Tag Archives: Dance

Pelican Project Salute

In July 2000 New Dance Horizons in Regina Saskatchewan put together a presentation for “Dance and the Child International”.  It consisted of dance, song and poetry performed by about thirty young people many from Canada’s First Nations. I had the privilege of coaching and guiding them as they wrote their own poems.

This is the story of the teachers and young people involved.

You are the pelican warriors

You are the pelicans who do not run away
you are the pelicans that stay and fight
you are the pelicans that defend your nests
you are the pelicans that defend your tribe

You are the pelicans
who fly from your homes to find a new lake

You are the pelicans
brave enough to fly near people
(it can be dangerous to fly near people)

You are the pelicans
brave enough to fly through your fears
You are the pelicans
who know some people are your friends
who know some people need your gifts

You are the pelicans
who teach pelicans and people
how to care for their young
how to live for their tribe

How to fly and dance and swim
and fish together again

I dip my ink tipped wing
in praise of you


Wanting to bring you along on the journey


Don’t write right away, but soon.
Watch the leaves and the light fully
Connect – allow – relax – delight.
Too quick is a tourist in a selfie,
Taj Mahal untended over left shoulder.
Wait too long and the phone will ring

Write a few hundred poems before – good and bad,
so fear of the water doesn’t keep you on shore
And how about a title throwing two shadows
(as Mary Oliver encourages)
an easy one here with movement and the season

Do not say leaves look toward the sun, an object,
but towards the rising of the sun, an event
one more evocative of motion

Note the angle of the sun,
so low on the horizon that is shines upwards
into the twisting, twirling, falling leaves,
as they lift at times in slightly gusting breeze

If pirouetting is what you see, bring the ballet in

And gratitude, of course, and on what day

A FALL MOMENT – Poem expanded – adding some angles

Poem expanded – adding some angles

Austin, Nov. 27, 2014

The ancient elm, shaking herself awake
releases a shower of small golden leaves

Turning each edge to the rising of sun
they dance in a small breeze ballet

Some cheekily exposing cheeks
some shyly turning away

some reaching back to momma tree
some rushing to grace the ground

some hanging in hesitant suspension

If it were not Thanksgiving day
I would be grateful anyway



Amelia in this life
you have had wings on your feet

Wings that have taken you skyward in dance

Wings that have taken you away from these
and wings that have brought you back

In this life Amelia
you have taught so many of us to fly

If you go on to other wings
we must go on to other teachers
and to other students

Each with the gift you have given us

Each with a sacred feather