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Monday, June 07, 2021


by Barbara Simmons

Photo source: Flash Art

for Anna Halprin, dancer/choreographer
born July 13, 1920, died, May 24, 2021

In this picture you’re barefoot on your deck,
a wooden acre wrapped around your home,
your natural dance studio, where cloud and sky and sun and blue
help bodies became dancers, where singular experiences
beyond the body find their way inside,
becoming gesture, movement, giving answers
to why we move this way, not that, into, around,
under the others on the deck, the patterns of their limbs,
and feet, and hands, letting story enter body, exit dance.
You teach by showing that you move for love, to share
what lives inside your heart, so others find what lives in theirs.
You write that when you eat a carrot
you eat the sun, that we are but the human dance
of life, recycling everything we see and touch and feel 
into the you and you and you we brush past 
on this deck, beyond this deck, into the trees, into
the ecstasy of branches reaching.  I watch you move
others to move themselves to be more, feel more, 
uncover ways we can connect, to treat
the very ground we stand upon as holy, the feet that
touch it then and now and hence as sacred, the hands 
that reach above our heads potential wings that soar,
that share, that speak the only message that will matter,
that we all have mattered here.

Barbara Simmons grew up in Boston, resides in California—finding the coasts inform her writing. She graduated from Wellesley College, received an MA in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. A retired educator, she continues to explore the communion of words as food for memories. Publications have included Santa Clara Review, Hartskill Review, Boston Accent, OASIS, Common Ground, Soul-Lit, Hamline Literary Review, Writing it Real, NewVerse News, and CAPSULE STORIES.