Mein Herz tanz auf meiner Zunge, meine Händen tanzen mein Herz

Using the title poet Wilhelm Deinert suggested after seeing me perform ("My heart dances on my tongue, my hands dance my heart"), I developed a kind of poetic cabaret for primarily German-speaking audiences.

With a monthly appearance in the back room of a restaurant-bar in Schwabing, I challenged myself to always present new content – including a new song with lyrics by major poets and composers (Auden/Britten, Blake/Williams, Yeats/Dyer-Bennett, Brecht/Weill...) and at least one new poem by me – conveying my état d'âme and that of the world. With tremendous help from Bernd, I introduced each piece in German. It was a huge and satisfying effort.

During the open-ended run, I was interviewed for a local paper by a young woman from Serbia. When we'd finished, she asked what I thought about the war ravaging her country. My deep embarrassment at having little to say about it inspired this poem:


The following month, I ended my performance thus, and turned and walked away. I took no final bow. My politically astute friends from India who loved it were the rare ones: A different journalist lamented that I'd destroyed the beautiful mood I'd created!

Gradually, daily news about wars and more wars, as well as shooting GET THE FIRE! and IF THESE WALLS COULD SPEAK! devoured my attention and time. I no longer saw the point of writing poems. For me it was more pressing to educate myself, discuss, and demonstrate.

PS. In some of these photos by Klaus Kindermann, I really see my (Irish) grandmother and cousin, Val!