Photography © Karen A. Szklany


Dancing Plague

Chaotic spasm of limb,
a bastardised unpartnered Pavan.
Sick-smiling, ergot infusion.
Born anew, nightfall brings rabid, red-tinged orange, violent violet –
bleached white: a bone china serving plate
fit for the head of a dancing princess.
Prisoner of unrest.

Ashen complexion leached lye,
foaming pink from soles – ossified bone –
A disembodied body, no longer her own
suspended, sleepless, sapped.
Rise again, repelled.
Rise again, compelled
beyond logic.

Rise again.
And again.
Crimson soul.
The only end is the end.


Megan Cartwright is an Australian writer and teacher who has increasingly escaped into poetry to insulate myself from the drudgery (and anxiety) of Covid lockdown life.

Karen A. Szklany was born in New York and now lives in a New England co-housing community. She is the author of several collections of poetry, gardening books and Unitarian Universalist sermons. Karen also serves as a Life Healing and Transformation Coach on the labyrinth path.