Two long legs of suppleness and strength
Meet two ribboned feet at the end of their length.
A nimble figure upon silken foot,
With pointed toe sprite limbs are put.
In the wind a graceful flower
Jetties commanding a wilful power.
Up to the skies to the powder white cloud
A neck long and swan like holds a head high and proud.
Elegance and athleticism bedecked in pearls,
In a swift movement a flower unfurls,
Leaves flutter softly and fall to the ground.
The flower then dies and petals scatter around,
Wafting in a circle her skirt brushes the floor
Born to a new life the flower is no more.
Up she jumps on two wooden toes,
Upwards a bird flies skyward it goes.
Inspired by Edgar Degas
Battered and torn slippers lay face down on the floor
They are worn at the toes they don’t dance any more
Their soft, white, satin has greyed and they are jaded
Memories of flight and their dance have all but faded
The ribbons are still plenty and shift with the dust
Crevasses and cracks beckon a shrill, wintry gust
Tinged and ravaged edges make a spidery trail
Sighing fluttery breaths with each remnant of gale
Exuding a fine aura of rich porcelain and grace
Her white hair taut and disciplined sculpts her fine face
Blessed with a marriage of elegance and sheer skill
Borne from her passion, her greatness and iron will
A breath of true beauty sits in a lifeless room
All alone save two images mounted in the gloom
Degas and his dancers add tone with subtle hue
Girls fixing their shoes, is the cherished ‘Dancers in Blue’
She pulls in her shawl as a gesture to the fire
A poker commands flames to rise even higher
She smoothes out her petticoats warming hands and skirt
After gathering it up to avoid soot and the dirt
A cold ache embraces a cushioned walnut chair
She looks at the shoes made to glow in a vibrant air
Almond eyes grow heavier as if in a trance
Closed eyelids shelter echoes of her life and her dance
She falls into deep sleep where the slippers waken
From the floor satin shoes rise; no steps are taken
White powdered dust is caught in a poetic stream
Billowing outwards to the ballet in her dream
Ripples of silk spiral in the movement of air
Accompanied by the firesides flickering stare
Slippers pirouette between glowing ember
Crimsoned flame’s warmth causes them to remember
Lengths of warmed ribbon trailing slippers in the air
Brush past the ballerina asleep in her chair
Her body stirs but she is loath to waken
Lest her enchantment is stolen; slowly taken
Her exquisite face is young again for a while
A head of black hair lowers with a bow and smile
Breaking free from her shawl, arms sinewy and sprite
Form a grandiose arch by a luminous light
As coals turn to ashes in a cast iron grate
A warm glow descends on a dancer and her fate
It caresses cold fingertips streaming in light
A cocooned ballerina is lifted to flight
No questions are asked as there are no answers
But mystery shrouds Degas and his blue dancers
The painting is different, radiantly new
Because of another dancer in his ‘Dancers in Blue’.
Long dark shadows run from her toes
A dancer in silhouette creates her prose
With soft, silken movements she begins to talk
Her stillness is silence; she begins to walk
Long strides denote words seldom heard before
A tall, slender shadow follows behind on the floor
Cascading hair gleams and falls with grace
Swirling and curling covering her face
She carries on her poetry; she moves again
But stumbles and glides to where her shadow had lain
Her words stop flowing and the dark shapes are no more
A hand brushes her forehead it is the shadow from the floor
It surrounds her broken spirit with a plethora of new words
They rise together singing, arms fluttering like birds
They speak in angelic chorus with notes high and long
Turning their words into sonnets and sonnets into song
Paleness now dampens their bright moon’s glow
Silently they watch shadows fade and slowly go
The sun casts a new theme a rich golden haze
Mist becomes their music and they dance in a daze
Talking in gestures, rhyming rhythmically and grand
The dew takes the place of shadows where they stand
Silencing their dance and with a garland in her hair
She pirouettes under crown in a radiance filled air
Their words have been spoken in a dance now complete
A cool wind rolls, wrapping leaves around still feet
She looks up from the earth but the shadow isn’t there
She tries to tilt her head to the sun’s stringent glare
Her gaze is stolen by chinks of light at play
It is the shadow dancer in the trees as they sway
SHADOW DANCER – II
She wakes and stretches
Flowers fall from her hair.
Flickering snatches of her dream
Slowly come to bare.
She picks up the garland
From the leaf covered floor.
She remembers dark shadows
And the dancer, then more.
A sigh is halted
By shafts of light strewn,
Dancing and twinkling,
She remembers the moon.
A rush of cool wind blows
Rustling leaves everywhere.
She smiles and recalls
The shadow dancer; was he there?
Echoing the trees’ gesture
On pointed toe she sways.
Lithe arms touch the sky,
She jetes to her day.
She leaps out into the air,
Swirling and twirling to the wood,
Trying to recapture a dream,
And much more if she could.
Morning birds flittered softly
Creating music for her dance,
A young fawn looks on,
Spring legs quivering his stance.
With proud spirit she pirouettes
Stepping-stones sat in a stream,
A tune of trickling water
Reminds her of the dream.
She waltzes on pointed toes
Flowers bury dancing feet.
She bows to smell the fragrance
Her gaze is forced to meet.
She sees a dark mist rising,
Flitting betwixt the trees,
She blinks and he is before her,
Poised magnificently at ease.
The arabesque shadow
Gently reaches for her hands,.
He raises them till arms outstretch,
She does not resist his commands.
He nods his head in the wind,
And an overture begins their dance.
He escorts her to their stage of green
Both in hypnotic trance.
Delicately the shadow dancer
Encompasses her slender waist,
Lifting her high above his head
Till the wind is all she can taste.
Climbing the air with arms fluttering,
He lowers her eyes to his gaze,
On one foot he spins her
Till the woods and the day is a daze.
She swoops and picks up a flower
And places it in his hand.
His stride lengthens, he leaps;
Movement majestic and grand.
Forming arches overhead
Entwining down below
He breaks free; spiralling outwards
Hoping she will follow.
The shadow beckons to the woods,
Her feet stand still upon the floor,
She knows she isn’t dreaming
This is the shadow from before.
She is torn her mind is reeling,
This day of dance must never end,
She meekly glides till she encounters
A dancing partner; her lover, her friend.
MY BEAUTIFUL BALLERINA
A luminous beam
Holds proudly my child,
Silken toes pointed,
Porcelain arms opened wide.
She is talking to me
With that arabesque stance,
Creating poetry since childhood
In her movement and dance.
Reaching for that cloud,
I’ve watched my signet fly
Head high; so proud.
Soft satin whispers
In the rush of the air,
My white swan flies
Towards the sun’s harsh glare.
She descends from blue skies,
A glow lights her face,
Composing poetry one last time
With a Ballerina’s grace.