My Dancing Feet

by on April 3, 2012 · 13 comments

in Culture, From the Soul

Sometimes I get dancing feet.
I’ll hear a song
and can’t help but want to move
to its rhythm,
to its beat.

It can be
Gene Kelly
on Turner Classic Movies
Singing in the Rain
and my big old stompers
will just about go absolutely insane.
Let me see a scene
with Ginger Rogers
swinging and swaying
and floating through the air
with Fred Astaire,
seemingly without a single care
and, man, I can’t keep my feet still.
Bojangles and Shirley Temple
scatting and tapping up and down the stairs
in The Little Colonel
gets my feet to moving
against their will.

And it’s not always
old school
that gets me in
a dancing groove.
I mean Chris Brown makes me
hurt myself
when I forget how old I am
and try to copy one of his moves.
It’s hard being
Hip-Hop smooth.
But I’ll put a chiropractor
on speed dial
before I give up
my dancing feet.
Oh, you play the music
and I can’t sit in my seat.

Sometimes there’s no music playing
and I still get dancing feet
like when my team
is up against it,
facing defeat,
coming from behind
just before the game runs out of time.

Like when my daughter
says “Hi, Dad”
after being in a coma
for a long time.

Like when reading
a Langston Hughes rhyme
or getting out of a bind;
walking through a forest
under a sunny blue sky
among oaks and pines;
being toasted by dear friends
with a fine wine
aromatic and refreshing
in its character,
around my taste buds,
a credit to its vines.

But, Lord, sometimes,
my dancing feet
ever so slow,
reflecting a spirit that’s
agonizingly low,
weakened by life’s cares and woes:
A 17 year old boy
falls dead from gunshot wounds,
skittles and tea
flying from his hands,
his life taken in a
horribly frightening moment
by a man
who dances to music
so discordant
that it poisons his mind,
causing him to surrender to his fears
and his suspicions.
And I wonder, having seen
this terpsichorean routine
too many times
if I will ever really
cut a rug again
in my lifetime
with any amount
of zeal.

Oh, of course I will.
I’ll just have to weather
the storm
of despair
and before I know it
Gene and Ginger
and Fred and Bojangles
and Shirley and Chris
will break through
the heaviness in the air
and ease the pain
and I’ll be singing
and dancing
in the spirit that I always have
rather than weeping in the rain.

I’ll just have to listen for the beat
and leave the rest to my dancing feet.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna Daniels April 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.” Says it all for me Ernie. As you know so well, we can never let that bright spirit forged of rhythm, joy and pain to be diminished.


Ernie McCray April 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

I’m with you all the way. The revolution will survive. And to respond to you I have to know that 14-9 equals five (smile). I just love the CAPTCHA or whatever it is.


judi Curry April 3, 2012 at 10:08 am

With heaviness in my heart and lightness in my feet – or is it the other way around – the images you project are joyful and thoughtful.


Frank Gormlie April 3, 2012 at 10:14 am

I think it’s the other way around – light heart and heavy feet.


Ernie McCray April 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

We’re playing footsie and it’s fun (smile).


Linda Taggart April 3, 2012 at 10:59 am

Ernie you are so right on. You always manage to put into words what is in my heart. Dancing with the feet is one thing, but dancing with the heart is another. anon
Thanks Linda


Ernie McCray April 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

You are right on, amiga.


Jonnie Mathe April 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Well McCray,
you’ve done it again. It is refreshing to read about how we perceive this frantic world we reside in today. Thanks for keeping us focused.


Ernie McCray April 6, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hey, homey, focus is the name of the game. Good to hear from you.


Terry April 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm


So much captured in your rhyme. The joy, the despair, the beautiful, the ugly. And yet, a message comes thru-never lose hope and keep on dancin!

Great stuff,


Ernie McCray April 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

You got it like I knew you would.


Linda Haynes May 21, 2012 at 8:17 am

Good old Ernie, the one who taught me to do THE CHICKEN backstage when we were rehearsing for a senior play at GOOD OLD TUCSON HIGH. Do I remember how to do it, wellllll no. Love you Ernie


Ernie McCray May 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

I don’t remember it either but I could fake it. Love you too, Linda.


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