I would like dancers in my dreams tonight.
Rising from mist
Dancing over water
Two, four, many
Moving to music softly heard
Stepping to rhythms
That, like stars,
Appear random, uncountable and endless.
Now I see dancers in the snow
En pointe and leaping
Into arms unseen.
Tuts white as frost
And gossamer too
Above lithe long legs
Dusting up with each turn
That, like children,
Play pleasant chase in a classical ballet.
Other dancers waltz among darkness.
Slipping into shafts of light
Coming from high overhead
Illuminating them quickly
Until they step once more into shadows
Only to emerge again
With unreal ethereal beauty
Filling other bright beams
That, like flowers,
Reveal their glory in days of bloom.
Dancers, take my hands.
Lead me to the origins of life.
Show me the sun that brings you light,
The stars and the moon when it’s night.
Let my ears hear too the music you hear.
Let its rhythms transcend my body and spirit.
Teach me the turns and steps I must take.
Lend me your grace in the patterns I make.
And if I fail, bear me up again
As soldiers would a fallen friend.
Old Degas sits in a corner painting
Seated on a three-legged stool.
Before an easel caked with colors from the past,
He seeks the chiaroscuro
With which he paints his ballerinas.
He paints their joy, ennui,
Their courage and their innocence.
His dancers are mine too.
They jeté across the limelight
To fill my dreams
That, like life’s certainties,
Melt away in the morning.