Old Song

flamenco202Many thanks to Matt for the future-memory and one of the best lines a poem can have. Oh, to head Westwards…


















One, two, three, four.


The soles are revealed

With the undressing of the dancer

Ready to pour a tray of flames

Down the spine of those who stop to watch.


A stamping from such shallow heights

Signals the need for minute rapture

And carafes pause in their pouring,

Captured, silent, seven


Pairs of black eyes fix themselves

On old, old blood sewn in

The bustles formed around her hips

As six new strings breathe earth again.


This is the third, tonight

And those who watch, agape, may tell

Something was sealed

And fired in terracotta, for all


Like brush-strokes in the hands

Of a master on the scaffold

Telling old stories

In new and fearful ways


(See, children come and children grow

But still speak of Michelangelo)


But this set down

In dried mud and hay

And this is much more

Than an old dance in Spain.


For what are we are but stories?

Beaten into earth

And formed between the toes, woken

By the finger-snaps of dancers in old dust.


(And this is why we listen

And this is why we watch

And why we should not mourn for that

Which is never lost).

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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