Worlds away from a Slow Dance

Oh, I could tell you some stories,
of characters I have known.
I have seen the worst of humankind unfold before my eyes,
leaving my heart cracked open and my soul broken.
I have been restored from deep despair, where I cannot remain,
by observing tender and loving acts between two, or entire nations.
Unconditional love being the grandest of all and the most difficult to explain.

I have held these contrasting extremes,
and everything in between, in the center of my hands.
In a silver-dollar-sized space, protected by a grip,
I have cradled the past and the future, knowing both will be short-lived.
I have watched, in my mind’s eye, entire worlds rise and descend.
A few, reduced to grey ashes, did rise again.

My eyes, portals to other worlds,
have followed every action and absorbed every word,
engaged and engrossed with each page turned.
Engaging dialogue, scenes, and descriptions
become memories, offering connections and lessons,
long after I have reached, the end.

No limits to where I might go, to where I have been –
I have felt floating fabric brush my skin
while embracing a sensual dream.
I have been trapped in a locked mansion
while racing to escape a nightmare.

In these scenarios, and countless more,
I have stepped into landscapes barely noticeable,
and explored others, surreal.
I have been introduced to characters mostly believable,
and been fascinated by others, unreal.

All that I describe, all that I mention,
are not places I have actually been,
but stories created by minds, made visible by pens
some relived, others the products of imaginations.

Living in a world that keeps spinning,
I have spent a lifetime living in worlds by reading and turning.

Books have taken me to places I have only dreamed.
From printed details and conversations, I have learned.

For all that books have given me,
even the long ones, like War and Peace,
fall short compared to some aspects of our tangible reality.

Between their covers, I have fallen asleep,
but not once have I heard them breathe.

Books have made me laugh and they have made me cry,
but never once has a book gazed into my eyes,
or held me tight while slow dancing under a moonlit sky.

The first draft of this poem began with a list of over twenty-five book titles and details about the characters (and real people) who made those books memorable. Although titles and names did not make it into my final draft, a few indirect book references did and I enjoyed reconnecting with loved characters (and a few not-so-loved but unforgettable). That list did become the launching pad for thoughts about all that books have given me, through the years, and a few life moments that books will never be able to give. Despite their limited limitations, I will continue reading and enjoying well-written books between the covers. 😉 📚 💓 Thank you for visiting and reading. Be well. 💗 Michele

Photo 1: by Jonathan Borba (Pexels) Photo 2: Prescott Public Library, taken by JBG

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.

64 thoughts on “Worlds away from a Slow Dance

  1. Poetpas

    Books should all be burned haha. Well not all of them. Not the ones that educate us. Nor the arts and craft ones or the bhuddist ones. Bibles yes, novels yes, history books yes (it repeats itself) And if you want to travel to Europe I would suggest to go to Rome; you don’t need books for that neither, well maybe a historic one 😂

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Burn all books? Shivers down my spine. You should change your handle to Captain Beatty (captain in Fahrenheit 451 who believes all books should be burned). 🔥 😱 You come from a place of humor, he comes from a place of horror! I like reading historical novels, but history wasn’t my favorite subject either. Maybe I never had the right teacher/professor. Observant, you are – the first (and perfect) aisle I stumbled on when visiting an unfamiliar library yesterday. Rome is on my list. I will pack a historical book (or two) and a language book. 😊 Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙏🏻 I welcome different viewpoints. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Your teasing about book reading got me thinking…
      For all that books have given me, I would trade ALL my books for plane tickets, to see and experience what I have only read and dreamed about. As long as I was able to keep my journal and laptop, for writing and to read eBooks on a plane. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poetpas

        You must only read books about travelling or about distant places. By the way don’t mind my teasing. Never take me serious(ly)!
        Reading is good if you can focus. Cherish it. It doesn’t mean you have to trade them in. You can read ánd you can travel. Or read when you travel or travel when you read. Oh wait, the latter may not be the safest option 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If those were my only book options, I would be on board with that. haha I don’t mind your teasing, in fact, with your humor it can be quite pleasing. I read (books) before I sleep-I can focus and it helps me sleep. If someone else is flying the plane, I can safely read. I would not attempt to fly a plane while reading. You are right, that would not be a safe option. Unless it is a manual on how to fly a plane. 😆

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sandra. 🌻 I enjoyed your recent newsletter, about “Turning Points.” I hope you get to walk on the beach soon. ❤ Sorry to have missed the virtual conference with you, but I do look forward to our next workshop. Timing is everything. 😀 🤗

      Like

    1. A rich reading history describes my relationship with books quite nicely. 🥰 As a child books were my sanctuary, transporting me to other places and introducing me to other lives and experiences. A meaningful and enriching activity.💖 Thank you for reading and appreciating, Cindy. Have a relaxing Sunday. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this Michele:

    Living in a world that keeps spinning,
    I have spent a lifetime living in worlds by reading and turning.
    Books have taken me to places I have only dreamed.
    From printed details and conversations, I have learned.

    I too live through the world of words, page by page, chapter by chapter. What a great way to escape and learn through the lens of the author. Books have an uncanny way of whisking you into a fantastical world or turning you off. Either way, it’s quite a learning experience! 📕📖📗

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you fellow book lover, for sharing lines that stood out to you and for sharing your thoughts about reading – thoughts that resonate with me. Life is busy and it can be a challenge finding the time to indulge in a good book, but it is worth it. For me, that usually happens at the end of my day. A pleasant “escape” at the end my day. 😊

      Enjoy your day. I hope your spring garden is blooming! 🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have done a great job sharing how books can carry us in and out of new dimensions. I really liked these lines,,,
    Engaging dialogue, scenes, and descriptions
    become memories, offering connections and lessons,
    long after I have reached, the end.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Dwight. I am glad my reading exploration resonated with you. 😊
      I appreciate you sharing lines that stood out to you – I enjoy learning which lines resonate with readers. It is interesting. Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautifully said. 💖 Thank you for highlighting that line. I love how you have extended my “past and future” phrase into thoughts about living in the present and how that is infinite. Nice! ✨

      Like

    1. Thank you for reading and taking the turn this poem took.😀 Obviously, I enjoy reading (quality books) and teaching them, but I decided in the late summer of 2019, just before starting this blog, that it was time to spend more time writing my own words and to start living some experiences I have only read about. ✨

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you M and M, for joining me on my book-reading adventure. Remembering one book led to another and another. The writing of this poem also reminds me that books can offer an escape, a lesson, education, and many other things, but they cannot replace “real” life adventures. 💖

      Like

  4. I fall in love with this set of lines: “I have felt floating fabric brush my skin
    while embracing a sensual dream.
    I have been trapped in a locked mansion
    while racing to escape a nightmare.”

    I too have felt this inescapable feeling. Books are a portal of out the race into another world. I love that this poem began one way and ended on another note, with only a few passing references sneaking in and making the words golden!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful. 💓
      The floating fabric references, The Great Gatsby, and the second reference is for Bram Stoker’s, Dracula. It is actually a castle… all the same to me. 😆

      You have such a great eye for details and insight about what you find. It is amusing to me that the 25 lines I began with did not make it into the final poem. Just a place to start, I suppose. Thank you for reading and sharing. ♥ That reminds me.. I started reading your latest piece last night and I need to finish. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. References take on entirely new meanings. I love it when something is secretly one thing to me and something else to everyone else.

        🙄 Admittedly, my latest piece is a little long. I enjoyed writing it though! Food for thought has to digest. 💖

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree. I also enjoy when things have multiple interpretation and I love learning how others perceive things, especially when it is different from my own thoughts.

        I just finished reading your piece and commenting. You are right, it is long, but it is interesting and it was time well spent.

        Liked by 1 person

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