Self-Portrait with Blue


Self-Portrait with Blue

Darker shades contain black or grey. I claim
the median and the shortened spectrum, near dawn’s terminus.

In many languages, one word describes both blue and green.

Homer had no word for it.

The color of moonlight and bruises, of melancholy and unmet
expectation, it cools and calms, and slows the heart.

Woad. Indigo. Azurite. Lapis lazuli. Dyes. Minerals. Words. Alchemy. 

On this clear day I stretch my body on the pond’s surface and submerge.

Not quite of earth, blue protects the dead against evil in the afterlife, 
and offers the living solace through flatted notes and blurred 7ths.

Blue eyes contain no blue pigment.

In China, it is associated with torment. In Turkey, with mourning.

Between despair and clarity, reflection and detachment,
admit the leaves and sky, the ocean, the earth.

Water captures the red, but reflects and scatters blue.

Look to me and absorb, and absorbing, perceive.

This originally appeared in the Silver Birch Press Self-Portrait Series, and is included in The Circumference of Other, my offering in the Silver Birch Press chapbook collection, IDESpublished in October 2015.

ides front cover 92915

14 thoughts on “Self-Portrait with Blue

  1. Everything is making me cry today. Marc Gunn’s tunes. This gorgeous word painting. Robert. The sacred world is everywhere. Everywhere. Your words are beyond magical. I’m not wording well. Thank you for writing. So much.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. As is often the case with your work, I have read this over and over. As I read, letting the words wash over me and be absorbed, I look for all the layers and nuance and color. Absolutely beautiful…(again).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The “ready to brew” alert in your paired image is an apt lead-in … reader be ready to brew/brood words and implications that follow.
    Blue has always been my favorite hue, still is, but since mid-life I’ve gotten comfortable with the harsher reds, oranges. Love the pairing “moonlight and bruises” (summons blue emotions) – and feel the energy in water scattering the blue – dispersing the melancholy.
    Delightful read an a Monday!

    Liked by 2 people

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