Friday Poem:Dancer

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, with my daughter, her partner and little Juniper. We went through the splendid Asian section, where we saw a beautiful Natarajah – Lord Shiva in the form of Lord of the Dance. I was very impressed with it. Since then, it has been revealed that the dealer from whom the Gallery purchased it -at great expense – was  not all he seemed. The Shiva who danced in pride of place in Canberra had been -ah- removed illicitly from a tiny temple in a village in Southern India. The gallery has now said the image will be returned. I hope it gets back eventually to it’s proper home, because it’s devotees really miss it…a shiva 2

Wrist bones and hip bones
Dancing for me
Ribcage and spine bones
Dance in the dark.

Dance, dance for me
Thigh bones and ankles!
Collar-bones, skull bones
Come dance for me;
The flame of life flickers
Dancing the bones.

Bound up with muscle
Wrapped in the skin
With a sweet crown of hair
Spirit dances within.
My bones and your bones
Dance in the dark:
Spirit, our spirits
Dancing the bones.a shiva 3

I wasn’t actually thinking of Natarajah when I wrote the poem – after all, he is dancing the universe into being, not just having a good time -but it seems apt. Nor are the Shivas in these photos the one in the NGA; they are much smaller (and legally mine) but the posture (asana?) is the same. I’m not a huge Bruce fan, but how can I not add this song to this post?! shiva

Friday Poem: Lord of the Dance

Friday again already! I almost forgot…

Lord of the Dance


Lord of the Dance,
Creator and Destroyer
in one-
Dance for me,
Show what I  must
in order
to create anew;
Teach me to create
and dance destruction.
All that is born must die,
An endless cycle;
And that which is not born
Does not die.
I am that, Lord Shiva;
The Dancer and the dance.'About a Boy' book page

I made this little book to hold the lyrics of Patti Smith’s “About a Boy”. I may share more of it later. Patti Smith is a great poet, musician and artist, truly an inspiration. If you haven’t read “Just Kids” yet, I suggest that you do so soon! She was a (fairly) ordinary girl who grew up to meet and work with extraordinary people in New York in the 70’s. Now she’s a living legend…