Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017 Poets United Poets Pantry/The Turtle Dance 2017/ dVerse/The Unsuspecting Heart

The Turtle Dance 2017

it was early on new years day      we entered the pueblo          the sun was not shining

snow still on the ground      the sound of our footsteps crunched     in the cold morning air

nostrils filled with the smell of pinion smoke     the dance had not started        

no one spoke      we moved among the pueblo dogs      who greeted us warmly  

we found our places among the women                 wrapped in colorful blankets            

at the base of the oldest pueblo building          inhabited for over one thousand years

right at the foot of taos mountain                    soon the dancers entered the plaza

the snow began to fall lightly         i want you to imagine                    the way it was

perhaps there were 20 dancers       all men                            some young/some old

the turtle dance is a line dance       ancient old/sacred         the drummer took his place

behind the dancers      as he began to beat the drum      the dancers began to sing and dance

to the rhythm of the drum        each dressed in moccasins          jingles and fur at their


each wore handmade crocheted white leggings        woven white wraps/woven belts

                                                                                                           mostly red

bare chested some wore white beads                 some wore a band of shells from one


the bottom of their faces                     painted white as though they wore beards

each wore a feathered headdress                      some woven cloth or animal fur down

                                                                                                            their backs

and a fox skin dangled from the back of their belts            turtle shells with rattles near

                                                                                                            their knees

and each held a white painted gourd rattle shaped like a turtle shell/ tied with tiny

                                                                                                            evergreen twigs

if it sounds magical to you                   it is                                        we experienced

                                                                                                           the turtle dance

i cannot say what else happened          in that “thin place”                for each one

the experience is sacred               and to the pueblo people               if it is sacred

                                                                                                           /it is secret

January 2017/ Happy New Year

This poem is a poem within a poem, an experience within an experience, meanings
unexplained, tying the thread to what is ancient old sacred, in a crazy mad world, there
are still places of peace.

The Unsuspecting Heart

the worm curls        around the heart            eats the center

looks for another     curls again                    eats some more

day turns to night    there he hides waiting  for the unsuspecting heart

without warning      the heart feels the curl  welcomes it

                                                     only to find his center eaten

January 2, 2017


Sherry Blue Sky said...

How extremely beautiful this is....the Pueblo, the place of peace, the description of watchers and dancers. You took me there. My new fave of yours.

Anonymous said...

I hear the drums as my own heartbeat. And yes, sacred is secret for each of us. Thank you, Annell,


Samyuktha Jayaprakash said...

Thanks for helping us dance along with you! :)

brudberg said...

Sorry for only commenting on the Quadrille, but i really loves that one... it has the complex simplicity that I feel is a bit like Robert Blake.

Kim Russell said...

I agree with Bjorn about The Unsuspecting Heart - reminiscent of Blake's invisible worm in The Sick Rose. I like it!

Grace said...

If we are not careful, we would lose the center of our lives~

Good one Annell and thanks for joining us at D'verse~ said...

ditto Bjorn. The unsuspecting heart....that title can apply to so much...I've always thought of an expanding heart...and here we have a heart that is diminishing, disappearing, being eaten. Oh my.

Frank Hubeny said...

An interesting idea for the unsuspecting heart to find out that its center has been eaten.

Anonymous said...

I like the transition of time in the quadrille ("day turns to night") and the way that plays with the unsuspecting true those things are....!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I absolutely love The Turtle Dance. And the quadrille is excellently intricate and thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

Gosh. that is a good quadrille..wonder about a heart that has its core eaten...great image there,

Other Mary said...

I really like the repetition of "it is sacred" in the first. The quadrille - the worm eating is such a good image. Well done, you!

Toni Spencer said...

I will only comment on the last portion of this poem as it is the only portion that meets the specifications of a quadrille and todays prompted word: i too agree wiith Bjorn about the quadrille being so much like a Blake poem and the transition of time. Excellent quad! Next time you write for a dVerse post, you may want to break out the actual part thatbpertains to dVerse and onlynlink that portion.

Sumana Roy said...

a beautiful beginning, with the dance...the enjoyment of life and then the unsuspecting heart...sad & chilling...

rudraprayaga said...

Long poem, but the soul is meaningful.Nice.

dsnake1 said...

i like the details in this native dance.
love the quad too. and i think it's about betrayal. :)

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a beautifully deep write, Annell ❤️