Tai Chi in Twenty Voices* ~ (May 2021)

Morning light awakening to stillness.

It’s a moment of perpetual grace. We’ll be forever inside it for the rest of our lives.

 

The dantian grounds me, stabilizes me,

a keeper of expressions I never knew I possessed.

Relax. Breathe. Connect to heaven and earth. Move from my center. Breathe. Relax.

 

My friend likes tai chi because it is exercise that doesn’t hurt.

Single whip sinks down stretches my back, bringing my dantian closer to the earth.

 

Embrace the Tao as if it were more precious than water, more real than earth.

In the dark Covid winter, we practiced the spring position

and anticipated the Earth's reawakening.

Entering the Tao, I carry with me the presence

collected moment by moment, deep within.

 

Five open projecting fire and warmth

while five come together to share a cool drink.

For all that it’s worth, you saved my life.

 

Inhaling sweet qi, the dantian billows to permeate my being and originate all movement.

Single Whip goes down, down. Fear not! I befriend my Snake with a smile.

 

Blue sky above, brown earth below, connecting beyond blue sky & brown earth am I.

Tai chi ch’uan, memories of my Lao Shi and Taiwan.

I stand, I sink, I stretch heavenward, I release downward, I inhabit myself; I am, I live.

 

Playing the lute brings music to my ears.

Rough and ready push-kick.

In silent stepping, I make not a single sound.

 

Release, relax flood gates open, tension flows away;

reborn, soft flexible open, finding the way.

Finding balance on my right, then spin left lift knee, push foot out tight.

 

Fair lady works the shuttle weaving the soulful tapestry of our global dantian.

Shifting, rooting, folding in four corners like the wind

twirling with my arm branches unfurling.

Pivot line, pivot line, pivot line, turn corner one, corner two, corner three-four.

Four corners opens me out of myself into four corners of the world.

 

Holding the 70-30 positions strengthens my body

to perform awkward gardening maneuvers.

 

Tai Chi nurtures my connectedness with myself,

nature, and humankind. It strengthens my joy of life.

 

Park dusk practicing Sword with no sword, gather. Step through

parting clouds. Embrace the moon.

Such a heavenly moment: Standing amongst the Seven Stars of the Big Dipper.

 

One palm up receiving inspiration, one palm down inhibitions go.

Look for stillness and for hope.

A mystery is really softness.

 

You have the crown jewels now.

What do you intend to do with them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This is a collaborative poem, written by contributions of twenty writers in our tai chi community. Writers who contributed one or more lines to this poem are listed in alphabetical order below:

 

Keith Abel,

Linda Bisberg,

Anonymous,

Clara Berman,

Edna Brandt,

Joan Campbell,

Tina Curran,

Maria Gandler,

Barbara Heineck,

Israela Kamara,

Pawel Kubiak,

Kevin Lannon,

Marni Nissen Olmsted,

Margaret Olmsted,

Sharon Peck,

Annette Peizer,

Mark Preston,

Jeff Rosier,

Teddy Rothman,

Anne Smyers,

Becky Talevich

 

 

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