Poem: Cheek to Cheek

Inspiration is like a waterfall. From a song to dance, from a video to a fine art piece, it flows like the swirling and bubbling rapids. The artist’s brush dances on the canvas, as the two lovers dance in the video, a stroke for a step, capturing the magic on the dancefloor to her canvas.

From the waterfall emerges a wild flame — a flame of desire, albeit drenched in the swirls of the brush stroke, catches on in the poet’s mind. This flame now ablaze in all its glory, yearns to be captured by words. This is the perfect concoction of all arts together — from the dance step to the brush stroke and the stroke of the keys from the poet’s computer.

I saved the image of art by Sarah and then listened to this beautiful black-and-white video of cheek-to-cheek by Fred Astaire in the movie ‘Top Hat’ (1935).

The song goes thus:

Heaven, I’m in Heaven,

And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak;

And I seem to find the happiness I seek

When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek.

Heaven, I’m in Heaven,

And the cares that hang around me thro’ the week

Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak

When we’re out together dancing, cheek to cheek.

Oh! I love to climb a mountain,

And to reach the highest peak,

But it doesn’t thrill me half as much

As dancing cheek to cheek.

Oh! I love to go out fishing

In a river or a creek,

But I don’t enjoy it half as much

As dancing cheek to cheek.

Dance with me

I want my arm about you;

The charm about you

Will carry me thro’ to Heaven

I’m in Heaven,

and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak;

And I seem to find the happiness I seek

When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek.

This song and the dance inspired Sarah’s painting. Here is the beautiful oeuvre that she created. It is 87 years since these steps of the dance took the form of strokes on Sarah’s canvas.

Cheek to Cheek, Sarah Polyakov © 2022

The journey of this thread, takes another twist, in the form of my poem. From the smooth stream to the swirling rapids, to the drenched spark to exploding volcano of passion, is the cheek-to-cheek dance.

Poem: Cheek to Cheek

There is no place I will rather be

For without you any place would be lonely

Together we sing and dance

A dance of bliss lost in a trance

Swing our hips and move our feet

Only dancing to the tune of our heartbeat.

The blips of our heartbeat

And the tap of our feet

As if the ticking of the clock’s hands

Igniting a volcano in Lala land

From deep beneath, the fiery mountain explodes

Spewing fires of passion, like lava in loads.

Feet with feet, hip to hip

Cheek to cheek, and lip to lip

The molten lava flows deep inside our veins

Our skins were drenched in sweaty rains

Building a crescendo, discovering its peak

As we dance, arm in arm, and cheek to cheek.

It is burning everywhere, a fire of passion

Right in our hearts, right on the dance floor

Lit by our embrace, the friction between our hips

Lit by our kiss, the sweet lava between our lips

Oh finally, the crescendo, we discover the peak

In moments of ecstasy, we dance cheek to cheek.

~Ashok Subramanian © 2022

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Ashok Subramanian

Ashok Subramanian

Poet and Author. Poetry and Book Reviews. Investment Banker. IIM C Alumni. Engineering Graduate.