31 December 2008

Barbara Guest

[from Barbara Guest's The Red Gaze, Wesleyan, 2005]

Freed Color

The branches are placed in a wet cloth,
clover reaches out.

They cannot locate a blue vine.
Purple fills the agenda. Red is on the plant,
the setting of a hibiscus tree.
They are warned not to linger in the purple shade.

Are these bitter colors? Are they accompanied
by rhyme to cheer them when they cross
into that land where color is rare?

They hasten to make use of freed color
who bends to no one,
who dwells in a tent like rhythm
continuously rolled.

To stop the riot of color, to hasten the quiet paucity of rhythm,
to sleep when it is time.

And doors open into a narrow surprise.
The jingle of crystal follows you everywhere,
even into the whistling corridor.

The Red Gaze (Wesleyan Poetry)

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