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Julie Sampson Ballerina’s Song of the Earth (for Darcey Bussell) Just to the north high on the crown of Sorton Tor there’s a metamorphosis of rocks beneath my feet this moor-scape edge grass hillocks on greenearth salted with dew She sashayed down from mid-grey skies Ballerina! You must have seen her dancing on the ground A glissade in plié sur les pointes a pirouette

After a break of several years when she was working as teacher/lecturer and completing a PhD, Julie Sampson has recently been published in or by the following: Shearsman, Equinox, The Journal, Greatworks Online, Aireings, Suspension Magazine and is forthcoming on Agenda website. Before this she had poems in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She is working on a book about Devon's women writers and recently edited Mary Lady Chudleigh, Selected Poems for Shearsman.

that dress catches light as she bourees back en pointe it’s chiffon and satin a border of organdie and net shimmer of lilac-cerise blue sequins butterflying She’s intent on inner voices singing the Song where she went on the night of her final Farewell to earth I caught the last glimpse her terre à terre before she’d gone one with the hang-glider behind the tor the stones out of view of sight and now don’t know if she came to be part of the poem to tell us something or even flew in just for fun a trick of light simplicity itself disguised in a moving text of ballet-dress You do know though She won’t return

Note: Bussell’s last performance with the Royal Ballet in June 2007 was Macmillan’s ballet Song of the Earth


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