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Salome Poem

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Five Poems
By Doug Tanoury

Salome Dancing For Herod

If I was in the great hall
Of the palace
Watching Salome dancing
For Herod
I too would marvel
At movements
So erotic and executed
With animal precision


Her heaving breasts
Swaying pelvis
The white waves of her skin
Moving in soft undulations
Across her abdomen
And I smile knowing
That the king and I
Are both drunk with dance

And the beat of the music
The rhythmic flashing
Of bare thighs
Naked belly
Awaken the pagan in me
Who knows that lust is to love
What poetry is to prose
A sensual awakening of sight and smell
And sound and taste

And I would swear too
At that moment that the bounce
In each breast
Was worth the heads
Of a hundred prophets
And is more moving to me
Than the words
Of all the holy men in Judea

------------------------------------
And I Am

And I told her
Matter of factly
That indeed I am
A poet of naked breasts
And that umber nipples
Centered in amber aureoles
To me are pupils
And Irises that serve
As windows to the soul

And I went on to say
Confident and self-assured
That I am too the bard
Of the bare thigh
That to me is nature revealed
Tan like the underside
Of sycamore leaves in fall
Softly wild and untouchable
As a sleeping doe

And I concluded by saying
That I am a lyric that can versify
The plump lushness of
A pale ass
In still-life form
Like so much fruit
As if it were a honey dew melon
Sliced in two and resting
On the kitchen table

------------------------------------

At The Waldorf

At the Waldorf
Where desserts are done in art deco
And abstractions in chocolate
Twist in many shapes
Everything is golden

The lobby a cathedral
Large and brightly lit
At a table draped in white linen
Like an altar prepared
For solemn High Mass

I study the ceiling
Done in Greek revival
Where reliefs of nudes
In white plaster
Resemble marble

At the Waldorf
Where words are whispered
Like prayers of the devout
At an altar
Draped in white vestments

And in gilded murals
On Peacock Alley
Where I see a sugar-coated sunrise
Over the rundown landscape
Of the far eastside

------------------------------------

August Rain

I remember an August once
When I could talk to him
But didn’t and each word unspoken
Rested like a brick on the silence
That lay thick as a layer of mortar
And grew into hardness between us

These day’s I think of him
Mostly when rain falls in gray sheets
With a soft hiss as droplets
Paint the pavement with color
Of an overcast sky and collects
On the road in pools in brought to full boil

In summer storms with the
Sound of thunder on my skin
I recall in the air’s smell and
The wind cool in my hair
An August once when rain fell
In mortar gray hardness on our silence

------------------------------------

Habeas Corpus

Years from now when I am gone
And you sit at the kitchen table
With people who never knew me
Show them this so they will know

That I was touched and slightly
Giddy with the silly art of poetry
That to me was harmony and
Melody floating everywhere

They should know too that with
Eyes and nose and mouth and ears
And every organ that ties us to the world
That I love you and it grew and multiplied

Like fission in the nuclei of cells and
Was carried in corpuscles speeding
Through capillaries toward lips and
Fingertips and other body parts

That celebrate a passing touch


Art Image by
David Michael Jackson


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Thank you for your visit to Salome Poem. Take the Artvilla tour Bus to surfing for fun:
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