Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Dance

One day when the air was supple and full of hope

My life unfurled in a thousand thousand

Shades of green.

Tethered by my resilience,

I inhaled each moment.

Moving with the currents of air

Holding my arms open to the rain

Turning in to survive the storms

Always surrounded by murmuring voices

Crescendos in the wind.

I lived the long green-ness

With all the exuberance of

the innocent.

Slowly, the nights lengthened

The air cooled

And I plunged deep into myself

Erupting into a golden flame

Until, one day

I was strong enough

To choose

to fall.

I was witnessed by one who said,

Fall is far too graceless a word

For the jubilant dance

That carries you back

Into the ground of your being

Where you will always dream

In a thousand, thousand shades of green.


Anonymous said...



I'm thinking this is your poetry - it is a big, as Nichol said, WOW! xoxo

kigen said...

Rebecca, fantastic poetic journey! Also you trusted your readers with it. Thank you! Thank you!

Roy said...

How does one leave Silence as comment? Silence. I am listening to you recite this poem... alone. This is Rebecca.

Rebecca Johnson said...

Thanks to all of you for your encouraging and loving comments. Roy, I haven't read this poem out loud, how interesting. Maybe I should always do that before I offer it in print. I am wondering now what it sounds like outside of my head. : )

NIchol and SS, Thanks so much for the "wows". High praise indeed. : )

Kigen, I was struck by your comment about trusting my readers. Could you say more about that if you get a chance? It is interesting that it feels much more "risky" to post my poetry than a regular blog and I have to tell all of you that as soon as it was up I started editing it. A poem, for me, is never quite finished.


kigen said...

Rebecca, It's very, very good! Even as a draft. It's composed on several layers in a way that is absolutely delightful. Thrilling even. I swooned reading it. Jealously is human, it happens to everybody. But you took the chance, trusted your friends here and that was almost as thrilling as the poem itself. And the responses were so gentle, because we all knew, consciously or unconsciously, what you had risked.

Rebecca Johnson said...

Kigen, I wanted to tell you that I loved your poem over at the Abbey. A poem that has beauty, cleverness and depth is a near miracle. Thank you.

Re your comment above: I heard on NPR the other day that one famous poet (don't remember who) asked another famous poet (don't remember him either) how you ever know if your "stuff is any good". The poet answered him, "You never do. You go to your grave wondering."

I wrote this poem because I was trying to share a little bit of the wonder that I feel at the cycle of the leaves and the beauty of that bright yellow leaf swirling down to the ground and how we say that the leaves "fall" but that's just not enough to say about how beautiful it is and how I wish that I could "fall" in exactly that same way. And I see that I said all of that, but the words that came don't even begin to touch the image in my mind. Thank you for your encouraging words.

Suz said...


Isn't it interesting that we all knew it was yours, You have a recognizable voice!

For one second I thought, "Mary Oliver...nice" and then it almost instantly switched to "Rebecca!"

It is a lovely poem. Thank you.

Rebecca Johnson said...

Suz, You are the second person to mention that it reminded them of Mary Oliver. What a compliment! But also beautiful to know that somehow I have my own poet's voice. Thanks so much for gracing this blog with your presence. I am dying to hear more about your art and where Spirit is taking you. : ) Love....