The Latest Dance Craze, and I Do Mean Latest

photoTarantella* for Arachnophobes

I’m told a lizard ought to find

small creatures of arachnid-kind

as tasty and desirable

a treat to make the tummy full

as anyone could wish to munch–

but I hate them, that horrid bunch!

Spiders, to me, are crawly, creepy

creatures; make me frightened, weepy,

send me under my bed, my couch,

in a zipping zing or a crunching crouch;

they make me itch in my lizard pants,

in my reptile rooms, until I prance

around the house in a manic dance!

I try to shake my whole belief

that they’re attacking; no relief

is found when I am faced with grief

from eight-legg’d monsters or their kin,

and then such dancing must begin!

I’m forced to writhe and wriggle madly,

spin and struggle wildly (sadly),

and last, because the fear remains,

tromp out a tarantella, badly!

O, would that I could simply snap

my jaws on that small hairy chap

the spider, show no fear of death;

instead, I lose my very breath

and shrivel, like the brink of doom

has entered in my living room!

What was my fateful youthful sinning

set my head and heart to spinning

like a dervish when one shows,

to tearing my poor lizard clothes,

sneezing out of my reptile nose

and stretching like a garden hose

to flee arachnids; why do those

bring fear into my scaly soul?

I only know my utter goal

when spiders enter into view

is: dance until they set on you.

* Just so’s you know, I do realize that this poem in no way conforms to any of the traditional Tarantella forms, nor will dancing whilst reciting it actually cure you if you should be gnawed on by a spider, but it might possibly frighten away any proximal tarantulas–as well as humans–if you dance in an appropriately bizarre fashion during your recitation.

digital photo-collageTotentanz

I shall sing you a ditty, you fine dead folk;

dance along to it if you like; no joke:

for naught’s so right in my heart and head

as to pay respect to the honored dead,

who have earned the ease of their Late condition,

but also deserve deep recognition,

and might be glad to take part, perchance,

in a little postmortem song and dance.

In limpid blue and livid red

but nary a drop of gloom or dread

I’ll dress my act for each measured measure,

creating a funerary pleasure

to honor the love, in my death-knell song,

of those dear departed, the moved-along,

and move, if I can, each girl and boy

to dance a jig of unceasing joy,

remembering all you dead-and-done

with fond frivolity, every one,

dancing our socks off, slow or fast,

as we sing and swing to the very last,

and when ghost-persons join, their haunts

bring cheer to the perfect Totentanz.

15 thoughts on “The Latest Dance Craze, and I Do Mean Latest

    • Thank you very much, Linda, I’m enjoying your blog immensely as well!

      After reading the post on Fuzzy and Boomer’s adventures I’m thinking they might like to have a play date with Rumpydog (commenting below, here)–Rumpy’s a delightful creature too. 🙂

    • Actually, I like spiders a lot myself, with the exception of when they bite me (and so far only the little non-toxic ones have attempted that!)–I find them delightfully alien and wonderfully diverse and I LOVE that they eat mosquitoes, since I hate even worse being bit by *those*. But having a lizard fear and dislike them seemed to make an interesting twist for the poem. Just more of my silliness, I guess!

    • Thank you, Rumpydarling! I always appreciate your point of view! Warm wags right back at you. 🙂

      If you don’t know the marvelous dogs Fuzzy and Boomer of coloradofarmlife (see comment above, here) yet, you should probably get to know them: I think they are kindred spirits of yours!

    • I kind of think one of the things I’m getting better at is using real emotions for the basis of even somewhat outlandish stories and poems, so that they have more resonance *in* real life. So I thank you very much for that comment!

  1. I am so happy that you did not included a photo of the nasty 8 legged variety. *shudder* That way I got to enjoy both pieces immensely. You are so talented; a true wordsmith.
    On a side note, a friend recently asked what I FEAR. This is what I came up with for her:
    1. Spiders
    2. Brown spiders
    3. Black spiders
    4. White spiders
    5. Hairy spiders
    6. Non hairy spiders
    7. Spiders with knees
    8. Spiders in glass cases
    9. Spiders not in glass cases
    10. Spiders eating flies
    11. Big spiders
    12. Not so big spiders
    13. Spiders with shiny backs
    14. Baby spiders
    15. Grown up spiders
    16. Spiders crawling toward me
    17. Spiders hanging from the ceiling
    18. Dreams with spiders in them
    19. Jumping spiders
    20. Spiders with big butts
    21. Spider eggs
    22. Spiders named Charlotte
    23. Pictures of spiders
    24. Wolf spiders
    25. Poisonous spiders
    26. Non-poisonous spiders
    27. Spiders with pointy feet
    28. Brown recluse spiders
    29. Black widow spiders
    30. Tarantula spiders
    31. the word SPIDER

    • Oh, my! I am especially honored that you’d keep plowing forward at all, given my topic. If you look at my note to Anyes above, you can see that I don’t share your discomfiture with the wee beasties. Your list tickled my funnybone so much that Richard got curious about the giggling and had to have a good chuckle over it too. But I’ll take you seriously enough on it to promise I’ll give you fair warning if I sneak any octopods of a non-aquatic variety into view hereabouts again. xoxo!

  2. I despise spiders… there’s a cello piece I was required to play called Tarantella… fingers crawling all spidery-like up the strings! I refused and got away with it. One shouldn’t be forced to make music one doesn’t like! I loved your poems! Especially the Totentanz!

    • Whose Tarantella, Squire’s? I actually *love* the creepy-crawly effects strings can achieve that are often used to raise the hackles for a good spooky scene in a movie or opera or TV program, never mind the wonderfully hideous scratchings in the infamous Psycho score. Beyond that, I’m totally intrigued by spiders and all sorts of bugs and crawly creatures and find many of them so-ugly-they’re-beautiful. *As long as I can view them from a safe distance* (say, in a glass case at the museum of natural history and sciences!). 🙂 Don’t hate me because I’m strange enough to like bug-monsters! 😀

      Back on the piece you played: I assume this was in a pedagogical context since you could get away with refusing to play it! What are your particular *favorite* composers/pieces/styles/eras to play? I assume I told you that I was thinking of you when R’s choir did the Durufle Requiem on the 2nd of Nov and they got to the lovely cello accompaniment for the Pie Jesu!

      • I could never hate you:) Everyone has their own personal likes/dislikes. As an adult student, I’m not sure he could make me learn/play anything I didn’t want to. It’s so different than being a young student where you did as you were told… much more collaborative now.
        I would have died to hear the cello accompanying Pie Jesu… sooo beautiful!!

    • Visual and textual arts (especially goodies from medieval and Romantic artists) are nearly as rife with *Totentanzen* as is music. I was just recently reminded of a delightfully witty musical version I’d heard years ago, Guy Bovet’s ‘Hamburgeur Totentanz’–you can hear him play it himself on YouTube if you like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFce9Hn1ufM

      I guess I latched on to the whole concept long ago because of my obvious obsession with dark humor, and only afterward got to know that the ‘tradition’ of it began more seriously with the Memento Mori and all of those fabulous artistic and symbolic condemnations of Vanity. Each element quite fascinating in its own right.

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