Cinnabar Swan Healing Arts

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ashland, Oregon

Words to Inspire

Over the past year I have been researching the symbolic meanings found in acupuncture meridians and point names. What follow are poems based upon the English translation of the point names:

the gushing spring
is the stumbling heart;
the blazing valley
is the dragon in the abyss;
yet the water must rise from the one
through the other
if it is ever to reach
the great ravine,
if its waters are ever to be poured
into the great goblet;
if it is ever to empty
into the shining sea…

recover the flow,
return the white;
enter the yin valley
and reach the great manifestation;
the infant’s door
opens onto the fourfold fullness,
the marrow mansion,
and leaves eventually
by the stone pass
to arrive at the yin metropolis…

the open valley
is before the dark gate;
the corridor walk leads
to the spirit seal
the spirit ruins, and
the spirit storehouse;
the lively center
within bounds,
the possible center
on the other side…

dragon chop

it’s at the sea
bed that yin converges,
and something so sinking

to the Central Pole
it aspires…

and in so rising crosses through
the Origin Pass, a gate
with myriad names evoking
infants and cinnabar,
life and blood,
seas and cities,
mountains and delivery…

and exiting the stone gate
where essential dew is found
yin continues to rise
to the sea of qi,
through the scarce pass,
between the towers
of the spirit gate…

then, the waters divide,
the dark gate rises,
yet the great tower gate
looms further along…

heralding arrival at
the spirit mansion,
and the home of the
original child; here,
Jade’s beauty is found
in the purple palace,
under a florid canopy.

and yin reaches its aspiration,
pivoting on jade
like the Dipper in the sky
before it exits the jade door,
follows the ridge spring,
and enters the celestial pool…

dragon chop
Shuilong field poems

warm sun
cool river
steady stream
tingling flow
washes my mai
forward and back
then downstream
down to rocks
up to sun

and down again
plant the roots
push the water
trail my laogongs
in the river…

and again and again
and then to sun and dry

from water’s cold heat
to the sun’s baking
i’m led to shivering.

from cold?
or from what
the cold pulls forth…

from fear?
fear of cold?
or old fears
the cold has pulled out
like stains so deep
i thought the fabric of me
was a different color…

i sun and i wonder
when i learned
to stop the flow
and fear…

i know the cold
is not the thing
i fear
just teaching me
of what i carry
deep in my bones,
unknown until

one night of rain swelled the river
submerging rocks studded with emerald mosses and stubborn grasses. . .

one night of rain spilling downstream from the lake
carrying logs and branches from windsnapped trees to the Pacific. . .

hang on. . .
the rock is slippery. . .

no flesh no bones no weight no size no shape no gravity no feet on the ground no roots just anchors from five thin fingers no skin no nails no hair no joints no tendons no cold just the heat of water roaring through me like a sieve breathe roaring through me breathe roaring through me breathe roaring through me breathe breath can’t buoy me as much as the speed of the water breathe still hanging on breathe flesh on fire breathe find roots in my feet through the wet pebbles. . .

stand in summer
winter has vanished
obelisk pines and madrones slant shards of sunlight
marking past and future solstices
summer is eternal and here and now
wander back to the shore and sit
and watch the universe soar by
in torrents of silken snowmelt and downpours and heavenly dragons’ joyful tears
swirling around slippery rocks. . .

above a submerged sandbar the current runs backwards.

are you a dragon? I ask, and the air is filled with giggling
while my knees and fingers blossom a silken veiled vermillion.

oriental dragon graphic link to
“Shui Long:
Water Dragon Internal Art & Meditation” webpage;
bookmark this page before you leave!

T’ai chi ch’uan literally translates as “grand ultimate fist”. The grand ultimate is symbolized by what we in the west call the ‘yin-yang symbol’ (the t’ai chi t’u). This symbol illustrates the concept of a still point at the center of dynamic movement.

T’ai chi ch’uan is an excellent adjunct to acupuncture treatment. Because it is a moving exercise, and the movements have been designed to promote qi flow in certain meridians in a certain sequence, it helps resolve many types of pain patterns. Its use of movement together with standing makes it ideal for women with menstrual difficulties, menopausal symptoms, or women recovering from childbirth because it promotes free flow of qi through the uterus.