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The Dancing Buddha

Her feet tread the earth and the high skies

Neither the same nor different to wise eyes

Everything she does, she does completely

Those who listen feel her wisdom deeply

And while her female body may tempt thee

She is a symbol of enlightenment

For seeing that everything is empty

She has no sense of entitlement

Where is she this sky dancer, this dakini

If I look to the stars in the dark haze,

Will she see me? Or is she in me?

A buddha dancing through the stark maze

As a little girl I loved to dance.

At school or at home, I danced with my friends

and I danced alone,

and I loved every moment with all of my being,

right down to the very last bone.

We even had competitions and we put on shows,

but mostly we danced because we felt it

in the tips of our toes.  

Sometimes we were even joined by the boys.

We left our boastful barbies to indulge in their own fantasies

and they put down their action figure toys.

And for a while, there would be no other noise

But the swooshing of our arms,

the soft sound of our meticulous steps,

and an occasional laugh when we ran out of breath.

We danced in the grass and we danced in our rooms,

Mark Bolan even sang that we danced out the womb.

And when we were sticky, smelly,

and ready to cool,

we spun and we twirled our way into the pool.

Into a sea or a bath,

T’was with a splash and a laugh.

Even in the rain, we didn’t complain,

enjoying the sensations of clear and crisp,

our bodies and minds filled with bliss.

How do you enter a sea, a swimming pool, or even a shower?

Do you throw off your clothes at the first sign of water?

Do you run with an open heart across the glorious green grass,

or the soft, sizzling sand?

Do you feel the wetness as it reaches your toes,

your feet, your legs, fingers and hands?

Does your mouth open up in pure delight

filling your belly with a watery sight?

I don’t remember when we stopped playing in the rain,

but over time things sure did change.

And all too suddenly dancing just wasn’t the same.

Who will be there, what will they think, what will I wear?

Purple or pink, I wish my belly would shrink, but, wait,

why do I care?

No longer just dancing, but dancing for,

the mind not on the flowing body anymore. 

A little girl’s joy turns into a woman’s despair

because they will be watching her, and she’s not pretty,

and she’s got plain hair.

And somewhere in the world,

another little girl stops dancing,

her heart no longer open,

but wounded and crying.

Her body has been hurt

and she’s too scared to breathe

for fear that they will take her,

and break her again.

The soft sound of her footsteps as she twirled

are now quietening down till nothing is heard.

It seems that one billion women suffer this way,

scared and betrayed and forbidden to say.

Their silence and their pain, captured,

like wounded prey.

But I knew you when you were a little boy,

only two years old.

I turned on the radio, and to my surprise,

you shuffled your feet and waved your arms,

sparkles filling your eyes.

We were an odd pair of dancers,

but we were there, and that’s all that matters.

Yes, I knew you when you were a little boy.

You’ve simply forgotten that I’m not a barbie,

and that you’re not an action figure toy.

We are sky dancers.

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