Thursday, September 07, 2006

Poetry Thursday: Blue

This week for the first time I have written a poem in response to the prompt, rather than pulling an already finished poem from my files. Consequently it's a bit raw and will probably be edited further in future. More blue poems at Poetry Thursday here.


In the first week
the sea is the dark blue of the mountains
between the blooming heather and the first snowfall

In the second week
the sea is the greyish blue of her Sunday best sateen
which she wore when they first met

In the fifth week
there are storms. White waves crash on the deck.
Through her porthole she sees a sea as green blue as his eyes
that caught her gaze and asked for her hand in marriage.

In the eighth week
her child sickens.
they are becalmed in the turquoise blue of the bracelet
on her sister’s arm, waving at the dockside

In the ninth week
the days grow shorter. At twilight
the sea is the inky blue of the words in her diary,
recording births, deaths and distance travelled

In the last week
they bury her child. The ship is enclosed by sea and sky
the blue of the eggshell she found on the path to the byre.
Nearby an unfledged chick with staring eyes,
covered in flies.

The next week she unpacks seeds brought from home,
plants cabbages and carrots,
and in the borders marigolds, poppies and nasturtiums.
The cornflower seed, she sets aside.
In summer the garden is aflame with red, orange and yellow
but no blue
not any scrap of blue


brian said...


Came here from Poetry Thursday. Wonderful poem and imagery. Thank you for sharing.

Tammy Brierly said...

WOW This was an amazing poem! That last stanza where she set aside the seed was very moving. Excellent!

Carrie said...

Great poem!

Anonymous said...

A sad poem, but with the promise of new life in the last stanza. Still, there's that haunting absence of blue.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting progression, with a nice twist at the end.

jillypoet said...

I like the repetition of numbering the weeks, it builds to that last stanza. The absence of blue is such a presence.

Sarah said...

Oh, my! This poem takes my breath away. Such a buildup to that perfect last stanza. Thank you for sharing it.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This works beautifully. Well done.

jzr said...

Very nice piece!! Thanks!!

Jim Brock said...

The detail here is amazing, unflinching.

Since you mention possible future edits, I wonder what the poem might be like without the measured announcements of the weeks. I see their purpose, but the lines that follow each ticking of the week(s) are just so strong that they seem to want to stand on their own.

Of course, just now I've reread the poem, and I'm swayed by the measured beats of time passing (maybe it's just that word "in" that does the trick), as the ship becomes something maternal, holding all that life, and the time is the gestation, after which we have some who are lost and some who survive.

Very smart!

P.S. I don't know why the Picasso picture wouldn't appear for you--it's a very modest, tender rendering.

Kayt said...

this is simply beautiful

paris parfait said...

Gorgeous, bittersweet poem. Very imaginative and creative. Well done, you!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't feel raw to me. I like the structure, and that you had the freedom to stray from it.

Such a beautiful and tender poem. The last stanza is just lovely.

Tia said...

As one of your non-poet fans, I know nothing of poetry and even less about rythm or stanzas, but I do know I liked this very much. "Haunting" describes it well.

BessieSnickers said...

Wow - wonderful story that I didn't see coming - which I think is hard to do in so few lines.

MaR said...

Congrats on your poem! bit sad but I like the colorful ending... here via Michele's !

jsdaughter said...

very touching.. for a moment I was lost in another world.. I wouldn't change a thing..
here via Michele

Karen said...

Wow, great job! Thanks for sharing that with us bloggers.

Michele sent me today. Hope you have a great weekend!

Deb R said...

Whoa, I think this is awesome, Catherine. The ending left me feeling breathless. It's so powerful.

GreenishLady said...

I'm so glad to get the chance to discover this poem at PT's final post, as I missed it first time around. I found it very moving, and could just imagine that rejection of blue - a futile but necessary action in the face of that cruel loss. Great piece.

Around the world? Enjoy!

Tumblewords: said...

The imagery is incredibly fine. A wonderful poem, one that lingers on.

Sherri B. said...

Wow, the words you use make everything so vivid and alive. This was incredibly wonderful..thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Tiel Aisha Ansari and I, Mike McCulley, have created a 'poetry exchange' blog at Totally Optional Prompts , and you are invited to participate.