The Color of Water


The Color of Water

Eyes the color of water. The tree I cut down
returns: fallen leaves, smoke, the missing

shade, memory come to reflect
emotion. Once the blue grosbeak

hid in its branches, calling but refusing
to appear, the voice our only consolation.

Now rain streaks the empty space.
Those things we touch often bruise,

but to leave them untouched may harm us
even more. Two days ago the sky cleared.

Changes, how often we see them for what
they are not. An essential falsity. Those eyes.

Words, ever-changing. Shadows of lovers
whose bodies merge but never touch.


This first appeared on the blog in March 2015.

59 thoughts on “The Color of Water

  1. “calling but refusing to appear, the voice our only consolation….” Beautiful! Such flawless poesy!
    You ability to get to the core of things is almost criminal in its ease! And cue my flaming jealousy of your talent in 3… 2… 1… !!

    403 stars out of 5 for that line alone!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Too often we use such adjectives as “beautiful” or “gorgeous” in describing
    a poem. Today I would take another path.

    Your poem opens me up to the beauty of the world, to the nuances of its
    sounds, its colors, its changing seasons, and its silence of a cold winter night
    under the stars.

    Thank you for the marvelous gift you have given all of us in this poem.


    Liked by 2 people

  3. “The tree I cut down returns” … indeed, memory can be as powerful as the former tree (or whatever tree stands for) … have had several such actual trees … last year, a beautiful redbud spontaneously died, was cut down, and yet every time I look at that spot in the yard, I am haunted by the presence of what is not there. I’m seeing your poem less than 20 minutes after a pause in the red bud’s “missing shade”. Synchronicity strikes. Thank you, Robert.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I turned 58 in January, and the sense of loss keeps magnifying in my mind. I take some consolation from Einstein. He said that as he got older he felt that he was merging into nature, entering more fully into the flow of change.

    Liked by 2 people

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