“Dancing Death”

When Dancing Death comes flinging round,

He stomps gaps into the ground.

Inviting you to fill his card,

And learn the steps-so thrilling hard.


You’ll dance until you’re tired through,

And holey like the princess’ shoe,

But still you’ll turn and spin and leap,

Because your goodbyes don’t come cheap.


Weave within those strongest arms,

That always bruise, but mean no harm,

This is how you leave your past,

You lose its sight as you whirl fast.


Dizziness won’t make you forget,

Knocking limbs can’t cause you to fret,

You’re caught up in the steps of Death,

Your world dissipates on His breath,


In lovely grays and magic swirls,

That surround you as the dancing whirls,

Softening jabs and pains and pokes,

Across the veil of stinging smoke,


It creeps to those you’ll leave, their eyes

Now apart from you, and makes them cry.

Brushing them with each step you take,

As the dance of Death makes their world quake.


It’s a dance for madmen where limbs contort,

Into others, where pain and grief consort.

“Squash” go the hearts and out goes the breath,

These are moves in the dance with Death.


But Death, He has no time for rest,

Even when souls have left each breast,

He just moves on, the dancing fool

We mortals have a wiser rule.


We have time to rest our feet,

To stop dancing to an outer beat.

We fling all into our turn,

But then we leave the dance to burn


We have ourselves another place,

With other friends and love to face,

We’ll learn the steps with Death’s guide,

To reach ourselves to the other side.


When Dancing Death comes flinging round,

He stomps gaps into the ground.

Inviting you to follow me,

And dance your way to being free.


You’ll dance until you’ve gotten through,

No more steps between us two,

But our joy will still grow as before,

Because our helloes still mean more.


Similar Posts:

-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/twelve-dancing-princesses/ (“Disenchanted” poem)


-https://wheresmytower.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/maurice-sendak-is-dead/ (Sendak death poem)

Twelve Dancing Princesses

My calendar this month has Kay Nielson’s “Twelve Dancing Princesses”:

And then this happened:


I stayed up dancing til there’s holes in my shoes,

From elegant gliding and rocking the blues

And my sticking-out toes clad in shredded-up shoes

Grew much too tired to wriggle at you.


I danced all night til my stockings had holes

From jerking in time and prancing my poles

And my worn-out legs, dragging their shoes,

Felt far too tired to twirl round with you.


I spun and whirled til my skirts had tears,

From clutching hands and being flung in the air.

And everything it covered before it flew

Had lost all desire for nighttime with you.


I kept on dancing til my bodice had rips

where hands were warm and manners had slipped,

And even my corset released its ties

exhausted from night filled with you and I.


I danced all night til my voice had gaps.

My breath went unused and my words lapsed.

Since no one listened to things that were true

As I discovered holes in my dancing with you.


I kept on swaying til I saw my holes.

How I was uncovered, wore unsteady clothes.

I saw only holes in the things I could do

Dancing so fast with less clothing and you.


I danced until my lungs had rips

From moving fast and kisses-stopped lips.

Til my breath was too weary to cause a sigh

As your dance took my lungs, the air, and I.


I whirled with the dance til there were holes in my heart.

The gold and silver leaves sliced it apart.

Empty branches can’t stop exhaustion coming through

Or hide these holes from my night here with you.


I danced until there were holes in my mind.

Til trees sparkled with jewels of every kind.

Til my brain was so foggy I couldn’t think why

there appeared such holes between you and I.


I danced through the night until you had holes.

From the look in your eyes to your feet’s soles.

Being so tired I just fell right through

a lake-sized hole to the center of you.


I danced all night having holes torn in me

Til all that I had was made plain to see.

You danced through me as easy as night

But after rowing your holes, mine are shut tight.


I danced all night til there’s holes in my shoes

From elegant gliding and rocking the blues.

Now the holes are gone and your night is, too.

I’m never too tired to turn myself new.