Posts Tagged ‘fairy poem’

Michael Rumaker – Fairy Poet

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Michael Rumaker Engages a Crowd with “The Fairies are Dancing All Over the World”

I met Michael Rumaker twice in my life. The first time was about five or six years ago, when he visited Asheville to read from his memoir, Black Mountain Days, at UNC Asheville. At the time I had no idea what a powerful poet Rumaker was, although I thought his work was electric, and he had a charming presence. Like Jonathan Williams, he was able to make his memories of Black Mountain College come alive for me. Black Mountain – that great educational experiment – how can we ever forget it?
The second time I met Rumaker, he read, “The Fairies are Dancing All Over the World” to a crowded gallery full of people at the opening reception for the 75th Anniversary of Black Mountain College. I experienced his poem deep in my body, tingling all over with excitement with hairs standing on end. I said to myself, this poet really knows the fairies.  That is how I knew Rumaker was exceptional.
In fact, Mr. Rumaker might just be a fairy.
The next day I saw Michael at another reading. Afterwards, I commented on his poem, and how it made me feel that connection we all crave – I call it plugging into the web of life. For the most part, I never ask this question, but the spirit moved me to do so that afternoon. I asked Michael Rumaker if he had any knowledge of the contemporary faery movement. He got very excited and said that he knew the radical fairies in New York City in the 70s. That would put him at the beginning of a wave of popularity for fairies.

Just by chance he had his novel for sale at the event that referenced this period in his life: My First Satyrnalia, so I purchased it. Michael Rumaker has given permission to re-publish this wonderful poem. At the bottom of the page, there are related works in both fiction and poetry that may be of interest to fairykind.
–Elizabeth Kirwin

For a beautiful hand-made edition of “The Fairies Are Dancing All Over the World” created by Rutherford Witthus, via his Phi Press, Email him:

The Fairies Are Dancing All Over the World
by Michael Rumaker

The fairies are dancing all over the world

             In the dreams of the President

                          they are dancing
  although he dares not mentions this at cabinet meetings

In the baby blood of the brandnew

           they are dancing O most rapturously

 and over the graves of the fathers and mothers

                       who are dead

and around the heads of the mothers and fathers who are not dead

             in celebration of the sons and daughters

                     they've given the earth

The fairies are dancing in the paws and muzzles

            of dogs larking in the broad field next to the church

The fairies have always danced in the blood of the untamed

                   in the muscular horned goat

              and the shining snake

        in the blood of Henry Thoreau

                   and most certainly Emily Dickinson

And they skip in the blood of the marine recruit

          in his barracks at night

                    his bones aching with fatigue and loneliness

                and pure dreams of women

                                and his goodbuddy in the next bunk

They are most lovely in the eyes of the black kid

             trucking in front of the jukebox

                    at the local pizzeria

more timorous in the eyes of his white friend

          whose hips are a bit more calcified

with hereditary denunciation of the fairies

           May the fairies swivel his hips

On sap green evenings in early summer

               the fairies danced under the moon in country places

        danced among native american teepees

and hung in the rough hair of buffalos racing across the prairies

                    and are dancing still

                           most hidden

                       and everywhere

in some, only in the eyes

           in others a reach of the arm

               a sudden yelp of joy

reveals their presence

The fairies are dancing from coast to coast

       all over deadmiddle America

                  they're bumping and grinding on the Kremlin walls

             the tap of their feet is eroding all the walls

                     all over the world as they dance

In the way of the western world

                  the fairies' dance has become small

        a bleating, crabbed jerkiness

but there for all that,

       a bit of healthy green in the dead wood

                    that spreads an invisible green fire

           around and around the globe

encircling it in its dance

           of intimacy with the secret of all living things

The fairies are dancing even in the Pope's nose

                  and in the heart of the most stubborn macho

        who will not and will not

                       and the fairies will

                                   most insistently

           because he will not

In the Pentagon the fairies are dancing

              under the scrambled egg hats

        of those who see no reason why youths should live to old age

The fairies bide their time and wait

        They dance in invisible circlets of joy

           around and around and over the planet

they are the green rings unseen by spaceships

      their breath is the earth of the first spring evening

They explode in the black buds of deadwood winter

                    Welcome them with open arms

           They are allies courting in the bloodstream

                  welcome them and dance with them

Copyright Michael Rumaker 1975, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1988, 2005, 2008

Some books by Michael Rumaker and some contact information for their purchase:

Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center/Black Mountain Press,
A memoir, Black Mountain Days; Dossier No. 6

Eroticizing the Nation:Michael Rumaker’s Fiction, by Leverett T. Smith, Jr.

Pagan Days
My First Satyrnalia

Pizza: Selected Poems
Circumstantial Publishing,

Contact the following for titles below:
Gringos and Other Stories: A New Edition;
a novel, To Kill a Cardinal;
anthology, 3×3