chirapsia

Another poem for you. Today’s word is chirapsia, which means ‘manual friction’ or ‘massage’; it comes from Greek χειραψία, which could mean ‘gentle friction’ or ‘hand-to-hand combat’ (!), from χείρ kheir ‘hand’ and ἅπτω hapto ‘I touch’.

Whose hands, whose talons
seize my small fond cares,
pull at knots I’ve nicely tied,
tear the guts of my favourite stress?
What raptor takes me face down
and makes me face down
days of clenching and joy,
shrugs and spindled ecstasy?
In your chirapsia’s rhapsody,
have care of my rapt back,
bare arms, uprooted fingers;
soak my aches in your hands,
fit me to fight relaxation again.

2 responses to “chirapsia

  1. That’s a great poem built upon an intriguing word. The opening somehow reminded me of T S Eliot’s ‘Marina’.

    Is the chi- pronounced as in ‘key’ or akin to ‘cherish’?

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