The one who had made everyone else disappear
When I woke up this morning, I found no one in the house.
I looked outside, but there was no one in the street.
Boarding a bus with no driver, I made my way to an empty airport and onto a plane,
where I waited, alone. exhausted,
I drifted back into a world of dreams and remembered the one I had danced with
….the one who had made everyone else disappear.
If you’ve written or have a favorite tango poem, please submit it in your reply below.
The Tango Argentine
Do they still dance on old walkways
with lowered shoulders, mastered breath
and almost martial, measured gaze
though one that’s bent on life, not death?
Will men with class step up and raise
an arm and pause: a shibboleth
that leading, and not lording, pays
respect– and takes his partner’s breath?
Do they still dance outside cafes
where women take that hand, serenely
send the other past and, tracing
fingers round his shoulder, mean
that he should follow her embrace?
Will they, with slightest calf-lines lean
in lightly, energize the space,
and dance the Tango Argentine?
Just look at him: He is the man
who wears suspenders with his jeans.
His faintly graying temples can
assure, compel, invite. He means
to spin a spell that’s greater than
what younger tigers’ wisdom gleans.
Just look at him. He is the man
who understands what tango means.
She is the savvy woman who–
with tightened, open vest, surrenders
nothing yet; with knees that through
her silk, a-swish, delay the ends
desire seeks, with eyes a hue
of smoke-and-light no man contends
against– draws in a partner to
the energy the tango lends.
He is the working man who, while
the early coffee brews, tries out
his steps or searches for his style
between the dumpster and his doubt
at midnight after work reviling
graveyard shifts, and yet devoutly
finds in form, despite his trial,
his dance, and what it’s all about.
She is the one who always seems
too young for him, the woman who
can read and write a man’s own dreams
through layered bangs, cut sharply to
the corners of her eyes. She screams
inside at work while out of view
she does her ochos– under gleaming
counters: what else can she do ?
Just look at him. Just look at her.
Or rather look at all that they
aspire to: their feet confer
from worldliness and wear, the way
of gravitas, while hips infer
that heaven’s held in how they play.
The dancers meld. Just look at her.
Just look at him. And let us pray.
Across the street a drunk sits down,
too staggered to misunderstand.
Another, having lost his frown,
a Bidi smoking in his hand,
has raised that arm and paused: a crowning
gesture which has left him standing,
poised to offer dance. Then down
his spine run chills he never planned.
The crowd in their own time and way–
the shoppers, mocking teens, a few
bravado boys, their dates– they play
at life and pass. But one or two
are changed, becoming as they sway,
someone who steps-up to, or who
draws out, the dreamy scene. Do they
still dance the tango here? They do.
The Tango Argentine.
The Way of Tango
Embraced, we step
each on one foot
then the other
with that quiet animal
who lives inside.
The One who knows…
how to keep Upright;
The One who knows
to get out of the way.
on the atlas disc
each step taken
– David Bean inspired by
Sophia DeMello-Breyner (look below)
©David Bean June 6 08
I’m listening. But I don’t know
If what I hear is silence or God.
I’m listening. But I can’t tell
If I hear the plane of emptiness echoing
Or a keen consciousness
That at the bounds of the universe
Deciphers and watches me.
I only know I walk like someone
Beheld, Beloved and Known.
And because of this
I put into my every movement
Solemnity and Risk.
– Sophia DeMello-Breyner
Still drying my tears,
Though, of course I should have known,
I strap on my shoes
And summon the strength
To soften my heart.
It takes three to tango
Some say it takes two,
they have not felt tango,
have not yet understood tango.
Always when tango comes
there are three,
if only two it is just a movement
of bodies in space, a step, a twist,
or a turn, a four-legged
walking dance without heart.
When tango enters the dance,
always there are three,
corazón a corazón
heart to heart, turning into
un corazón, one heart in two bodies.
Pasión que mueve un corazón
passion flowing from one heart
moving through two beings becoming one,
dancing a new soul of a momentary
moving life into being.
Here so short, then gone,
Like the short life we live daily.
– William Bowen
2014 Portland Oregon
FOR ALL ARGENTINE TANGO DANCERS……
It takes a long time to understand this dance completely, but once you acquire the real feeling, it becomes photographed into the mind in a way that can never be erased.
Love and Marriage
Watching the young couple
move onto the dance floor
How she presses her cheek to his
How his arm embraces her
hand firm over her spine
drawing her into him
How their bodies move together
sensuous and fluid
I smile at my husband
their tango of passion
a clash of wills
SO true Nadine! Fortunately my husband and I have got somewhat beyond this now after 20 years!