For my first year school project, I wrote poems for each phase (or element) in Chinese Medicine theory. Each phase has a long list of correspondences that
includes season of the year, sound, smell, related organ systems, etc. We were encouraged to know these like the back of our hand, an incredibly helpful practice. These associations are the bread and butter of insightful diagnosis and treatment
and help practitioners to understand patients more thoroughly.
Below is my learning poem for Earth which pertains to the organ pair of stomach (yang)
and spleen (yin). (The bear is my choice, not necessarily an animal associated with Earth by the Chinese.)
Most charts show yellow as the color associated
with Earth but it is not so much a lemon or butter color. It is more the golden color of ripening grain or the soft brown of earth itself. The words that pertain to earth are in color.
Great Bear at the Center
A small hiccup.
She pats her stomach
and licks her lips,
sweet yellow honey,
fragrance of bees.
Singing carefree songs of late summer,
the great bear wards off worry.
Will her nourishing
qi be strong
in the damp winter cave?
lives in the center, now,
flexing her flesh,
savoring flavors of
Enlarged by fire,
she breeds metals.
Held by the trees,
makes a home for water.