Time Dancer

Tuesday, August 12, 2014.

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I found an old sketch book whose first entry was dated 11-27-83 + at about 5 pages in, I began illustrating a poem with photos and drawings and clippings from magazines.
The first few pages have the clippings and pictures glued in place, the rest have spaces for clippings and drawings etc. to be inserted. I don’t think I had chosen all the clippings I would use- and I’m thinking it would be a good experiment to add the photos and clippings I have and continue to add more as I go along-
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 it feels like a dance
Doesn’t it?
                   feel-
                           like a dance?
 
 
There we were-all of us
sitting around the fire,
talking, laughing, drinking wine,
smoking, thinking about life-
each of us- a Universe of our own
all of our worlds suspended
for a while
while we lived in a moment
too fragile to touch
too real to question
you got up- and
Turned-
to the West
 
                                 I rose and
turned
to the East
 
                  Everyone stood and
turned from our
circle
 
We stepped into shadows
to find the worlds
                               we thought
                               we wanted
 
we danced
through darkness
                      and moonlight
 
                                                                     through deserts
                                                                            and sunlight
 
through cities
              and lamplight
 
                                                                  through mountains
                                                                             and starlight
 
across oceans
and fire light
 
                                                                          through garbage
                                                                            and candle light
 
But-
every once in a while
                           one or more of us
                  lost interest
                                       in the dance
 
                                                                                No,
                                                                                this game
                                                                                wasn’t enough
 
too many dreams
had died
 
we stumbled
back to our circle,
fanned the embers
relit the fires
 
we met in twos and threes
and almost remembered
who we’d been and
where we’d started-
 
we talked and dreamed and
caught a new idea, a vision-
 
                                   Then, with our
                                   New Vision, unspoken
                                   we found new strength
 
                                                                               and fed each other
                                                                               on our bright new
                                                                               enthusiasm
                                                                               as we cried each other’s tears
                                                              over what we’d lost
 
                                    and we usually agreed
                                    there wasn’t enough – out there
                                    to hold our attention
                                    for long
                                    but then again
                                    we kept on
                                    getting back up on our feet
 
and danced back
                         into the shadows
 
perhaps I
stayed away the longest
perhaps
I danced the farthest
from that light
that always
called us back
together
 
                                                                  perhaps I
                                                                  watched my dreams
                                                                  too often
                                                                  go up in smoke
                                                                  too soon-
                                                                  – I
 
learned to hold on
-maybe much too tight- ly
to each second I
spent
in your company-
-with any one of us
I’d accidentally
learned to recognize-
-in chance meetings
in the strangest places
 
where and when our
dancing
brought us
face to face
with anyone
we thought we
-knew from somewhere-
 
like the free and easy
celebration of spring
where somebody who knew somebody
let a friend tag along
and I’d barely seen her
when my heart wanted to soar
to leap with joy at the idea
that she was actually
in the same world with me-
but then, some guy I
probably would have liked
came back from somewhere, and
put his arm around her shoulder
and grinned at me as if to say
-look all you want
-she’s mine tonight
and I wondered why I
wanted to
tear his heart out
on the spot
 
and me, I-
tripped over something
in the dark
 
and rolled to my knees
in some
strangely lighted fog
 
I stumbled and called
and whimpered
and screamed
 
I stood up
and listened
 
and walked
against the wind
 
and maybe blinked
once or twice
 
and found myself
back here
where we
started
 
I looked around,
                     there was no one
here-
                I struck a match and
lit a lantern
 
and sat down and
waited
 
-You’re the one -I
came closest to-
          -most often
 
stumbling back home,
in your own trajectory
– you looked a bit like
maybe you
were almost ready
                to join me
 
and I thought about us all
I remembered every shadow
every light,
every flicker of joy-
every mountain
                            every pit
 
every dancer
             every sanctuary
                              and I felt
                                            every dancer
                                                       dancing through me
 
turning and leaping
                                                        stepping and falling
phantoms in a shadow land
                                                       everyone a little sick
of spiraling so far out
 
Everyone a little closer to knowing
what we’d gone off to learn
                          -That everything we really wanted
                       we’d all had to begin with
              so long ago
with each other
 
I closed my eyes
and felt a restless tide
swelling through our
empty spaces
 
washing all the lands
we’d ever visited
 
I saw the restless thoughts
of every dreaming phantom
falling lifeless as the core
of our existence
refined the hunger
we’d been feeling
 
I reached for the light-
 
I felt you- all of you-
all of us dancing
all of us turning
and missing the beat
 
dropping our hands, disgusted
 
one by one returning
 
to the center of our circle
 
where I guess I’m
 
the first one back
 
sitting here with a silly grin
 
waiting to greet you
 
with this universe’s greatest laughter
 
crying,
             Welcome Home!
 
-Where in hell have you been this time?
 
——— Jim Wellington

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