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DEVIL DANCER’S DAUGHTER by Laura Sheahen

What does your father do
            Dance

Where      in the jungle
            The jungle

When
            In the night
            With feathers sharp feathers

What does your father do
            Dance

Where      in the jungle
            The jungle

When
            In the night
            With feathers sharp feathers

To what sound
            The beat from the heart of my mother
            extracted

Where are the flames from
            The devil

Where is the dance from
            The devil

And the red mask from
            The devil I hate the devil

And the knife moon from
            The devil

Why is he dancing
            To cure me

 

 

Listen to Laura Sheahen’s reading of “Devil Dancer’s Daughter” below…


 

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Gate Mudaliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekara, The Devil Dancer’s Daughter. (Oil on canvas)

Laura Sheahen composed this poem in response to The Devil Dancer’s Daughter, a painting by the Sri Lankan artist Gate Mudaliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekara (b. 1883 – d. 1983). The painting is housed in the National Art Gallery of Sri Lanka and is reproduced here with permission.


 

 


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About Laura Sheahen

Laura Sheahen
Laura Sheahen works in humanitarian aid and saw the painting Devil Dancer's Daughter while in Sri Lanka. Her poems have appeared in Stirring, MiPOesias, Orbis, The Manhattan Review, and other publications. She blogs at One Good Poem.