Halflight (for Jennifer Paterson, Aerial Dancer)


Beneath revealing half-light
Suspension of disbelief
Is firmly on hold now

On silk drops as sheer as
Deep glacier walls she
Flies in the face of gravity

With a levity that enthrals
As effortless, weightless
And delicate as dawn.

It is as though emerging
From her wound cocoon
She would have us believe that

She has no time for the rule -
Newton's universal force
Must always weigh us down.

On the high rigged drops
That buoy her up, majestic
Gestic, she catches our breath

And widens our eyes
Gently unpicking at
All our knots of certainty

That wingless flight
Cannot be propelled by
The caress and fold of

A bolt of silk. This is her guile
To bring into the light
An aerial dance of grace and danger.

Her skill, her craft, is in the knots
The tiny knots so carefully tied
To control her falls

The touch of a heel
On the outer edge
Of a fluttering silk

Gives life to her wings and
Invites us, all or nothing, to
Pupate and fly.

John Mackie, January 2010

To visit Jen's company All Or Nothing,
please click on her image.