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Poems Inspired by Belly Dance

Inspired by belly dance, the following poems are are written by Ellen Sander, "Shoshanim".

Snake Dance

Belly Dance Spinning

Heart of darkness

Sliver of snaking light

snaking from rump to neck

snaking from spine to spine

winding, drumming

Skirts fly

sparkles spear into the night

feet are beating

hands palpitating, drums


The snake she

winds from the beginning of time

from daughter to daughter, you and I

we dance this truth

we dance this truth


Trance Dancing

The stars shame us

with their multitudes and indifference.

I can see what I am not

in the amazing starlight

walking back to my room.

I do not sleep, I float between

a vague and pristine presence, learning

the difference between awareness

& thought.

I could disappear and not meet

myself in recognition any more

my body moving in some

unknowing and emblematic design

every shift redefining pleasure.

I watch the tabla player

in awe of his shadow hands

that rake the air with

glancing strikes.

I am anointed with his sweat

and sacred incantation.

It is a dream dance, the flickering

rhythm's dangerous passage through

his core and extremities.

We meet our ancestors

in the rampant mystery

they love each other passionately

the stars envy us.

The drumming settles into silence, the

dance is over and the

pain returns once again to his hands.


Those who say only women bleed

don't consider battlefields

and soldiers of the heart

cowering under cover of


Funny how we reminisce.

The past is kind enough to bury

lines in the sand

dunes, berms, erect themselves

to hold the waters at bay.

A mind is a terrible thing to make up

and matters of blood and surrender

just abstractions of a noble and sensual politic

between torn sheets of newsprint and linen

where bedding the enemy

is reasonable accommodation

and sometimes it feels so good.

I think of Cleopatra in Caesar's arms

gasping at thoughts of glistening coastal treasures

literature and armies, teachers and, above all, art

how she must have grasped and urged with

warrior cries, sweetly pressed her lips on

the gates of history.

Never had the empire known a better night

We live their secret daily.

We'd do it if we could.

No lie. When the clothes of revolution come off

we relish the nudity of monuments.

Dance With the Wind

I like to dance with the wind.

It fills my sails

and opens my heart.

My skirt flutters,

veils soar and take me on their

magic journey.

We tremble like windripples

in the chill of twilight

not lingering too long

in the break between worlds

between twilight and dark.

The sand snaps tiny biting specks

against my ankles

like bracelets, they patter me

as if I am spinning

and then realize:

I am spinning.

I know where your gate is latched

I know where your sloop is anchored

I see the string on your kite,

looping in the wind.

I fly, I cry, I dance with the wind

and echo her breathing

that fires our souls

with spiritual wanderlust

into ancient, ceaseless,

mysterious music.

Magnolia & Fog in January

The fog moved in so quickly

you said it looked like the rest of the world

disappeared around us.

The Magnolia was blooming, just

two or three blossoms in January.

Marvel though it is, you say that in


these are called Japanese Magnolias,


Of course. Unlike native blooms

that respect season.

Understanding is overrated.

But if the rest of the world

dissappeared, it would be

just fine to be here in the fog

and Japanese Magnolia

with you.

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