Dance of Life

Absorbed in some inner choreography

I slowly walk the streets

where images merge as in a dream

 

An autumn wind pipes oboes and bassoons

people dash down avenues like leaves

blown off the trees in gusts and whirls

 

They dance down sidewalks, linger by lamp posts

cling to windowsills of cottages

shiver in doorways, damp shelters from the rain

 

Fragrances of buns from bakeries

leak out into the cooling air

diners sit around in restaurants

 

Waiters hurry in with bowls of steaming soup

watercolor palettes of rystafel saucers,

hurry out with towers of empty dishes

 

Clattering collections on palms

all forearms and elbows, arms outstretched in haste

backing through swinging kitchen doors

 

In a flash of kinship I become all of them

multiplied and many-hued, their accents, clothing

ill-fitting dentures, eyeglasses, sore throats

 

Thoughts of furtive hands in darkened cinemas

income tax assessments, laundry lists, birthday cards

on dusty mantelpieces, letters from friends overseas

 

They are all mine! Rendered asunder by the wind blowing

into every corner of me, I burst apart into a myriad

flying fragments, russet, ochre, black, brown and yellow

 

I am Norwegian, Chinese, a Welshman on a green mountain

a tribal dancer in Africa, I am children prancing barefooted

in wooden huts, white eyes in dark faces, all smiles and teeth

 

I am a free-falling parachutist, floating down

between the trees, branches almost naked now, their fall leaves

rushing in the wind to distant resting places

 

I am one man in six billion windswept bodies

a swirl of flying leaves raked into a heap

the dance of life shivering across my every open pore

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© Johnmichael Simon

2006

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