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THE DANCE by Ruth Calder Murphy


I have been writing poetry for about thirty years - since I was seven years old....

For most of that time, it has been above all a means of dealing with life and of processing my journey. "The Dance" is a celebration of life through the recognition of its fragility - that from the moment of conception we are just a breath away from death and yet against all odds, we live. 

For me, this is a hugely empowering idea, wrapped up as it is in the possibility that this physical existence is only a small part of what we are and will be: the possibility that after this dance with Death, we dance again.

'The Dance" by Ruth Calder Murphy

The Dance

We dance with Death.
Every day
from conception
to cremation -
or whatever other path to bodily annihilation -
we dance with Death.
She whirls us,
gasping,
laughing,
giddied and giggling
to the adrenalin heights of danger
and wraps us soft in swaddling arms
at night...
where visions of her,
of that sleep of death,
of that ‘good night’
sigh and sough through our dreams.
We dance with Death.
Every day
from dawn to dusk
and back again,
we look into her eyes
and see the twinkling
of eternal stars.
'Storm' by Ruth Calder Murphy
We dance with Death
and this is life.
She is not proud,
though some have called her
“Mighty”
and “Dreadful”.
The words tumble from her 
as she shakes her night-black hair
and fly like bats
away.
She is light-footed,
joyful,
life.
We dance with Death
every day
til tiredness takes our bodies
and then…
we dance with Death
again.


Ruth Calder Murphy is a writer, artist, music teacher, wife and mother living in London, UK. Her life is wonderfully full of creativity and low-level chaos. She is the author of one published novel, “The Scream,” several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels. She is passionate about celebrating the uniqueness of people, questioning the unquestionable and discovering new perspectives on old wonders. She is learning to ride the waves that come along—peaks and troughs—and is waking up to just how wonderful life really is. You can visit Ruth and view more of her art on her website here, or on her Facebook page


~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~ 

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