Poet uses 'Dancing Man' as muse

By: Michelle Carl, Managing Editor
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Local children’s poetry writer and illustrator Lance Pyle recently turned to one of Roseville’s quirky characters as his muse.

Pyle (who writes under the pen name Peter Blueberry) wrote a poem for “The Dancing Man,” Clifford Keys. Keys is a common sight along Douglas Boulevard as he dances and waves tissues in the air.

Although he’s never talked to the man (“just joyfully observed him”), Pyle says the poem conveys the feeling he gets from watching Keys do “The Clifford Shuffle.”

The Dancing Man

By Peter Blueberry

The dancing man dances

With awkward grace,

From town to town,

And place to place.

He dances on corners

Next to the street

For people in busses,

And cars to see.

He swirls and twirls,

And shuffles his feet,

Rocking in rhythm

To a silent beat.

He swings his arms

With measured care,

And swirls and twirls

His scarves in the air.

This gift from him,

To you and me,

With joy he brings

This dance to see.

Just to lighten

One burdened soul,

To bring a smile,

That is his goal.

So, he dances on corners

Next to the street,

Rocking in rhythm

To a silent beat.


The Dancing Man dances,

Do you want to know why?

The dancing man dances

Because he can’t fly.

So, lift your soul,

And do take a chance.

You say you can’t fly?

Well, I bet you can dance.