Once, I painted poems in Payne’s Gray,
all cool shadow, misted monochrome.
Then, a dab of Cobalt Blue, to sing
of the passions long kept from my canvas,
Burnt Sienna, rich blood-brown of earth.
Could I capture Viridian depths of sea?
Bring that to my palette. Give me reds,
Cadmiums, Alizarin, wild beasts
leaping from the brush. Let golden Ochers
stand triumphant; let them resonate,
suns in skies imagined, yearning ever
to exist as more than shades of gray.
Once, I painted colorless illusions
to evaporate before the sun,
hid within my subtle fogs those poems,
all those tricks of light that held no meaning.
I would fill my palette with life’s colors,
every vivid hue, each nuanced shade
captured and set free again. The blacks
must be blacker; let the whites be blinding
and more pure than morning’s soul. In dreams
Ultramarine and Umber, shall I paint,
in exuberant brush strokes of words
Carmine and Cerulean, of Lemon
Yellow, Chromium Green. Lay out the palette,
all your colors; canvases await.
Stephen Brooke ©2017
In relatively strict blank-verse form