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An Amazing Poem By A New Friend

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If there were only One Dance.

After weeks of travel to the high mountain,
Suffering a thirsty heat,
A sweating downpour,
A confused fog,
I sat at the feet of a wise one and I asked
My well rehearsed question:
"Oh wise one," I queried:
"On this plain of existence
I seem not to have enough time.
I wished that I could dance all the dances
Of all the cultures and peoples on earth.
But there is only enough time for one or two,
Which dance should I choose?"

The wise one pondered for two hours,
And upon the third hour said:

The true wise one
Knows only One Dance, eternal,
Conforming itself to Music.
And the true wise one
Knows no time outside of Music;
Knows no life outside of Dance;
Knows no created thing
Outside of a unique way of movement.
Even the clouds dance out their message;
Trees sway to the music of the wind;
The choreography of birds
On the backdrop of the heavens show this.
Mustangs, too, dance free on the Great Basin.
And the wise one knows this by remembering
The inner child.

As I pondered these words,
I heard a sweet sound of a bandoneon
Playing a tango ballad, as if from the village below us.
The music so moved me that I danced a tango with my shadow.
The old wise man clapped out a primal, ancient beat,
And I recognized the clave-pulse holding all music together -
The heartbeat that still flows in the blood of Africa.
At first startled, I noticed that my shadow had gone its own way,
Dancing some primal dance in counterpoint to me and my tango.

My small experience and human mind
Cannot comprehend One Dance
And Time as Music.
The miracle of my shadow.
Or that Music moved me to dance
The One Dance.

But I have glimpsed that
Time indeed is Music,
And Music has no life, no meaning
Unless you and I are dancing together
The One Dance.

One day the whole planet will join us.

Mark Word
Salado, Texas
December 2008

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