Dance Me Free Poetry

Magic Moment

Your breath brushes against my skin,

like kisses in the wind,

Between hips and dips, and tango kicks

you have given me new-found wings.

Can’t worry ‘bout the future,

or brood over the past,

This is now or never babe,

I soak it in while it lasts.

You are my magic moment,

when nothing else seems real,

You lift me out of my head,

into just-trust-and-feel.

Your palms melt into mine,

Our fingers intertwine,

We sway from side to side,

Music snake-charming our spines.

You are my magic moment,

never know what’s in store

I just close my eyes

-Hypnotized-

as we soar across the floor.

You are my magic moment,

I can feel your every move,

With your finger-tip touch, (oh, what a rush!)

I surrender to your groove.

Didn’t know what I was missing

until you appeared

And now I come alive,

only when you’re near.

You are my magic moment

No, no one else will do.

Even when asked by another,

I’m secretly eyeing you.

I don’t know where you’re going

or where you’ve even been,

But you are that magic moment

that brightens me from within.

No words are ever spoken,

Don’t even know your name,

But your magic casts a spell

So powerful just the same.

Now that the song is over,

All I can do is dream,

That in your arms forever-

like magic, I will remain.

                        ©Tasleem Laila

Forever Your Light

Blank pages,

Strange faces

An endless maze

I’m running through

Which way?

Fade away

or fight-

through and through?

Work all day,

No time to play,

My heart screams out

“Whatcha tryin’ to prove?”

Tired of beating

And no longer feeling

The earth on which I move.

I lay down to rest

A heaviness on my chest,

Pleasing to the sky above.

A sprinkle of rain?

But sweet like sugar cane,

Candied drops on the tip of my tongue.

The apple cinnamon sun

Warms my every limb.

Each beam penetrates under my skin.

A light breeze

caresses my palms,

Tender kisses like a soothing balm.

Eyes closed, I giggle, and wiggle my toes

Because nobody knows

How Your magic moves me.

Now in darkness and doubt I see,

For You illuminate a path for me.

To wondrous worlds I didn’t know I could go.

It’s mysterious what the future holds.

But words- they spill and fill the holes.

From times of faith, fear, guts and glory

Forever Your light, and my story.

                                              ©Tasleem Laila

The Railway Club

Railway Club

A secret hub

of cowboy hats

and wildish cats

and rat-a-tat-tats on the drums

Beer belching,

Soul qenching

Golden pints and rum

Each bluesy beat

from head to my feet

vibrating with through my veins

A choo-choo train

Vancouver rain

Rhythms rattling

window panes

Thumping floor

Whistling war

The set is over?

We want more

– Encore, encore!

Ripped jeans

Saucy scene

Dripping lager

Laughter, and after…

Lips licking

slow-straw sipping

Boxcars and bass

And those dimples on your face

transport me to a place

-a wide open space

where only are dreams

are left to chase.

      ©Tasleem Laila

Free Voice

Shy girl in the corner,

Couldn’t make up her mind.

Didn’t care to win the race

Was content to lag behind.

Never offered her opinion,

“I-don’t-know” was her choice.

Quiet and complacent,

A bare whisper of a voice.

But something started bubbling

inside this tender heart.

Stories of love and learning,

Were seeking some way out.

She tried conversing with the wind,

Wrote a letter to herself,

Shared poetry with the trees,

But nothing seemed to help.

One day she was humming,

what seemed a familiar tune,

When words came pouring out of her

as if possessed by the moon.

“I have so much to tell you,”

was the chorus of her song.

Her secret soul had been hidden

for far too long.

The melody bellowed and bloomed,

A big voice was lurking in there.

It spoke of desires and dreams,

the kind others wouldn’t even dare.

The tune soon resounded

in every single heart.

Even the clouds and oceans,

were harmonizing their parts.

It seemed that all the world

couldn’t help but to rejoice.

Because of the newfound freedom,

that was brought with just one voice.

©Tasleem Laila

Pieces of Me

Shoulders drop, deep exhale.

No one knows who I am here.

But I swear the wind just whispered

“Stay a little.”

So I follow the hand that gently guides me from behind,

An invisible touch

but powerful in helping me find

exactly where I am meant to be.

My heart is the only map

I need here.

Open. Many roadways,

But nothing to fear.

Instead, I skip to the beat of the sun,

Or the sway of the moon’s midnight hum.

I spill my dreams

to other wanderers on the street,

‘Cos their ears bear no judgment,

and not a secret do their lips leak.

Funny how sometimes it’s in these strange lands

that I feel more at home

than at family reunions,

or in the city in which I’ve grown.

Foreign soil and sands welcome me

as if I had treaded on them long ago,

felt their grains between my toes.

But somehow, I forgot over time,

that these places were once mine

That this is where I belong,

Singing my own song,

Under neither a canopy nor roof,

But a wide open sky

with endless spotlights

– flickering “fly, fly fly!”

Voices sneaking under my skin,

A collective mix of all the places I have been…

They are tunes that will never die

Even after every goodbye,

something of each city-

even if just a tiny part-

settles deep within my heart.

Each journey- another piece,

leading me back to the start.

                 ©Tasleem Laila

Gotta Sing My Own Song

Gotta sing my own song

Been tongue-tied for too long.

They said silence brings calm

but this fire in me is strong.

Can’t keep quiet anymore

This heart’s ready to soar.

Been through tears and fears

And oh, those wonder years.

If only you could hear

the melodies in my mind.

Memories of worriless times

Days of endless sunshine.

When life was about Valentines,

Sunday brunches, and red wine.

Gotta sing my own song

Been tongue-tied for too long.

They said silence brings calm,

but the fire in me is strong.

Can’t keep quiet anymore.

This heart’s ready to soar.

There are chords to be strung,

For love stories begun.

Tales yearning to be told

Of nights lonely and cold.

Chasing boys at all cost,

Pining for loves lost.

Or what about the sweet victories?

When success  seemed like such a breeze.

The world, that oyster, was all mine.

You bet this girl did shine!

Gotta sing my own song

Been tongue-tied for too long.

They said silence brings calm.

But the fire in me is strong.

Won’t keep quiet anymore.

This heart’s ready to soar.

My lyrical rhymes

would highlight the signs.

No, not the billboard kind.

But those deep and divine.

Like pages flipping to that exact line.

which at the time i dismissed,

as some crazy coincidence

but now can sit and reminisce

at how perfectly it all fit.

Each person, each face,

strategically placed

along my path.

Not by chance

but meant-to-be’s.

What magical tales of destiny.

So I’m singing my song

Been tongue-tied for too long.

They said silence brings calm

But this fire in me is strong.

Can’t stay quiet no more.

This heart’s ready to roar.

Been letting other voices fill my head,

Gonna find my own voice instead.

They say move to the beat of your own drum.

I say go ahead, sing your own song

Gonna keep singing my song

You can hum along

Gonna keep singing my song

Just strum along

Gonna keep singing my song

It’s been far too long.

                    ©Tasleem Laila

Therapy

Light breezy blue

Anew

Just like that, your words took this

heavy, purplish bruised self

and gave it space to finally exhale

Your message washed through my every corner

Unexpected, but grateful

I wonder if you saw me as a dimming light

But then caught the relief that lightened my shoulders and eyes

My lips parted,

but only silence, and barrels of guilt came spilling out

Not heard but felt

I was released from the knot that had been tightening

deep within my core for all these months,

or more

I thought that one more month, day, hour,

or breath of regret

would strangle my soul

But somehow, your words unleashed me

Tears no longer suffocated my insides

I just cried on the outside into my palms

And passed the bitter, ashen drips to yours

As I watched you transform them into a flowing river

The waters are calm here

Supporting me on my back as I float

Fingertips free to dip and splash

and make my own little waves

if I want

No longer weighed down by the boulders of responsibility

to change the world

to save her

“Have you ever considered that maybe

you are not as strong as you think you are?”

you asked.

But I came from THE woman of strength, I pleaded

No fuss, no complaints,

she never shed a tear

And she was there for everyone,

Mother Earth, a rock to lean on and to run to

But not all blood lines run the same

She must have known my fragility and loved me anyways

or because of it

which makes her all the more amazing.

Maybe she knew that not all those who lack strength

are automatically weak

We might not be the rocks that make mountains

But we flow with a vulnerability and grace that

also has a power of its own

Maybe her strength was passed on to me

as a different element

Water- always bending and unable to hold

Never forgetting to caress the rocks from generations ago

And is ever present in its own flow

Light breezy blue

You made me Anew.

             ©Tasleem Laila

Moon Winking

I used to think you were winking at me

From way up high,

And like a child, I would smile,

blushing, and gushing

to reach you

I’d drive towards your light

But each time, I just couldn’t find a path

that would let my finger tips come close enough

Like a delicate globe of yellow glass,

You slipped between my hands

Never to be grasped

And I’d just watch as you eventually disappeared behind the clouds.

Your little game of hide and seek

I’d fall into every time

I counted 5,4,3… hours…

Ready or not, here I come!

but the next morning, you were nowhere to be found

And I’d wonder if the wink was a figment of my creation

I used to think I could feel you

Your pulsating glow beating through black skies

I could feel the rhythm in me,

like it was my heart’s guiding light

Reaching into the crevices of my mind

You’d steer me whenever I was low

Sprinkling lemon moon droplets into my eyes

and down my spine

Hypnotized by your golden flow.

Your shape always changing

Constant reincarnation

Sliver of a light to a full blown balloon

With an invisible string that couldn’t be yanked on

but hinted that you were closer than we thought

within reach only to the real believers

I stared without blinking

For fear you might disappear

if I closed my eyes even for a second

Or maybe just to catch that exact moment

you would sink behind the mountain side

excited for your next return

But that feeling- no longer seems like mine.

I used to think I could hear you

Calm lapping waves in the sky

Whispering, no need to cry. She’ll be fine.

But those promises I made up

Now feel like my own lies

Just a blind faith

To keep me alive.

The wink, the smiles, the magical nights

Seem so far gone

From this here real life on the ground

I am constantly searching for the moonlit song

But all I hear is a another soul die

Why even try?

So I shut the blinds

to another hollow night.

But just as I am ready to give up,

as if at exactly the right time

a little light peaks through my curtains

And I can’t help to wonder

Lemon moon, are you calling me out to play again?

I miss you winking at me.

©Tasleem Laila

Walk On By

(to be spoken or sung with two voices- male and female)

Female:

I saw this guy from across the street

Black collared shirt and wavy hair

While he waited for the light to change

I hoped he didn’t notice me stare

He wiped his brow with the back of his hand

The top button of his shirt was undone

Tattooed forearms under rolled up sleeves

And over his shoulder a guitar was slung

As the sign changed and we passed each other’s side

to my surprise he turned to me and smiled

Those dimples and deep dark eyes

made me want to say something…hi?

But I just let him walk on by

He seemed in a hurry to get somewhere

I wish he was heading for me instead

But I just let him walk on by

Male:

Was late for practice with the guys in the band

Lugging my guitar down Granville Street

Was going over the set in my head

When I noticed a girl look at me so sweet

I felt her brush past me as we crossed the road

And I looked back hoping she’d turn my way

‘Cause there was something I wanted to say

Don’t know you girl, but you made my day

But I just let her walk on by

Looked like she was in a hurry to get somewhere

I wish she was heading for me instead

But I just let her walk on by

The boys say it wasn’t meant to be

But what if our fate was up to me?

If I had stopped and taken the time

Maybe we’d be together tonight

But I just let her walk on by

Looked like she was n a hurry to get somewhere

I wish she was heading for me instead

But I just let her walk on by

Female:

My girlfriends say just let it go

What kind of man he is you don’t even know

But I look for that guitar wherever I go

Male:

Some days I take the long way home

Just to pass that corner slow

She might return, you never know

But I just let her walk on by

Female:

I just let him walk on by

Looked like he needed to get somewhere

Male:

Wish that she was heading for me instead

But I just let her walk on by

Female:

I just let him walk on by.

©Tasleem Laila

Drive ‘Til We Hit Water

“Drive ’til we hit water”

That’s all she had to say

For me to step on the pedal

And steal her away.

Wide eyed and carefree

She brought the child out in me

Skipping rocks at the beach

Kicking sand in bare feet.

Those were the days

When skies were never grey

We were young and unafraid

Thought love was here to stay.

I remember our first kiss

She was chewing bubble gum

We cuddled under a tree

I’ll never forget the one.

We carved our initials

Deep into the bark

K and T Forever

And sealed it with a heart

Those were the days

When skies were never grey

We were young and unafraid

Thought love was here to stay

But life’s train

Set her on another track

She wanted to explore the world

“That’s my girl!” I cheered,

‘Cos I was proud of her

But…

she never came back.

Boy I miss those days

When skies were never grey

When young and unafraid

I thought love was here to stay

But just like that it slipped away

And I’ll never be the same.

Those were the days.

©Tasleem Laila

Drive ‘Til We Hit Water- (from her perspective)

Drive ‘Til We Hit Water

That’s all I had to say

for him to step on the pedal

and sweep me away.

Sand at our feet, we sat on a log

His arms wrapped around me tight

Nothing could hurt me that night.

The lake shimmered and flowed

under the moonlit glow

I watched him skip pebbles

and my heart just overflowed.

“Where are you going?”

I asked as he suddenly stood up.

“Close your eyes!”

he yelled from a distance.

So I squeezed my lids shut.

I waited in silence,

With his coat draped over my shoulders

My nose nuzzled the collar

Sweet cologne warmed me all over.

Soon footsteps came towards me,

And the fiddling of a clasp

What was this guy up to,

Did I dare even ask?

When the soothing sounds of a saxophone

caught my very breath

Serenading even the trees and the breeze

It was like nothing I’d ever felt.

Goosebumps running wild

Head to toe and side to side

But I kept myself so still

For I couldn’t help but fear

that even one blink,

a single breath,

or a faint whisper

would make the whole night just disappear.

© Tasleem Laila

Eyes Closed

I close my eyes

so I can see

the magic I imagined

between you and me.

You held out your hand

led me to the floor,

from that moment on

there existed no more.

The faces around us

quickly disappeared.

And with your arms around me

I had nothing to fear.

With a twirl and a dip

you sent my world spinning,

A skip in my heartbeat,

and my soul a-grinning.

As the song slowed,

you held me closer.

I gently rested my head

on your shoulder.

Dreaming of us

Dipping toes in the sand

The moonlight upon us

And our own private band

But with the last note,

I felt you draw away.

Left a kiss on my cheek

with nothing more to say.

My lips parted

ready to call for you out loud

But I fell silent

As I lost you to the crowd.

I searched around

only to see

you offer your hand

to another dreamer like me.

I close my eyes

so I can see

the dream I imagined

you and I to be.

I close my eyes

so I can see

the magic I dreamed

between you and me.

© Tasleem Laila

10 thoughts on “Dance Me Free Poetry

  1. That is such a lovely musical poem casting me back through the years to my youth. I guess I never really thought about dance as partnership … Perhaps because I never had many dance partners. Dance always was something I was happy to do just for me … So many years ogo. These many years past, the only dancing I do is in my mind.

    Young people deserve to dance. There is no such thing as too much dancing when you are in a young body. It does not seem so strange to see youth break into spontaneous song and dance. As you get older and society expects you to act with suitable sanity, there are fewer opportunities for such pure joy.

    Then you must rely on wonderful memories to carry you through your later years.

    Dance on sweet child.

    • Wow! This is beautiful, Sharon. Thank you so much for sharing this. I didn’t start dancing until I was in my 30’s or so, and I guess in the dance world, that is very old. But as naive as this sounds, I really do think it is in the mind. Because the more I want to dance and ignore what society thinks is the ‘right’ age, and more often, the more I ignore my own hangups about what age I should or shouldn’t be dancing at, the more I enjoy it.
      And I plan to continue on for years to come. It’s great that you didn’t think of dance as partnership, because part of my problem is that that’s most of my dance background- in partner dance. And so I have come to rely on a lead to ‘make me move’, which is kind of ridiculous, when you think about it! haha! But I’m trying to get over that, and learn to be my own dancer.
      I agree with half of your statement- “there is no such thing as too much dancing”, but I think we should put a period at the end of that. I realize some people cannot dance for various reasons, but if you can get up and use your legs, or feel the music, I think in various capacities, everyone can dance. Thanks for the lovely message, Sharon and for taking the time to read my site 🙂

  2. Some late night ramblings after reading this post:

    Even if you lie, seemingly stagnant, you have the power to dance. While your muscles rest your soul has the ability to soar free from this limiting body we inhabit. But one must first ALLOW the movement to happen. Our minds are the trickiest trap that we posses. With its great power we have also inherited its greatest weakness… Judgment.

  3. Orin! I have been thinking about this very same thing, especially in the last few weeks, but I didn’t know how to express it. Your words … well, it was like you were reading my mind, and saying what I couldn’t figure out how to say. And what you said came out so beautifully! You are my next feature quote, today! 🙂 I can’t wait!

    • Hey! Thanks so much for your suggestion. It is an ‘open’ poetry page in that anyone can send a submission for the page, and I can post it once I take a look. So if you have anything, feel free to send it along. And I’ll remind people about this more often. Thanks for the reminder to me 🙂 But if you have any other suggestions on how to go about doing it, I’m totally open to hearing them.

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