Poems

Belly Dancer

Diane Wakowski (b. 1937)
Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come
from that covers my body?
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them
touching every part of her.
Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.
They are afraid of these materials and these movements in some way.
The psychologists would say they are afraid of themselves, somehow.
Perhaps awakening too much desire-
that their men could never satisfy?
So they keep themselves laced and buttoned and made up
in hopes that the framework will keep
them stiff enough not to feel
the whole register.
In hopes that they will not have to experience that unquenchable desire
for rhythm and contact.
If a snake glided across this floor
most of them would faint or shrink away.
Yet that movement could be their own.
That smooth movement frightens them-
awakening ancestors and relatives
to the tips of the arms and toes.
So my bare feet
and my thin green silks
my bells and finger cymbals
offend them- frighten their old-young bodies
While the men simper and leer-
glad for the vicarious experience and exercise.
They do not realize how i scorn them:
or how i dance for their frightened,
unawakened, sweet
women.

Belladonna was inspired to delve into the world of belly dance first by a poem by Diane Wakowski and then by a live performance by Utah-based dancer Talanasea in the Fall of 1997.

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Belladonna
Belly Dancer In the Garden

William Coke Ariail III
November, 2008

In the Garden of Eve
Movement without End,
Snake ripples on Water,
Ephemeral patterns of Desire
That disappear like waves of silk.

Breasts of the Mother sustain our Life,
But it is the Belly where Desire is Born.

Belladonna,
Belly of the Snake,
Belly of Eve,
Surely it was the Snake who taught
Eve how to Dance,
How to hypnotize the Eye
Until all stood fixed
While the Snake of Desire
Led Eve twisting down the Garden path
And into the Wilderness Garden.

No eye escapes the Maze
Your swirling patterns scribe
As you lead us deeper
Across the Sands of Time.
In the Wilderness of our Mind
We see you there beneath the Stars
Before the Desert Campfire
Ancient as Desire.
We see you there
When the daughters of Eve
Took up her Dance
With naked Feet on Desert Sand
And recreated her garden
In the Mind of the Caravan
Around the Fire at Night,
Dancing patterns imprinted on the Eye
And carved by the Wind
On the endless Waves of Sand
Crossed on Camel back.

Never were we so alive
As there beside the Caravan!
Bring again the Camels
Laden with your Silks?

Come!  Dance for us.
Make us warriors around the fire.
Make us kings in marbled halls.
Make our thoughts bold
With fabled Lust.
Enslave the Eye of every Warrior
Who sits before your Fire.
Cast the spell of the Snake.

Belly of Donna
White and Undulate,
Naked as our Thoughts,
Hypnotic as Fire,
Did your dance arise,
From Desert Sands and Caravans,
Or more ancient still?
Belladonna, Belly of the Snake,
Daughter whose Belly followed the Serpent
Into the Garden of Eve,
Will you answer,
In the Garden of Eden, or the Garden of Eve,
In which Garden does Paradise lie?