Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Royalty (Color Poem 7)


Royalty
     Purple

When the others whisper about the past,
they remind me I am nothing but a weed.
From where we’ve spread,
I can almost see the old garden
filled with flowers
and the most ethereal are
     the purple tulips
     toad lilies
     meadow rue
     lilac and
     violets.

                     I am younger than the other weeds
                     and I do not understand
                     why we are chopped down
                         stepped on
                     not treated with the care the flowers receive.
                     We are the same color,
                     why can’t we be treated with the same care?

                               They say we are pushed out because we wanted to spread,
                               that we thought if there were more of us,
                               one day we might also be treated with love.
                               But our roots spread too far,
                               and now none of us reach even the edges of the garden.
                               Every year, the roots are all that remain,
                               chopped down to return again the next year.

     We prepare for the day
     that the roaring
          and chopping
          and cutting
          and chattering
     of the weed eater
     tears us apart again.

                                                                                        But this time, the roaring doesn’t come.
                                                                                        All we see is a shadow,
                                                                                        a tall, human shadow,
                                                                                        and then a pale hand and a kind face.

“You’re pretty,”
she says.
Her voice is light,
tinkling like a small bell,
and in her bright smile we know
that finally someone sees us
as more than a mass of
weeds.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Falling Together (Color Poem 6)


Falling Together
     Green

There is a tickle in my vein
and a pulling in my stem.
I cling
     to my tree,
          my home,
the strong, moss-covered branch
where I have grown.

Below, I see a girl
   her legs bouncing,
   wringing her hands,
   staring at a white rectangle
   beside her.
Again, I feel the pulling,
the gentle but assertive caress
of the wind, like the fingers of a small child,
plucking me from the tree as they would
a berry from beside me.

I hold on still
and I watch
and she pulls out something silver
   shining
from her pocket.
     Opening it,
     closing it,
     glancing down
     as if to open it again,
     shoving it back into the pocket.

The wind pulls once more
and I can’t hold on.
So I
     fall
            down,
         drifting,
    further,
and land on top of the white rectangle,
covered in black scribbles.

The girl’s small hands
lift me and she stares, before
looking up with wide eyes
at the sound of footsteps.
Her legs are no longer bouncing and
I see someone else
in her line of sight
and the last thing I see is her smile
like a light from a star in the darkness
closing in before
I am gone.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pink (Color Poem 5)


Pink
     Pink

he is supposed to be here
     i think
the random words
     what am i even talking about
words pouring out of my mouth
to my friends don't register
because my stomach is spinning
like the wheels of a truck stuck in mud
because

he is supposed to be here
     i know
i am wearing a new dress because today
is his birthday and i know
he is supposed to be here
     but he isn't
and my arms wrap around my middle
as my friends’ conversation
     like the murmurs of talking while asleep
rolls along with the rolling of my stomach

     but my stomach stops rolling
     the tires halt
     and reverse
     slowly rolling in the opposite direction
     back down a hill
     then faster
     picking up speed
     because

he is here now
     i see
and my friends move on to talk to other friends
and i move on to talk to other friends
as the room jumbles like schools of fish swimming through each other
and i try to ignore the yanking urge i feel
to look around the room
     just for a second
and see what he is doing
     and i don't ignore it
     and i look
and

he is looking at me
     i feel
the area under each of my pores
     from my hairline
     to my earlobes
     to my collarbone
     to my shoulders
warms like a marshmallow over an open flame
as his deep
     chocolatey
eyes meet mine.

And I stop.
Taking in a deep breath of air,
I look away,
back to the friends in front of me.
Then, with a sigh,
I start a new conversation,
refusing to look around again,
because
I don’t want him to know
     why I’m pink.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lemons (Color Poem 4)


Lemons
     Yellow

My hands shake as
I nervously flip the notepad.
“Lemonade,”
the blonde murmurs.
“Just a glass of lemonade.”

She doesn’t meet my eyes,
only stares
at the glinting glass table in front of her.
I wonder if it is normal
to order lemonade so early.
Do we even sell lemonade
this early?

I carefully bring out her drink,
the first order I’ve taken,
noticing the shining sunrise
beaming through the window
causing the white daffodils to appear tinted yellow
- similar to the yellow of the lemon
wedged on the glass in my hands.

“Anything else?”
I ask.
I place the lemonade in front of her.
She shakes her head and still stares as
the sun continues to rise
and the object of her attention
that I hadn’t noticed before
reflects enough light to draw my eye:

a small, diamond-clad band,
lying alone on the table.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Music and Morality (Color Poem 3)


Music and Morality
     Black and White

My fingers slip along the keys
in front of me.
Smooth, and yet
my hands
trail salty, sticky sweat
on each key I trace.
People are looking at me –
people I know
and people I don’t.
          Anxiety;
I imagine the black pupils
and whites of their eyes
like the keys of the piano,
ebony and ivory.
     No.
          Focus;
I have to focus.
The keys under my skin are separate
like angels dressed in white robes
lying parallel to devils
smothered in black feathers.
I see them bicker as I hear
the tinkling chords hammered down,
painting the world
          in black and white,
          up and down,
          right and wrong.
Every breath I take in
is like a shudder from my core.
I feel my body reverberate
with the same vibration
emanating from each of the strings.
           Wrong.
               Not disconnected.
     Yes,
the music is made with the blend
of obsidian and cream.
Everything around me blurs,
from the stage to the rafters overhead,
and I am finally pulled
into the melody my fingers are conducting.
Even the lines between the keys
blur and I can no longer feel
the eyes trained on me
or the white, stage light on my back.
Black and white becomes grey –
          grey like the sky after it rains,
          grey like the old, silent movies in the 20’s
          before technology could handle the world in full color.
And the greyer the keys become,
the more clearly my music resonates
     within me.