This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Philip C. Kolin.

Dancing in the Bible

First God danced the spheres into music
and called Judah back with pipe and timbrels.
Women danced together; men danced together
in one great feast of forgiveness.

Prophet Mariam leapt as Pharaoh’s chariots
and riders were swallowed by the Red Sea.
But as Moses was praying atop Mt. Sinai,
below his people reveled before a golden calf.

In thanks David danced naked in his linen apron
before the returned Ark, God’s choreographer.
While Salome slithered to a tabor, firing Antipas’ lust
as she dropped one veil, then others to the floor.

At Cana Jesus danced among the men and filled
six stone jars swaying with wine on the third day.
Afar off music, the prodigal returned, a calf (not
golden), rings and robes. And the father danced.

Philip C. Kolin is the Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus and Editor Emeritus of the Southern Quarterly at the University of Southern Mississippi. He has published more than 40 books on Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams, including fifteen collections of poetry, among them Benedict’s Daughter: Poems (Wipf and Stock, 2017), Wholly God’s: Poems (Wind and Water Press, 2021), and Mapping Trauma: Poems about Black History (Third World Press, 2023).

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