Dance of Life

by Ethel Mortenson Davis

The threatening trees
by day
turned at night
to dancers round a fire,

the moon so bright
it made a jar-like sky
clear and empty,

a dance of life
with turning hypnotism,
patterned movements,
rushing fire-sparks.

The trees bent,
turning with the fire-moon,
all moving
on the breath of the wind,

fire and dancers
into an upward-moving flame.

The moon danced.
The trees shined.


Filed under Ethel Mortenson Davis, Poetry

23 responses to “Dance of Life

  1. Oh, wow–I know that’s repetitive, but your work “burns” from a deep, rich, wise spirit. I love it.

  2. “fire and dancers united into an upwards moving flame”–wonderful image of what happens when we dance in the light of His love and our hearts catch on fire for Him, warming and enlightening all around us.

  3. A buoyant dance of mother earth, spiritual and renewing. Happy New Year Thomas and Ethel. Thank you for your beautiful art that I have drawn much thought and comfort.

  4. Another poem to take our breath away… simply beautiful poem, Ethel!

  5. I love this, Ethel! I have seen trees right in my yard doing just this. Fine poem. Steve

  6. rainalosariel

    My Creative Writing 150 proff always said that imagery and playing with the reader’s senses was key to a great piece of writing. This right here exemplifies that. Wonderful job!


  7. A beautiful dance of words, Ethel. I love those night under the ‘fire-moon’

  8. You have a wonderful ability to paint pictures with words.

    I was right there with you – watching the moon dance


  9. Once again, this wonderfully deep and spiritual. Takes me to another place.

  10. i really like your descriptions…..they take us to a place….put us around the ‘fire’………..”..turned at night
    to dancers round a fire,” ……….very nice.

  11. Beautiful, I believe there is a dance of life and you have captured one of it’s rare performances.

  12. Beautiful poem, Ethel! The dance of the night is enticing and unnerving, and you have captured its magic here.

    The last lines leave the reader with such an exquiste view.

  13. Such a pretty, pretty poem, Ethel. Dancing moon and shining trees, so very pretty…

  14. Yes, I agree with everyone: this is a beautiful description of a magical scene.
    I was intrigued by the opening lines –
    “The threatening trees
    by day
    turned at night
    to dancers round a fire”
    There’s an unexpected inversion here: the trees are portrayed as threatening by day, enchanting by night. Clever, because it catches our attention, but it is not an empty trick because the trees as dancing or shining are central to the poem.
    I notice you conclude with “The moon danced. The trees shined.” I don’t know whether there’s a north American usage here (in England we would say “the trees shone”) or whether you’ve chosen to invent a word to mirror the moon ‘danced’. If the latter, then I think you are right. It works. And in a way it means the poem ends, as it began, with something unexpected but justified.

  15. howevernever

    A very fine and vivid poem – thank you.

  16. victoriagauthierphotography

    Beautiful poem. I love the last few lines. Very moving!

  17. i do not comment much because there is so little to say about most ‘blog’ poetry. but everytime i make it to your site i wish for two things: more time to read, and to be able to sit in my night-chair with a warm glass of bloody wine, and this body of work on paper. you have a wonderfully fresh outlook on Nature and it resonates in your Art – as is proper.

  18. Thank you for this, You unscramble letters and words to make something beautiful and impressive.


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