The Dance of Life #a poem


Breezes awaken you from brief sleep.
Practising your moves, you tiptoe through damp meadows,
arms outstretched to greet a pastel promise.
Reaching the forest, you breathe deep, inhaling
nature’s fragrant secrets, pulled from deep beneath the fertile earth
Fresh buds swell, as yellow blooms nod a welcome.
Briefly, you grieve the loss of winter’s snowdrops —
then you pirouette,
dipping and spinning in graceful ballet,
every call in your body celebrating
the first high day of Spring.
Out of sight, the Green Man watches you with a blithe smile.

Soon, rambling roses bloom, taking their place
amidst a fragrant profusion of hedgerow beauty.
The heat of the sun exhausts the energy of air,
stealing its wish to cool your face.
Your celebratory dance decelerates
to become a lazy waltz toward Autumn.
The Green Man watches you with a gentle smile.

An excited wind whips failing leaves from trees,
reminding us that all things have their season,
filling you with a need to make haste before sleep.
This is the time to jive, kicking your legs high,
making copper and bronze confetti fly
as you celebrate your sentient state
in the rich planetary scheme.
The Green Man watches you with a kindly smile.

The ground freezes where recent flowers
raised their heads.
Berries wait to feed the winter birds.
Hidden deep, small creatures hibernate;
not all will survive.
The year is passing fast; as night approaches,
you take your place for a different dance.
As you match your tired steps to the romance
of the last waltz,
you are content in the knowledge
that the Green Man watches over you still,
a loving smile dancing across leafy lips.

Image: The late Laurie Wedge, the Tall Green Man of Pilton. Laurie was lifted to greener pastures in February 2016. Wherever else he may be, he lives in fond memories xxx

©Jane Paterson Basil

19 thoughts on “The Dance of Life #a poem

  1. I love this, that full turn of the world and our dance through its shifting seasons. Love the recurring Green Man too – I adore that imagery, that primeval personification of regrowth and fecundity. Love that photo. A sadly missed Green Man

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know if I told you how we first met. I was designed and ran Santa’s Grotto for three years running in Barnstaple’s shopping mall. When I advertised for a Santa, he applied. He was incredible – the best Santa I’ve ever seen, since he was a professional showman. The only problem was, he was always late. EVERY DAY! At his funeral, many stories were told of the famous lateness of the ‘very late’ Laurie. He’d made tardiness into an art form.
      In my way, I loved that man, but I made sure he didn’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Santa always late? What did all those little kids think? I have a friend who’s like that – cannot physically be on time, no matter what she does. You’d think they’d learn after they’d done it a few times, but it’s as if there’s a tiny bit missing from them – an internal clock or something. At least he was amazing when he did arrive.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We tried pretending we were opening an hour earier – but he was wise to that; it had been tried before 🙂
          Mostly it was the parents that were annoyed – or rather, the fathers. They forgot all about it when they met Santa. He had all sorts of tricks, like pretending to be asleep, so the child had to wake him, and I’d worked out my own tricks, so that Santa was able to give the child an individually chosen, wrapped gift with his/her name on it, and a message. If the kid liked cars, it would be a car. You want a pony? You get a pony. The parents couldn’t figure out how I did it. It was hard work, with real elves who engaged with the kids. But it was Santa who made it perfect.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, you sound like you were the perfect team – him playful and sweet, you beavering away in the background, making sure everything went smoothly. I like that he was a Green Man as well as Father Christmas, a connection between the gift giver and an older, pagan time. Lovely memories Jane. I can see why you were so fond of him.

            Liked by 1 person

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