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PRAYER by Ruth Calder Murphy

“The Dance” has become for me a metaphor for life –

 For existence as a whole, in fact, where Life includes our physical deaths and whatever might lie beyond them. Many of my poems refer to the Dance, or dancing, and my complete poetry collection is called “The Dance” (with “Ghost Dance” and “Sun Dance” being the first two volumes) because for me, “The Dance” is a metaphor for life and my poetry is the way I express it.

This poem, Prayer, is saying something that’s at the core of my perspective. Firstly, that prayer, worship, connection with the Divine, is not only about one-off rituals or events, but about the whole of life, our whole experience of living. It’s what the Dance is all about.

Secondly, that…

 Everything we are, everything - and everyone - we see or hear or touch, in whatever way, is an expression of that Divinity.

We and the world around us ARE the Dance and the Dance itself IS Divine.
~'Ballet' photograph by Phreik (Emily Rose)~


I will dance the dance of the ocean.
I will dance the dance of the trees.
I will dance with the surf-capped waves
and the breeze-crazed leaves.
I will dance the dance of the meadow,
the dance of the mountaintops,
I will dance with the blood-red poppies
and the lichened rocks.
I will dance the dance of moonlight,
I will dance where sunbeams play;
I will dance with the stars at midnight
and with the golden day.
I will dance the dance of living,
I will dance the dance of prayer.
I will dance to the dancing centre
and meet you there.

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 She is the author of one published novel, “The Scream,” several books of poetry and one or two as-yet unpublished novels.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. Her latest book is available on Amazon here, and here

~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!~  


  1. In the bhakti yoga tradition the center of divinity is marked by a dance between the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine. It is called the 'rasa dance' and all souls are meant to energize it. This dance also reverberates all around us nature, as it does in your poem. So naturally, your poem resounded with the dance images written into ancient, Sanskrit poems, and I loved that about it! Thank you for sharing your beautiful poetry with us, yet again, dear Ruth.

  2. The cadence of this poem / prayer had me swirling to a tune and it brought up Leonard Cohen singing "Dance me to the end of Love". Yes.

  3. For me to dance is to live- I cannot go onto the next project without dancing into it.

  4. Discovering these comments more than a year late, so I'm sorry for the delay - but thank you, all!


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