Pulse Listening (a Sestina poem)

In the Summer 2009, Number 65, of The Main Central Jin Shin Jyustu Newsletter, Cynthia Broshi submitted the following poem to help our understanding:

Pulse Listening

Pulse whispers the secrets of the Universe, expressing creation of Being in this breath. Listen to invisible energy with the hand, through manifestation. The silent pulse of perfection is a O, spiraling head to toe, toe to head, surface to core and back again. Listen at the radius.

Listening is the act of drawing surface to core, a radius. Within 1 is the 10,000 Universe. To say that Earth resides in body, Heaven the head is to remember the months in the womb unfolding, breath elongating, separating, segmenting, building perfection as primitive streak, spine, armbud, then fingers splay to being a hand

which receives and gives. What a pleasure to touch a hand. At dawn of the Vernal Equinox the radius of light expands, likewise is the midnight of winter perfection. Before my simple touch even starts a universe of duality blends to 3: Inspire, expire, breath is life, death, transformation: Trinity. Head

towards another and all I know evaporates. Face your head to follow your senses: gates weaving mind to hand the princess, locked to the impossible task, her breath of prayer that wakes the animal knowing the radius of flax to gold, 4 corners unfold a universe, times Trinity’s Breath they’re 12, Left and Right mirroring perfection

as 72,000. I’m new here. Who’s to name perfection? Muriel says the first voice through hand to heart to head sings the mysteries of the Universe: go with that. Make a unit of 3 fingers on each hand and listen on the bone below the head of the radius, not in the flesh where blood is loud, on the bone where breath

rises to meet you. Symphony no one’s ever heard, each breath unique – tin bell in an icy cave, an infant’s perfection destroying grief, fire tumbling out the radius of Atom For Peace Galaxy, slippery sidewalk, mashed potatoes, horses racing ahead of a dank gale on a full moon calling lightly into your hand the 144,000 expressions birthing the Universe.

In this Breath we meet the Head of Perfection, wordless Hand your Radius I am O Universe.

About Pulse Listening…

“The poem on page 2 (above) is a sestina, a form popular amongst the troubadours of Medieval and early Renaissance France and Italy. The six end words, or teleutons of the first stanza are repeated in a specific order as end words in each of the five succeeding stanzas and in the final short stanza, the envoy.

If the end words of Stanza 1 are designated 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6, then Stanza 2 folds them: 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 3. Stanza 3 folds the end words of Stanza 2 in the same manner: 6 – 1 – 5 – 2 – 4 – 3. And so on, through Stanza 6, so the teleutons are folded five times in this manner. The order of repetition in the three lines of the envoy is 2, 5 – 4, 3 – 6, 1.

The sestina form acts like a Diagonal Mediator, blending surface and core, above and below. Generation and Regeneration. The winding repetitions set up waves of breath and image. I find it invigorating to the imagination and that it naturally unfolds within itself an expression of the simple, ever-deepening, ever-expanding Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. When I read that its roots are said to be in numerology, “but what the significance of the pattern was originally is now unknown”* I asked Carlos what he could tell us about this form.”

*Lewis Turco, An Exaltation of Forms

We shall see how Carlos responded to Cynthia’s request in our next post.


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