poems: from the beginning

The first of my poems published was the dancer, which appeared in a California State University Stanislaus small publication entitled Between Sheets in 1978 (those days all of my poems were untitled). At this point in my poetry life i’d never submitted and i didn’t again for a long time afterward. it was a wonderful surprise to have it accepted. The reason i submitted was my mom, who was an affirmative action officer there and wanted me to submit (though she had nothing to do with the publication.) 

i’d been writing since i was 12 or 13 and didn’t really share my work. One day my mom, who was an English professor (though at this time was likely still working toward her PhD) found some of my poems in a drawer. i entered my room to find a note from her praising me for my words. i often wonder what would have happened if she’d not been such an ardent supporter from that first moment.

It wasn’t until i moved to San Diego in the early 80s that i began to share my work publicly, to read at poetry venues and to find my voice for sharing my words (it takes some work, to read your poetry in just the right way). 

So here it is, my first-ever published poem (now with a title):

the dancer

you’ve entered my life with the ease of a dancer
gliding your way across this set
a breeze creates soft rustle of night leaves
through my heart a song whispers your name

your movements    leaps     lunges    dance of the lover   
rhythmic chant of body and earth
a tribute to two moving together
making their own breezes through the air

lie quiet, love    you have brought me your gift
i will hum my song
through my dreams beside you i know your own heart
speaking softly its night dance with my own

you go to your weekly    life     calls us all
what remains with me is a kind of silence   
a kind silence resounding in joy   
it’s as deep as the sea 
as wise as canyons
as old as mountains standing silent   majestic   knowing

i surrender myself to the knowledge of mountains
(they have survived so much more than i) 
and look up to see against the brilliant sunrise 
a lone dancer paying tribute to this world

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Published in Between Sheets, #9, California State University Stanislaus, 1978

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to read a selection of my poems, please return to the poems drop down menu to choose from the list of poems.