RUMBA (2002)

Unique concertina
11.5″H x 12.5″W x .50”D
Original paste papers, gilded drawings and calligraphy by artist
Clamshell box lined with Japanese paper


Four luscious pages of Cuban rhythms—a sensuous trio of dance drawings, jottings of love—a sprinkle of gilt on vibrant paste papers—made in the Maine moonlight.


RAINING GARDENIAS

In the ballroom it’s raining gardenias
when her eyes momentarily close.
At the start of the song
he senses her stillness
and the first fleeting scent of her flower.

In the ballroom it’s raining gardenias
The tangle of rhythm, the rush of her breath,
a persuasion of breeze
as they’re caught in the thrum of the song.

In the ballroom it’s raining gardenias
the stars on her shoulders,
falling pearls on her cheeks
like petals on hips in their sway.

Reality is quickly forgotten
in a rumba both familiar and strange.
In the ballroom it’s raining gardenias
and surrender is part of the song.

—Alice Simpson