Feet slow, gentle, serene.
Dance, twirling, hair flowing.
Grey eye cast across the sky.
Tempo slow. Anxious clouds come and go.
Cautious steel worms rattle in the wind.
Concrete towers, beacons, draw her near.
Trees drop golden carpets at her feet.
Grasses bow low, tempo still slow.
Papers run through streets,
screaming of her coming to brick walls and asphalt ears.
Sun gives stage; pulls behind haze.
Churches sway with songs of praise.
Tempo quickens, rhythm tight.
Her hair whipping wind. What a sight!
Feet bejeweled, shimmering like diamonds,
her grey skirt flowing over the sky.
Hearts in rhythm,
Men running through stores for lights and offerings.
Eyes at windows eager to see her come.
Families connect in warmth; heartbeats drum.
Apprehension, excitement, building in increments.
Her hair swishing, lashing out across the sky.
Skirt spinning, feet tamping onto the sea.
Sweat, tears, exertive sighs, sounds of jubilee.
Mechanical monsters heedfully depart,
lest they topple in her wild dervish spin.
She turns and steps in ancient form.
Her prowess is in the perfect storm.
Faster. Faster. The dance grows swift!
Seas crest, waves pelt chattel adrift.
Trees aquiver, cars come and go.
People running excitedly, heads bowed low.
Processions gather at corner stores.
Televisions flicker with news of her path.
As Durga’s dance turns day into night,
a few souls scamper in joyful fright.
Her feet stomp faster. Hands snapping. Hips swaying.
The dance flows swiftly up the coast.
Weather preachers stir minds to heave and sway.
Sandy dunes wash away; Waters overflow Jamaica Bay.
Frenetic, frantic, fervid and ferocious!
Great goddess we tremble at your roar!
in your breathy, full, pregnant steps,
cleanse us of our sorrowful debts!
Hair shrouding sky.
Land rippling under heavy eye.
Skirt lashing wind into blades,
pruning man’s self-accolades.
Hearts apace, backs brace, we see her face –
dark, large, beautifully petrifying.
Trees dance, people in trance,
step by step she weaves her stance.
Sweaty brow. Dark eye. Feet in frenetic pace.
Yet, in her ferocity, there is unmistakable grace.
Renewing land. Renewing sea. She births forcefully.
Mighty man pulls aside, as she summons wind and summons tide.
Awe. Waiting. Heartbeats waning. Looking into her eye.
Peace. Release. She is both an angel and a beast.
Sirens wail. Doors flail. Windows rattle in the gale. Spirits rise up on high!
She slowly winds down her dance. A new day crests the sky.
Poem by Gregory Kanhai.
Gregory grew up in Guyana and immigrated to the United States after high school. He holds masters degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology. His writing covers topics of identity. As a child he read many nature magazines, spent quiet hours in his mother’s garden observing the insects and plants, and enjoyed the intimacy of power outages. He holds masters degrees in biology, neurobiology and psychology. He has rediscovered a need for plants in his life, and is a strong supporter of embracing the natural world to heal from psychological alienation and mental health stress. He spends his free time writing poetry, working on his book ideas, and thinking about how he can be a good participant in this world.