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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

When You Dance; Voodoo

By: Irwina Samara

When You Dance

When you dance

You invent a new alphabet 

One that’s spoken proficiently

In the African Sahara 

As well as the North Pole,

And all language barriers in between 

Are broken,

By a tap of your foot

When you dance

You say more with your body

Than all men have written before,

And all men will write after

The worry is

Your waist is a library

And most men are illiterate! 

When you dance 

Three wise kings

Usher the arrival 

Of a new messiah 

One that cures the lonely,

And the emasculates

And gifts each man a red fish

To swim in his bloodstream,

A lifetime 

And feeds his cravings, 

A lifetime 

When you dance 

The contour of your frame 

Draws the line 

Between the ordinary 

And the exceptional

A swinging pendulum

Between the old,

And new millennium 

When matriarchs hand feed 

The men, and children 

Walnuts and berries

Just alike 

And wash their hair 

With rose water and ivy 

Just alike


O woman dancing 

On the tip of my tongue,

And the sharp of my lead

Every time I reach in my pocket 

You come out a flawless dove

Like staggering magic!

A hare under my hat, munching

On sugar cubes, and almonds

Every time I white you out of my journal

You scar on my skin

In floral prints,

And permanent ink 

I’ve sent all my assassins in your trace

they came back 

repenting in your name,

And scoping my chest

The stains of coffee on my shirt

Curiously outline your face 

Clouds leisurely passing by 

Conspire to take your shape 

You’re on the 8 o’clock news

Every night this century,

And the radio stations


Play your favorite hits

Including, the statics!

O Woman growing 

Out of my palms like bluegrass,

And caramelizing my tongue like bourbon

My quills are in open rebellion

Against all topics not pertaining you

What kind of Voodoo is it that

Turns quills against prose?!

How am I to win

This high stakes game? 

When your hand is a royal flush

And the baize is in cahoots

With the green in your blouse

I might be cardsharp

But you my dear,

You are the house!


Irwina Samara is a bilingual poet, writing simultaneously in Arabic and English, inspired by the works of Qabbani, Gibran, and Angelou. She's a firm believer in women rights, and aspires to employ her poetry to serve the cause. Above all she aims to provoke an emotion, by tugging at a forgotten memory, or the hope of creating a new one.


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