Thursday, 13 February 2014

Colours


I wrote this poem for the next Guernsey Poets Open Mic. It is on the subject of 'Colours'. I hope you like it.

Colours

Phosphorus flares illuminate
with eerie shimmering light
ethereal clouds that drift
like spectres on the wind.
Angry orange tracer
leaps skyward from the ground
a sudden flash of brilliant white
leaves eyes awash with stars.

Moonlit shadows flicker,
amongst the tussock grass.
Where a company on its belt buckles
slowly makes advance.
Then on his chest a poppy blooms
it's petals scarlet red.
By morn' it's dried to rusty brown
against his kaki vest.

Black ink on creamy parchment
convey the fateful news.
Rosy cheeks turned ashen grey,
Tears from green eyes flowed,
they rolled past her soft red lips,
to the turquoise blouse below
to form a stain, like drops of rain
above her heaving breast.

A life time later; upon her chest
a plain red poppy’s pinned
beside ranks of rainbow ribbons
on which his medals swing.
All around the white marble;
troops, dressed in gleaming best
rally on the colours - their colours
and remember comrades lost.

Yet beneath that clear azure sky
amidst all the pomp and ceremony
A single teardrop breaks free
from a bright green eye.
It slips gently past thin red lips
where a glint of sun its prism splits
into a whole spectrum of colour
which sparkles as his soul goes by.

John Carré Buchanan
13 February 2014

If you click on the link below you can listen to me read this poem.


40 comments:

  1. Love it, John. It's amazing how contrasting colours can bring so much life to poetry, merely by suggestion.

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    1. Jim, Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you like the poem.

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  2. "Then on his chest a poppy blooms / it's petals scarlet red." What could be sadder than this? May the turn of wheel forever stops at Peace. Poignant and profound.

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    1. Hi Sumana, thank you for your kind comment.

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  3. Hi John. Excellent, I remember you reading this one at the open mic and feeling moved by it.

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    1. Hi Julian, thank you for your kind comment, I'm glad you found the poem moving.

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  4. What a great wartime poem this is to commemorate Rememberance day.

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    1. Thank you Old Egg, I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

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  5. Your fine words filled me with grief for those who die and died for us.
    "Then on his chest a poppy blooms / it's petals scarlet red." a very moving description of the horror of war.
    Thank you for your insight.
    Anna

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    1. Hi Anna, Thank you for your kind comment, I'm glad you found the poem moving.

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  6. I want to think of orange tracers and phosphorous flares as beautiful images in the darkness, but these are dark weapons of war...as that scenario unfolds so poignantly. I certainly think this will be wonderful read aloud. Do share the audio if you can.

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    1. Hi Thotpurge, Thanks for your kind comment. I have just recorded the poem and posted the audio if you would like to hear me read it.

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    2. Thanks John.. that was lovely. Appreciate you recording and posting it immediately... hearing a poem makes so much of a difference..!!

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    3. My pleasure Thotpurge, I am glad you enjoy the audio track.

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  7. The spectrum of human experience ...in vivid color... Brilliant

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    1. Hi PKP, Thank you for your kind comment, I am glad you enjoyed the poem.

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  8. The colors are indelible and the loss almost immeasurable--but you do, spanning years and lives. Fine work.

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    1. Hi Brendan, Thank you for your kind comment.

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  9. The feeling of pain and loss is so vivid and palpable here, John. My heart goes out to all those died for us.

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    1. Hi Sanaa, Thank you for your kind comment

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  10. I especially love the tear-prism, which sparkles as his soul goes by. Beautifully done, John.

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    1. Hi Sherry, Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  11. This is such a heartbreaking story told... a lifetime later... still the sorrow lingers. If we just didn't have to celebrate a day like this.

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    1. So true Brudberg thanks for your comment.

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  12. John this is beautiful, poignant and really captures the emotions of this Remembrance Day. My grandfather and I would always buy paper poppies from the WWI vets on this day, and he would tell me the stories of their importance....and now it means so much more to me as I wish like others we did not have to celebrate a day such as this.

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    1. Hi Donna, Thank you, I am glad you liked the poem. Rememberance is important and I'm glad you grandfather took the time to explain it to you.

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  13. John, this is so very well penned and so moving. It touched me greatly. Whew - that ending....with the whole spectrum of color sparkling as his soul goes by....just gives me chills.

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    1. Hi Mary, Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad that the poem had that effect on you.

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  14. Color, it can bless, it can outrage, it can mourn. Your piece so aptly uses the colors of war and what it leaves so brilliantly. I am so glad you have a reading of your poem.

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    1. Hi Susie, thank you for your kind comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the reading and the poem.

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  15. A serious piece and came to power with your reading.
    ZQ

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    1. Hi ZQ, Thank you for your comment, I'm glad the reading bought it to life for you.

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  16. Poignant and impactful. A compelling read: nuanced images in a brilliantly sketched piece. Awesome writing!

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    1. Hi Wendy, Thank you for your kind words, they mean a lot to me.

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  17. That one teardrop prismed can generate a flood if tears in any reader John

    Your images are so vivid

    Much💖love

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    1. Hi Gillena, Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you like the poem.

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  18. This feels like more than a poem... like a film or a watercolor. You put us there in the moment of the fallen soldier, allowing up to mourn and respect his sacrifice right there with the green-eyed women.

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    1. Hi The Bizza, Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the poem.

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I really appreciate constructive feedback. If you are able to comment it would be most grateful.