I watch the dancer, one arm framing her face,
one hip drawing upward in the belly’s rhythm.
The dance of mature women, Raqs Sharqi,
born of the sensuous music of the Middle East.
Her hips pull us into infinity,
an inward-outward shout of beauty and desire.
In Cameroon, babies learn music
while strapped to Mama’s back.
Coming of age, boys leap high,
beaming with the village’s newfound respect.
In Bali, the gamelan orchestra cues the dancer
with clangs and thumps,
the bodies telling stories of monsters and gods,
each movement of eyes, and fingers, and feet
a perfectly timed posture of sacred geometry.
Oh humans, oh, humans, can’t you love all this?
Can’t you love the way we’ve created the world,
each culture born of each unique place,
and each of us expressing in our own way?
Doesn’t this beauty tear at your heart,
that everywhere we draw up our Earth’s strength
through our feet, through our hands,
and we thank Her with leaps and turns,
ecstatic to be stretching our bounds?
Oh people of our Earth, can’t you love all this?
The exquisite mudras of Bharat Natyam,
nuances of the courtship of Radha and Krishna, her love?
The kibbutz youth, leaping to dumbek and flute,
‘til joy bursts like fireworks from the chest?
Oh humans, oh infinite diversity,
aren’t you breathtaken, aren’t you amazed?
don’t you treasure each other, for the vastness
of what, together, we are?
|Boys practice drumming in Cameroon|
|Dancers on an Israeli kibbutz|
|Raqs Farqi, belly dancer|
|Bharat Natyam dancer of India playing Krishna's flute|