ALMOST SUMMER, a video dance poem for poet, dancer, pianist and sofa on stage. It evokes potent, visual images and feelings of contentment. You’re enjoying a perfect summer’s day on the grass.
I presented this theatrical event in 1990 in Fairfield, IA where I reside, combining poetry, dance and music, Dance Rhyme & Rhythm Extravaganza with 30 dancers and musical accompaniment on keyboard by Nathanael Zumstein. I recited 10 of my own poems while dancing along with different sets of dancers.
Gretchen Langstaff Schaffer choreographed and danced this theatrical piece to music composed and performed by Nathanael Zumstein. Freddy Niagara Fonseca, the poet recited and danced to his own lines.
Happiness is the absence
of the striving for happiness. —Chuang-tzu
This is one of those days
you lie down on the soft grass and pick a flower, twirling it for hours, thinking of nothing, nothing at all.
Ants discover your hand—
and you? Well, you don’t mind, besides, it feels kinda nice. You think you’re getting wise, while far away the clouds stately sail.
A mild sun is about,
and nothing you ever have known will spoil this weather. Your mind is almost in summer, floating on slow waves lightly away.
You’re alone, and nobody else but you is dreaming away the day. You’re gazing on high, wondering just why now the sky is all that you care for today.
Three, four birds are warbling lovely tweets from a tree, secretly capturing all of your being. Enraptured you listen before they quietly leave.
Ah, you’re almost lost now
while silence on silence descends. You’re not at all here. Nothing on earth interferes. A deepest of blue is all you’re seeing.
Your day is like a ray
from a land where summers arise. The sun is touching you freely, and this is what you’re feeling: your life is as bright as your being.
The light and the shadows
are having the time of their lives: From numerous branches outspread, a tree overhead sheds patterns, rich in shade and repose.
You feel you could stay there like clouds suspended above. It doesn’t surprise you that the horizon, though distant, seems tangibly close.
You can’t for a moment imagine that this day will end. There’s nothing quite like it: All is so perfect, and haven’t you always known why that is so?
The grass is so mellow— All of a sudden a breeze blows all through your hair. You’re at one with the air, but why are you stretching? Planning to go?
This awesome summer day? I don’t think so. No, not today . . .