Tag Archives: colors

A CERTAIN AGE

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“Colors are the deeds and sufferings of light.”
—Goethe

It has been said the weather is bright blue
this time of year.  A tinge of cobalt cools
the contours, copper trembles, sounding true.
Red and golden maple leaves, the motley fools,
die dancing on a breeze of nevermore.
Those who must learn go back to schools.

The year was started long before
this current, nearer to the final, page
of curling calendar behind the closet door;
yet blood, air, the purple-kissed greengage
belie that paper rubric and bestir unnerving
promise in what’s more than come of age.

Cliché favors youth, the tight uncurving
blade of spring, bronze beauty at the beach,
the summer’s salad days all undeserving.
And youth favors cliché, believing each
grey hint of winter is a closing down,
smug in its grasp of things beyond its reach.

We’ve been there.  Now we’re here, my frown,
searching a spattered mirror for small clues
to an unsettling ripening.  We grope for nouns
to name it—for the way so many hues
exquisitely become a potent reticence of brown.
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A CERTAIN AGE

THE SUN ALSO SETS

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Without a bedtime story or a lullabye
the evening’s blush sinks to a deeper red
then slips into a slit between the earth and sky
leaving our goodbyes lingering, unsaid.

I do not want to go, or let you go.
I want to dare this ending, call its bluff,
delay our parting with a sudden overflow
of words—too many and yet not enough–

while you, my dearest one, would choose
blunt disappearance, the mute way
to stanch an agony—those deeper blues
along the skyline fire—as if to say

the sun rises, the sun also sets.
So let it set. Let us let it. Let’s.
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THE SUN ALSO SETS

CREPUSCULE

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Name this light a kind of tinting
Between dark and day, a mauve
Interwoven with blue heaven
Hovering over the yew grove.

Always did we keep this hour
Special in our home: your chair,
My chair, sherry on the table
By the gabled window there…

We would look out on new tulips
Then the trumpet vine and phlox
Then nasturtiums and then nothing
But white winter as we talked.

Souls we shared and spoken truly,
Trusting we could lay them bare
In the care of cherished friendship
Which was ours rich and rare…

But a sadness lurks in twilight
Seeks a help to see it through
Wants a lullaby for dying
Needs a loving rendez-vous.

So I shudder now at gloaming,
Gloom and dusk–one and the same,
Same two chairs, one glass for sherry
And an ache without a name.

CREPUSCULE

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Séadna: ” Irish poetry form. Syllabic. Quatrains of alternating octosyllabic lines with disyllabic endings, and helptasyllabic lines with monosyllabic endings. Lines 2 and 4 rhyme; line 3 rhymes with the stressed word preceding the final word of line 4. There are two cross-rhymes in the second couplet. There is alliteration in each line, the final word of line 4 alliterating with the preceding stressed word. The final syllable of line 1 alliterates with the first stressed word of line 2. The poem (not the stanza) ends with the same first syllable, word, or line with which it begins.” –Turco, Handbook of Poetics

BING CROSBY

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Choosing among apples at the supermarket
just the other day I heard
Bing Crosby singing “Jingle Bells.”
Background music so I’m told
can motivate a buyer in a store.
But Bing?  Bing Crosby?  This must be

the day marked shopping day for us
I say to a green pyramid of Granny Smiths.
And sure enough here comes a busload
slowly from the home for seasoned citizens.
I doubt the muzak moves them any faster
though most likely they’ll remember Bing.

Bing Crosby, ah, Bing Crosby,
how you crooned and nanna swooned
in nineteen-fifty-something—
how you spun inside the gramophone
seventy-eight revolutions per minute
dreaming of a White Christmas just like

the ones you used to know.  Was that how
I came to think of Christmas mostly as a longing?
Strange and difficult to satisfy.  I try
to re-create the pleasures of the past
(and leave the woundings out), but it’s a task
unfestive, one I’m loathe to be about.

All I hear are someone’s memories.
All I see grows gaudier, each year
more desperate to enforce the thing.
All I want is willingness to let the night be dark
(except for stars), dear friends, these apples
red and green, and (maybe) just a bit of Bing.

A CERTAIN AGE

Standard

“Colors are the deeds and sufferings of light.”
—Goethe

It has been said the weather is bright blue
this time of year.  A tinge of cobalt cools
the contours, copper trembles, sounding true.
Red and golden maple leaves, the motley fools,
die dancing on a breeze of nevermore.
Those who must learn go back to schools.

The year was started long before
this current, nearer to the final, page
of curling calendar behind the closet door;
yet blood, air, the purple-kissed greengage
belie that paper rubric and bestir unnerving
promise in what’s more than come of age.

Cliché favors youth, the tight uncurving
blade of spring, bronze beauty at the beach,
the summer’s salad days all undeserving.
And youth favors cliché, believing each
grey hint of winter is a closing down,
smug in its grasp of things beyond its reach.

We’ve been there.  Now we’re here, my frown,
searching a spattered mirror for small clues
to an unsettling ripening.  We grope for nouns
to name it—for the way so many hues
exquisitely become a potent reticence of brown.
.
.
A CERTAIN AGE