By Diane Oatley

Diane Oatley (born 1960, Greenwich, Conn.) has lived in Oslo Norway since 1982.and works with literature and dance in a number of capacities, among these as a poet, freelance writer, dance critic, translator and teacher/performer of Oriental Dance. Expressions of the (feminine) body has been an ongoing focus in her dance practice and writing – the latter in the form of both essays, criticism and poetry published in newspapers, periodicals and in book form in Scandinavia, USA and Great Britain. She holds a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Oslo.

Click here to send comments

Diane's new ebook:  Fragments


I didn’t expect to find you here, with the wind rising
like a dry voice shivering, music drawn long and
sliding in layer upon layer across the sands
shifting. It was enough, the feeling of my feet blistered
and worn, digging step by step into the sand 
burning, enough the unfamiliar scent let loose
from the wind - the hot dry ache of my throat hammering
in clean acquiescence with the sun: it was thus I should
walk humbly through the muscle of a surrender given
in a constant state of collapse.
I shouldered my resistance and bared my face to the sun,
for fire became me. This was not escape:, it was the backing 
down through the rhythm of heat expanding 
into the tight space of my own private hallway. 

But when the earth opened its mouth to admit me, you were
released as its offering. Face broken and body taut
you rolled up out of the sand 
as if you were but one of the peoples
of my own silent tribe in keeping, bred of the restless
thrust and stumble of my feet kicking their way
through the sand. I expected ancient lizards
moving with all the solemn encumbrance
only an eternity could grant. Or a single desert rose
smiling with hard bright resistance into a wasteland.
But instead space opened only to complete repentance
with the shudder of a body engendered 
and reclaimed as its own.


Back to Poetry Page

Back to Titles Page