The Dance

'The Dance' by Carmel Doherty

Title: The Dance; Medium: mixed; Price: €2,500.



It has a secret meaning of its own
but you must lend a hand
and grab the spade dark hidden from the moon
and grit your teeth between which gleams the blade
to suck cold oysters from the keening pool

The frog will wander in a maze of mud
but you will lend a hand
and gnaw a grave ghost ridden, blind, dumb
your hideous grin reveals a gleaming blade
to skin and crucify Frog-saviour come

The Priestess sits astride the Camel’s humps
you take Her by the hand
and lead Her to your tent after the hunt
and woo Her crossbow with the gleaming blade
to lure the Priestess from behind the Veil

And when and if you meet the ciphered Fool
Be sure and take His hand
And yoke the Ox and seed the coloured Arc
The spiralling vulture rose in egg blue wind
To Be or Nought To Be is written in sand.

© Patrick Stack

Photo of Carmel DohertyCarmel Doherty qualified from the University of Dundee in 1990 with an M.Phil in Public Art & Design and since then she has exhibited extensively both in Ireland and on the Continent. Her work is held in both public and private collections.

Photo of Patrick StackPatrick Stack has been writing poetry since he was 12. He has had poems published in Revival Poetry Journal, Crannóg, and The Clare Champion. He published his first collection, “The Parting“, in April 2013 and is working on a second. He lives and works in County Clare. Website:

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