no. 114

joining the circus

 

when i pluck up my courage

when i become more brave

i will leave everything behind

and join the circus

 

i will begin as the mid-life-crisis attraction

banal to spectators, yet strangely

the most sought-after performer

of hot-flash wails

and hormonal mood-swings

in running mascara

i will bemoan the coming of 55 and 60

as i bound around the stage comedically

in search of a cane to ease

my soon-to-be aching joints

i will attempt to regain youth in

contortionism

perfecting clown-like standing splits and bridge

in the name of showbiz i will dress provocatively

in sequined bodysuits that highlight

my knobbly elbows and knees

sucking in my protruding gut

 

after many years, hundreds of shows,

i will transition

and become the self-assured

story-teller

reminiscing about days past

regaling a tale of young love

as gamine acrobats

theatricize the exquisite

blossoming of life

my rheumy eyes shining

i will have a wreath of flowers

in my white curls

and a rocking chair to sit upon

i will smile benevolently at the

audience, who hang on my every word

 

at the imploring of the ringmaster

himself a crotchety mustachioed fellow

who desires the limelight

even more than i

i will urge my nonagenarian body

to assume the form of a spritely

dancer

that which i always wished to be

he will entreat me to join him

in a waltz

and the spot will trail us around

the ring, the only star in the dark

night of the big top

(written 15 september 2019)

 

no. 113

milonga

he holds her

the arch of her back, her heart

in the palm of his hand

they stand

barely moving

she gives him leave

to proceed

they sway

the reach of his leg

the wīnd of her arm

as it curves

in that manner

peculiar to the embrace

the cross of her feet

the twist of his hips

all this anticipated

with great consideration

and then the music

begins

(written 1 september 2019)

no. 89

hula

all those brown bodies dancing, swaying skirts, undulating arms

they are a wave

all those brown legs and ankles, tapping rhythm, touching ground

they are a heartbeat

all those brown faces, beaming joy, turning this way and that

they are the sun

all those brown heads, crowned with leaves, exuding light

they are the soul

let me get lost in that wave, that heartbeat, that sun, that soul

it is mine and not mine

in some other life i feel it must have been mine

now the brown body is all that i have

the brown legs and ankles

the brown face

the brown head

that is all I have, i cannot claim the rest though i can love it from afar

let it wash over me, get lost in it

allow it to remind me of that life so long ago

no. 70

dance

unbearable surge of heat

fingers and toes meet

arms and legs stretch

 

heart and lungs fetch

oxygen to the brain

tendons and ligaments strain

 

eyes and ears sense

muscles and skin tense

clothes are cast away

 

thoughts and actions stay

forced in a pattern to hold

resultant actions are bold

 

oh how the arms move

happily bound to the groove

that binds body to the drums

 

held in vibrational thrums

it didn’t happen by chance

we humans were made to dance

(written 12 april 2018)

no. 45

thirty-three joints

it is the movement of all thirty-three joints

one by one and in concert

the fatty pad worn thin because it loves contact with the ground

the simultaneous sinking and suspension that allow for the earth

to come up through arms and exit the fingers and head

after traversing the fascia

that train track of connections

one becomes light even in this tethering

rendering thought almost unnecessary, all that is needed

is immersion in the music of life

the rhythm of heartbeat

the body already knows the dance

(written 19 march 2018)

mundane musing the sixteenth

plows

they grumble, rumble with their efforts

hydraulic joints, well oiled, still grind

straining, lifting, pushing

it is a marvel that they are able to dance gracefully

their gargantuan treaded wheels

biting into the sand-like snow

every move choreographed carefully by the driver

(we wouldn’t want any accidents)

demi-gods of winter,

they move drifts and hills

piling them into mountains

with a sisyphean tenacity

the children delight and bring sleds

we are at their mercy

we pray each night

and in the morning

they have heard our call.

no. 19 sonnetry

IV.

if we but for a moment dance and sing

we’d find that life is full and ripe, not dull

our legs are nimble, arms are really wings

our voices carry tunes, sweet, rich and full

why waste time on frivolities like those?

when moments shift to days and days to years

perhaps we will find lives so full of woes

for dance and song won’t hold at bay life’s fears

but wait, cannot the happiness we feel

as graceful bodies celebrate their worth

take sad thoughts, injuries and help them heal

in elder days prove keys to youth’s rebirth

yes, now while in life’s spring we have a chance

let’s not sit idle, yes, let’s sing and dance!

(written 18 december 2017)