Sunday Dance Tribe. {poetry}


I’ve danced with the same tribe of fierce and tender warriors
every Sunday morning for 17 years, in Sausalito, CA.
I’ve showed up ragged and chewed to the bone.
I’ve showed up glowing like an electric eel.
I have always been welcomed in this circle,
woven into this Celtic knot of dancers,
who come to open and listen
to themselves and each other,
in a language before words.

How does my body want to move when I don’t tell it how?
Where does my body want to take me and what does it want to show me
when I get still enough to listen to its shape,
quiet enough inside myself to follow its map,
awake enough to choose not to know the path,
and curious enough to want to experience
a moment of meeting myself and others
in new territory.

Where, if I include the totality of myself
and let go of everything I know,
I may experience a moment
where I am being danced by something bigger
than anything I could dream up,
feel myself as part of this dreaming,
and know, that together,
we are greater
than the sum
of our individual selves.

Come dance, my friends,
whether you are walking in the woods, or singing by the sea,
swimming in the river, or dreaming in the desert,
strolling at night through the city streets,
or sitting in stillness
in your own cove,
wrestling or waltzing
with your demons,

come dance;
know that we are all part of this dreaming,
as we weave in and out of each other’s orbits,
in helixes of shadow and light,
meeting in the middle,
finding ourselves and each other
in the reflections we reveal
with each new step.


My feet arrive
on the wooden floor
the very texture
against the tender skin
of my soles
brings me to temple.

Raw and holy
this wood ground,
where the people of my tribe
gather early on Sunday morning
to offer their sweat and tears.

Dancing it all out.
Dancing it all in.

Rubbing the floor
and themselves
and each other
to a high shine.

Morning sun
sings a song
of celebration
through the open window.
I drink it into my cells like an elixir.
Notes of light
dazzle my eye
until I dissolve shimmering,
my heart molten.


The tide turns
and my belly tears open
to the war inside
to the graveyard
where the bodies of the dead
are still decomposing.

I dance over their bones
like Shiva
pulverizing their remains
until what is left
turns back into soil,

from which I resurrect myself.
A bright green-eyed cotyledon
a tiny two-leafed sprout
that lifts its hands
in prayer
up to the light.

My toes press new seeds
into the earth
anchoring their mighty souls.

Heart of mine,
you multi-ventricled creature
with a conga drum
holding down the rhythm
of my life,

as my hips draw figure-eights
in the air
an infinity of geometry
fruits in my womb,
I shake
in a tantrum
carving my edge
between yes and no.

I flow
in tides
of in and out
my salt-river blood,
my tears and sweat,
dripping like rain.


Meredith Heller is an ageless elfin-child with a Celtic heart. A gypsy-poet philosopher with a penchant for humor and a pocketful of wisdom. A melodic priestess who weaves easily between light and dark, major and minor. A woman who thrives in nature, howls with the wolves, and delights in the wild beauty of life. A performing poet and singer/songwriter who teaches poetry-writing to teen girls, leads MoonTribe, a ‘Write of Passage’ program, coaches voice and songwriting, and hosts Siren Song, a women’s singer/songwriter night, she is mused by nature, synchronicity, and kindred souls. Her poetry collection, Songlines, is being published and will be in print in 2019. You could contact Meredith via her blog.


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