Tai Chi Poems

The Goalie

Soft-eyed taiji goalie,

that sound at the ‘Aud'

hush, then roar

as the ice sheet opens wide

from side to side,

is the noumenon

beneath all forms.

Seventy Eight

All afternoon in the practice hall

stamping and shouting

we practiced "Cannon Fist".

Then, at 5:00, Master Jou would light incense

press palms together

bow three times

to Chang San Feng's corner shrine.

Framed on the wall

a venerable gentleman in dynastic court dress sits

an embroidered crane upon his breast.

Two ladies with secret smiles pour tea

and laugh over their stitchery.

I ask: "Master Jou,

Is this your family?"

"Yes , my Father

and my two Mothers."

He turns slowly

walks to where his slippers wait.

Outside a soft rain

Falls on the farm.

Snow Moon

Tai Chi by moonlight:

my sword makes shadows a dream of snow upon the ground.

Tomb Antlers

I heard your whisper as we entered the corridor:


do not come this way…

…come no farther.”

Shang bronzes to our left

Chin ceramics to our right

and you at the end

twisted antlers nailed to a black slab

warning us

a last remnant of forgotten Chu.

The Lord of Chin,

First Sovereign Emperor,

blotted you from memory,

the scholars of Chu

and all who could read or write

buried alive

their inscriptions and names

chiseled from cliffs

the memory of a literature

obliterated utterly,

choked under the dust of time

and the rumbling war chariots of Chin.

Now here you are

twisted black fingers raised in warning

wrested from the entrance of some long-forgotten tomb

whispering at us

from that glass case

at the far end

of this bright corridor

a quiet dry voice


Year of the OX

Heaving delicate hooves

let us sway through time into

rhythms of honest effort,

focus and accomplishment.

Not for us the potential

malevolence of rats!

Penitence of the bewildered

and domesticated

becomes us not.

We rise and walk with

strong purpose and application,

achieving our desires.

Cloud Writer

When I am old

I shall become a hermit

and grow my beard and hair long.

Then, dipping my head in ink

I will write poems

on passing clouds.


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