Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Ballerina’s Song of the Earth' and Sourton Tor

Beneath Sourton Tor

This poem was inspired after we walked our dog underneath Sourton Tor. It  was quite a wild day, hence the mood of this photo. Somehow the vision of the ballerina just appeared, manifested. in front of me. She was dancing over and dancing across the moorscape and when I returned home, haunted by the image, I had to write the poem. It has been published by Ouroboros and is included in my Collection Tessitura, published 2013, by Shearsman. 


Ballerina’s Song of the Earth
 (for Darcey Bussell)

Someone draws
a circle
pencil-line ornate  in grey

around that empty space
the virtual (veritable) land

where no one is
except
a bird  (lost Bride)

 butterfly
free from its cage

                *
Have you ever (just once)
considered latent (wasted) talent
where words are lost-in-ether
though they may alight on a limb
of branch or perch as sigil on the stalk
of a rose?

Where does the phrase of incomplete text
finish? How long
does it exist in air before
it dies or
drops
to earth dead
stone?

                 *
And no! She couldn’t have been there!
All a figment and that   you know  don’t you
what I mean?   though
bracken was an arena for theatre

The day I saw her on the moor
I’d been considering the
Self
fulfilment
those who say
they can have
and do
everything  anything
as and when
they like   and thinking
how fortunate they must be

Just to the north   high on the crown
of Sorton tor there’s a metamorphosis
of rocks   beneath my feet
this moor-scape edge   grass-hillocks on
green-earth salted with dew

         *
 She sashayed
down from mid-grey skies – Ballerina!

You must have seen her
dancing
on the ground -

demi- plié -
pirouettes en pointe

catch light on her dress
as she skims
  & spirals
her dervish of whirling death

it’s chiffon and satin  a border
of organdie and net   
 shimmer
of  lilac-cerise

blue

  sequins

      butterflying

            everywhere

She’s intent on inner voices
singing the song  
where she went on the night of her final
Farewell to Earth

I caught the last glimpse
her terre à terre     before
she’d gone   one with the hang-glider
behind the tor
the stones
out of view
of sight

and now don’t know
if she came to be part of the poem
to tell us something
or even flew in just for fun
a trick of light    simplicity itself
disguised in a moving text
of ballet-dress

You do know though
She won’t return

Note: Bussell’s last performance with the Royal Ballet in June 2007 was Macmillan’s ballet Song
of the Earth