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Gilded Serpent presents...
An Invitation to
Haiku the Belly Dance

by Najia Marlyz

It is the start of a new year, and while attempting to look at the Belly dance community from a fresh perspective, I had an epiphany.   The genre could take an intriguing, and possibly humorous, path if portrayed by the poetic art of Haiku. 

Haiku often does not take itself or its subjects too seriously and is simply word images and sensory feelings conveyed by means of three lines only.  The first and third lines of a Haiku poem are composed of five syllables and the second line must have seven.  Generally the third line sums up the images created and drawn in the first two lines. Each set of three lines must be complete within the form and must not depend on following sets of lines. 

If you dare to laugh at our strange but special art and take a light hearted observation of the Belly dance world, I invite and challenge you to compose some Belly dance Haiku of your own and send them to Gilded Serpent for our new Haiku poetry collection.  We will publish them if they are socially acceptable: accurate, observational, amusing, and/or artistic (and, of course, clean).

Here are the 14 Belly dance Haiku that I wrote for you this morning:

Contorted bodies
Writhe, bloodless, in unison
Tattoos, anyone?

This rhythm: Maksoum.
Shagundallah plays triplets,
Drummer prepares noose.

Dancer’s main mission:
Educate each audience.
Ennui settles in.

Famous performer.
Choreographed dance tonight.
How symmetrical!

Pale flesh escapes.
We all pretend not to see.
Sequined bra failure.

Tentacles waving,
Dancer apparently stoned.
Who was her teacher?

Black, black, black, more black!
Black lips, black nails, garter belt
Hear weird Goth music?

Tek, Tek, Tek-a-tek,
Troupe perfect in every move.
Sisterhood triumphs.

I ask you, “So what
If both hands grasp my sword’s blade?”
Illusion defeat.

Skillful veils spin,
Fast, faster; this trick and that!
No art.  No meaning.

Safety pins showing,
White push-ups extrude themselves,
Where’s the costumer?

Pigeon toes lead them.
Pounding hearts, wide legs, arms flail.
Student Night tonight!

Humility? No!
Computers are spewing out
Marshmallow bios.

Coins, hairy armpits,
Legs hide in polyester.
Dance in the ‘60s!

Whirling around I
Feel a strap go boing; uh, oh
Costume malfunction.

-contributed by Maia
Portland Oregon

turkish drop for tips
waiter picks up my twenty
stuck and can't get up

-contributed by Surreyya

diva steals the show
jealous dancers talk some smack
" I can do that too..."

-contributed by Surreyya

Sword work on the floor
suddenly zipper goes "RIP!"
don't go commando

-contributed by Surreyya

Ethnic family
says to me "You dance pretty
good for a white girl...

-contributed by Surreyya

Birthday gig at club
brand new coin bra falls to floor
test drive your costumes

-contributed by Surreyya

yours here!


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Check the "Letters to the Editor" for other possible viewpoints!

Ready for more?
12-31-05 The Key: an Allegory* in Which a Courtesan Dancer Greets the New Year by Najia Marlyz
Court dancer, Raven, was lost in thought as she shifted her gaze toward a novice barefoot dancer whose name she could not remember.

12-16-04 Raven of the Night: Dancer’s Allegory for New Year’s Eve 2005
Raven of the Night was the name by which he thought of her–but feathers? Raven had none! She was the castle’s Dancer of Dreams and aspired to become Jester of the Court...

12-31-03 The New Year's Dance Poetry by Najia

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2-6-08 The Secret of Saiidi Song and Dance-Straight from the Horse’s Mouth by Keti Sharif
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2-5-08 My First Mid East Gig by Yasmina Ramzy
Once we landed in Amman, we were greeted on the tarmac by solid lines of soldiers on both sides leading to the doorway of the airport, machine guns pointed towards the passengers. I don't recall ever seeing even one Canadian soldier in the flesh and blood, let alone a gun, let alone so many big guns and pointed at me. I don't think I blinked during that endless walk. We were clearly not in Hawaii.


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