently prized away;
and the left elbow can deliver jabs
even as left forearm pushes away.
Few fingers have the strength to hold the wrist
against the whole arm: their strength turns to dust.