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The Dance

by Ken Sanes

They are moving
every part of their bodies
as they dance.
Some are in a trance,
intoxicated with repetition,
as they move around the crackling fire
and sparks fly in the cool night air
against a sky full of stars.
And some
are going through the motions
as they watch the others dance,
and wait for a trance
that may never come.
But they are all dancing
inside the cycle,
which is the only place they can dance,
traveling along the circuits
that define their lives,
of spring, summer, fall and winter;
birth, child-rearing, aging and death,
and the waxing and waning of the moon.
And they are dancing
from a bright clear morning,
when there is work to be done
and they can hear the children
laughing and playing
at the edge of the camp,
to the shadow of night
when they lose themselves
in the fragmented life of dreams.
As I stand here watching them
under a full moon
that is clear and full of detail,
I think they are dancing for abundance
and for a safe birth.
And they are dancing
the waxing and waning of their own lives
around the crackling fire
as sparks fly in the cool night air
against a sky full of stars.


Poems About Life: Main Homepage
Nature Poetry and the Human World
Here are two other dances that were probably
influences on this poem. These links go off site:
The Dance by William Carlos Williams
Four Quartets: East Coker, in Section I,
by T. S. Eliot


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