Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Two who Follow (poem)

We lose our inhibitions when we are 
possessed by the Voice and dance to her song.

The Two who Follow
            by Mark Word

The bandoneonista plays with such passion,
I wonder if he is in ecstasy or pain.
I am drawn to accompany him--
The other musicians as well--

In our collective hypnotic trance.
Together we bring to life the dots on paper 
Of a composer who wept after he first heard 
His tango painted in the air,
Brushed with the bow of violins,
Shaped by the percussive blows 
Of the piano's hammers on strings,
Composed of the amalgamation of feelings,
Made pliable by fire of passion,
Stoked red hot by the bandoneón´s bellows.
And brought to life by men and women,
Moved to sculpt out a visual tango,
A moving, breathing, dancing work of art.

Like thousands before us, I stand to join
The men and women before me and sculpt
With my co-collaborator, my compañera.
In our art of tango we begin with our eyes,
Which meet 
in a private, secret moment,
Containing all the passion of every woman and man
Who have held each other since the world began.
These were the roles which we did not choose 
Because they chose us.  They chose us!
We embraced these roles and then each other.

She holds me and allows me her space,
To feel her heart's rhythm.
Our ears hear the same voice,
Every move we sense through 
  our fingers,
    our arms and shoulders,
      her breasts against mine.
Our entire being melts together,
Our divine and earthly auras entwined.
She feels my chest fill with air
In tandem with the breath of the bandonéon.
The three of us begin a new melodic line,
A new musical phrase with its own story.
Her posture allows me to take a step
On a path I never have been.
I switch my weight, and we step forward
On our left feet, my leg against hers.
I push forward and her body tells me
That she is present, fully there.
Her body says, "Go slow, enjoy this moment."
The music and her presence
Bring us both forward on a new beat.
Led by the music, we join the violins,
Their pizzicato plucking on two and four,
Something I had never noticed before.
I circle her on her outside,
Left thigh to left thigh.
This is path I have never trod,
A vista I have never seen,
With sounds I have never heard.

La Música stops us in her familiar way,
With a flury of notes,
But her last sound is a grace note--
Soft, tender... a prelude to silence.

My companion and I stand in silence,
Her leg entwined with mine,
As if not to let me go too fast,
As if to hold us for a moment more as one,
Balanced and strong--
A sculpture finally still,
A monument to the moment.

I look at her and silently nod.
I have no words.
But I know one thing:
I will never call a tanguera,
"The-one-who-follows" again.
We heard the voice together.
We became one.
We became "the-two-who-follow."

The composer sculpts the music, and the music, us.

Post Script:
Passion is intense feelings.  Passion is the producer.  Thoughtful insight is the director.  I strive for my blog to have a producer/director -- a balance of passion and thoughtfulness.  I don't think I did a very good job with balance because even a dear friend chastised me with my lack of finesse (a nicer word than deserved).  Sometimes I am clueless.

The last post, "Follower: A job without promotion," was all about the problem of using the the terms "follower/leader" in tango.  One comment by "Nancy" asked if my bias colored my feelings.   My response was that of course my bias colors my feelings!  From the overwhelming majority of comments, I can see that I failed to portray my what was on my heart words of reason and prose -- too much passion of the mind.  So I tried once again with this poem... passion from the heart is kind and humble.

Photo credit:
Dancing couple:
Visit the sculptor's webpage: 
para MSRS

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