When there was no paper or pens for writing

And not many Romani knew how to read anyway

No money for paints and brushes and

Musical instruments were reserved for the men

(Although women could make a churo, a tambourine,

Tie coins or small horse bells together or

Make kastaneta from ocean shells)

How to create when materials scarce

Even for cooking or sewing



The creation of steps:

Move left, move right

Kick a leg high

Undulate voluptuous hips

Tapped with the tambourine

Shake the bra-less breasts

Toss the head of thick, long hair

Close the eyes and be transported

To a universe where the

Ceiling is always star-lit

Embers flare as

A long skirt whirls around,

Stirring the air

Redolent with pine

No stench of poverty or abuse or bigotry

And if by nurture or nature

This female freedom is passed along

Some form of a genetic chain

Whether living in Eastern Europe

Without water or education

Living on the road in Western Europe

Or living in American-dream homes

Slaving nine hours each day for

What passes as a wage

We women

With even a drop of Romani rat—blood—

Continue creating with our feet, hands and hips

Yes, it would be heaven to dance in the arms of a beloved

But that is not possible for many

Fiercely independent

Some of us dance for money

Some of us dance for audiences

Most importantly

Most of us dance for ourselves

Dancing in secret

A careful choreography of

Flamenco, belly dancing or

Even Jazzercize

Drawing lines and filling them in

With the finest of oils:

Scarlets, royal blues and purples

The black of night and the

Gold of the noon-time sun

The floor our canvas

The lines our charcoal

The paints our beating hearts

Of happiness in the

Joy of the dance


© 2015 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)


    1. Thank you so very much, APonderingMind! I like your photographs and other creations and have promised myself that I will remember to reblog also. Have a wonderful evening, you’ve made mine so nice 🙂


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