'When The Dancing Began - Or Playhouse Night'

And out of the darkness light dismembers limbs;
he leaps, he hides, he pirouettes, action unwinding,
uniting with scanty, metallic notes, showering the stage,
ship's bells signalling absorbed, sacred hours,
precision and power, delicacy of interpretation.
And I look across at your expectant, intent face,
our mutual tranquility sensing youth's vibrant pose.


And at the interval we're frantically cheering, carefully
discussing shadows duplicating dancers on the walls,
the controlled exhuberance of it all, our own inarticulation,
the lighting choreographing their courage, their discipline.


And out of the light we tread March's darkness, carefully
up those steps, as gathering young command the street --
flimsily-clad girls meet lumpen lads who've had a drop too many.
Dances whirr wantonly in our imaginations and
slowly wheel away into a turbulent night.


And you're content and unworried now;
I'm thinking of tomorrow, clutching my programme,
clutching at the moment when the dancing begins.

By Jan Sear