The One-Footed Dancer

Years ago, I was inspired by a dance I saw on “So You Think You Can Dance” concerning people with cancer to write this.

Last night, I revised it and decided to put it up here:

The One-Footed Dancer

This is a poem of no glories
It’s just one of those plain old stories

It doesn’t talk about lands ever green
Or fables and tales forever unseen

It’s about a guy, a lonely dancer
With only one foot, suffering cancer

Well, enough talk now, let’s get to beginning
– which, by the way, has lots of giggling.

The giggling was coming from a bunch of girls,
Clad as dancers, with gorgeous, blond curls.

They were looking and oh-not-so-hiding
At a one-footed guy, swirling and dancing.

Well, dancing I say, it was more jumping
into every wall, solidly bumping.

The guy had cancer, and so had gone bald,
His name was Louie; Lousy he was called.

He had big ears, big eyes to go with.
He was clumsy, in everything he did.

This day, however, was not like always,
It was his last dance, the last of his days.

The girls didn’t know, and just kept going
At laughing at him, mindless, unknowing.

The guy, for all that, was not hearing
All that ill-natured, girly giggling.

In fact, so you know, he just wasn’t there,
And for all the world, he just didn’t care.

So immersed he was in his lonely dream
Where he was dancing beside a stream.

He wasn’t ugly, or bald, or maimed, there.
In fact he was tall, and lean, and was fair.

His partner in dance was a beautiful girl
Her smile bright, she had eyes like pearl

She was as light as the water in the stream
With features as bright and soft as the dream

He looked at her and started to spin
And completed it, flashing a grin

He pirouetted, then did a jeté,
Landed soundlessly, and did a chassé

In his fantasies, no one could best him
The light of his fame would not ever dim

His lady loved him for his excellence
in all that he did, he was so intense.

He danced and she laughed, like a merry child
And for her laughter, he always smiled.

He was just about to join his lover
when his foot slipped and he fell over.

His head hurt a lot, “Lousy!” someone called,
He reached up, and lo! he was again bald!

He looked up, around, and to his horror,
Saw himself ugly, in the dance mirror.

His lover’s laughter was gone and instead
A mean, nasty laugh started to spread

He couldn’t take it, he started to cry
He wished he could just drop off and die

With that wish he lay there on the ground
And in his sadness, slowly drowned.

All of a sudden, everything was gone,
And he saw a light as bright as sun.

Lighter than feathers, softer than a bed
someone took his hand, and cradled his head

“Louie,” said a voice, gentle as the night,
And kissed his forehead, like a ray of light

Caressing his cheek, she looked down at him
And Louie saw her, the girl of his dream.

Dancers all about, saw Louie looking
At nothing at all, and then smiling

For they couldn’t see the fantasy girl
Holding on to him, emotions awhirl

All they saw was him, lying there alone
Ugly, one-footed, uttering a moan

He began to cough, and there was blood
Staining his shirt, an ugly, red bud

They all ran to him, to – perhaps – help him
And they saw his eyes, big, bulgy, and dim

Somebody knelt down and looked at his chest
No rise and no fall, just an empty nest

There was no breath, his heart had stopped
Smiling upward, he had just dropped

Ambulances came to revive the guy
But his soul had gone for the far fly

It was the last time anybody saw
Louie the Lousy, so full of flaw

Ugly, one-footed, suffering cancer,
Daring to claim to be a dancer.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
1:48 AM

Tuesday, July 31, 2013
00:35 AM

Sitting in a hotel room in a remote village …

Sitting in a hotel room in a remote village

looking at all man does, the massacre, the pillage

I look at you taking on the life, daring the devil

standing on just one foot on the window sill

your pink and white gown as sharp as it goes

against the wind that’s playing with your upturned toes

your hair a wild flower’s raging leaves

mismatched with a sky no one believes

to exist anymore save you the lively you

who are in the roadless world the only avenue

picking your fights with care and giving your care away

standing for who you are without any sway

going about your life and looking down

the poor devil doesn’t know — he is your pawn

Continue reading

Dead Man

And I killed a dead man, once upon a time,

It was a hired kill, and it cost’ just a dime,

A very cheap feat, kicking a man who’s down,

But hey people, I’ve since then grown,

Now I only kick them when they’re up and standing,

And – okay, I admit – when they’re not looking,

Maybe I’m not a good man, but who gives you the right to judge me so?

Do you consider God cruel, when fate brings you low?

Well, I’m just writing rubbish, that much is clear,

And my writing dwindles, as the end draws near …


Mean

I look in your eyes and you caress me,

Your touch is doubtful and there’s no confidence,

Oh, I’d forgotten. You’ve just met a guy,

but it seems such a queer coincidence!

 

I can be mean, too, if need be, you know.

But don’t get mad, baby, who said you were mean?

It’s not your fault, after all, that I wasn’t man enough,

and you simply had to cut me clean.

 

I was just brainy, and you wanted brawny,

And getting you to admit that was quite daring.

Just so that you know, your loyalties have changed;

Well, I don’t mind the change, as long as there’s no sharing.

 

Your touch is lacking, and your gaze doubtful,

If I’ve done something wrong I cannot remember,

I can be mean, too, but my heart won’t let me,

and it aches as I hang my head … in silent surrender.

The Mad Showcase

Well, I’m just a misfit, a bug of media,

and I always idly surf the Wikipedia.

The lights of mayhem are slowly winking

while I quite silently sing an Ode to Thinking.

Modernists laugh at your way of thinking

and it matters not if your heart is sinking

Oh! where has Brecht gone, or Weber for that matter;

love and life are both great, but I’d prefer the latter

***

Ah how blue it’s to play the jack, how really dull

and all the while into foolishness we delve.

The path isn’t straight, the king has become a tool –

just like a ruler, only one used to draw a curve.

Jack is a Marxist, and there’s the Nazzi Jake,

See what a difference an E can really make!

Philosophies in showcases, ideologies everywhere;

and nobody can really tell the latter from the former.

And given all the choices that I’ve had to make,

there’s no one easy path that I’d wanna take.

But there’s still hope – ain’t there always? –

and I’ll put off choosing, for minutes, hours, and days.

***

You can choose to serve, or you can choose to rule;

And when all the paths so wildly swerve,

I don’t know if I can be anything less,

but I’ll just be a ruler who only wants to serve.

Do take a picture, and over it paint

a stricken heart, covered with a reddish taint

then carefully put the heart in the open chest

of a nightingale who has never left the nest.

This is no feint, and no truth either, but bring it anyway,

that pure madness with which all the world will sway.

I feel stretched in this lonely show, unstitched at the seams

and in this global zoo, I have left behind all the dreams.

***

I lay aside all my doubts, and clear my conscience,

and with a tired glance, I gather my nerve,

to ask the universe where it all went wrong, and maybe when?

But then I look around, and the questions … I shelve.