I would like dancers in my dreams tonight.

Rising from mist

Dancing over water

Turning, spinning

Symmetrical, elliptical

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.