Colour Me: Atone poem


Yellow sungold egg-yolk on the diagonal red
Crushes beetle blood to crimson cochineal.
Blue, blue, cerulean hue embedded in baked earth tones,
A green corner invades in fresh relief like an emerald army
Hardened to blood pooling on the wooden battlements.
Scarlet butts up and overwhelms
the callow verdigris, virile viridian, ice blues melting in the heat of the sun.

The Purple Emperor empowered, prides himself a sun-god beside the gold,
The old gold, the fresh bright lemony zing of the yellow Tang Emperor and his bronzed hordes.

On these battlements, these ramparts, marching these boards,
Colour swells and vibrates, tingling in the air,
The earth shuddering as colours clash, the world crashes in time and space.

Colour. Colour sizzles my brain, tangles nerves, jangles synapses,
Kick-starts old neurones into spinning, spitting life.
Dry powder pigments incendiary as gunpowder await the spark to heave it off and streak across the heaven of my senses.
Spectra ad astra.
Planets and creatures in wavelength forms, tiny pockets of frequency.
Mad eruptions, moonscapes and Martian fields
Licked by searing tongues of fire, zingy tingling violets,
The violence done by red storm dust devils quietened by placid blue waters lapping azure skies.

Colour. Give me colour I can eat.
Colour I can bathe in, marinate and toast me in.
The entire spectrum beyond ultra-violet, beneath infra-red,
all the colours I can’t yet see, waiting to be deciphered by my primitive brain like hieroglyphs to an ape.
Invisible as x-rays. Ever-present as dark matter.
Meaning hidden now but coiled spring-like hissing to me like a King Cobra.

Stuff my mouth, fill my ears with it. Span those chromatic scales.
Music for the eyes, soul food.
Damn my lightless wardrobe of relentless black, funereal widow’s weeds for the nearly dead.
A Black Hole absorbing every photon, imprisoning the spectrum deep in the void.
Hear the prisoners howl.

Give me the feast of colour that was there in the first breath,
The first instant my infant eyes opened and beheld all,
When I laid my eyes on life and no logic, no words,
No engineering manual told me one light beam from another.
Now the mote in my eye is all growed up into a beam.
Mote and beam in my glowering eye, sun-ray Sun Ra,
My little ray of sunshine in the darkest hour.

Yet stir up all these vivid hues and eat mud.
Each one separate gives beauty to each.
The difference is the reflection of the god-head in the Not-I.
The evanescence of All.
Mud and colour.
Dark and light.
Colour me delighted.
Shape the world, paint the cosmos, throw the spotlight.
I am dun.

(c) Anna Chen, Feb 2010

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

4 thoughts on “Colour Me: Atone poem”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top