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Going Out Dancing


Ric Masten

finally the hypochondriac
has more than windmills to tilt with
the philosopher arming himself
with exactly the proper petard
an explosive statement
found in an e-mail message
beneath a cancer combatant’s name
a perfect end line, wily and wise,
reads: I ask God:
"How much time do I have before I die?"
"Enough to make a difference"
God replies
—from "Endline"

Troubadour poet and folk singer Ric Masten has challenged and inspired audiences nationwide for decades with his unique mix of musical ministry and poetry. Best known as the author of the beloved hymn “Let It Be a Dance,” Masten was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in 1999. A pioneer of community ministry, Masten has been a Unitarian Universalist minister since 1971. His accolades include being named Troubadour and People’s Poet of Carmel, California, and the Poet Laureate of Prostate Cancer by the National Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Praise for Going Out Dancing

"Ric has spent over forty years distilling his observations about life into poems nobody else could have written. As he enters hospice care, this collection of poems old and new goes to press. Ric, the venerable caterpillar who has had his butterfly moments, leaves us laughter and tears and the ever fresh exhortation: 'Through the good times and the bad times too, let it be a dance.'"
—Gordon Gibson, minister emeritus, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart, Indiana

"Ric often said his poetry was like a corral built around an idea so that it could be seen and experienced. This collection is a corral around him, a revealing summary of his life and work. For me, reading these poems is a stroll through the thirty-six years I have known him!"
—John Frykman, founder, Cypress Institute

For more information contact skinnerhouse @

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Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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