Daily Archives: April 10, 2008

You (patchwork poem)

You roam the world with a wordly glee,
soaking in the rain of people and their fragrances.

I met your glance and you too mine –

After a decade long hiatus
my spirit at once did lift,
drifting through the air.

lightly caressing each other’s arms and shoulders
you brought me to the edge of free

and for your price you asked for
spiritual rebirth –
with intent to trample.

How can I outrun
dream maker and dream?

As waning sun gave way to moon
I was spinning – hard and fast-
against myself.
Flesh sold for a pittance.
A tattered soul.

Even if you have ancient wisdom,
it wasn’t much.


This is a patchwork poem, using lines by gautami tripathy, lissa, writerwoman, mariacristina and paisley. You can find out more about patchwork poems, and read what others have made of the same source material, on the Patchwork Poetry blog.

Last time round I promised I’d try to write a patchwork poem without changing a single word. I almost managed it – two pronouns in one line which were very necessary for the story I wanted to tell! 



Take your partners for an introduction…
Step forward – offer a hand,
If a dancer proffers a cheek
Then kiss it. Take their rhythm
Once or twice, left or right
Who leads, who follows
In this social dance?

Smiling, exchanging cards,
One moment joining a group,
Then turning away, forming
The figures of an unknown dance.

Some dance tango, some the waltz
Some demand, some offer, some hide
Behind a veil of bland neutrality
Through the dance we learn each other’s ways
Though always wondering how each stranger
Dances when they’re alone.

Through the crowd the patient waiters glide 
In magical white jackets they are
Invisible behind their laden trays.
I wonder what they think of the dance
Which they punctuate, but do not participate?

Formality and friendliness
Faces and hands. Each dancer
Treads a different path through our dance
Each interaction shaping its own pattern
Tracking paths on the sumptuous carpet

(Sometimes, overwhelmed, I escape the crowd to rest my feet from the endless dance. In the privacy of the bathrooms I check to make sure that I have not lost my soul in the whirling dance of faces.)

And then returning, swept back into the dance
A new partner, and another, and onwards I dance
But the quirks of my steps show
I hear my own music, always, in my mind
As I dance with different partners, my steps change
But it is always me who is dancing.