Sunday, 23 December 2012

Forget Colour, Go for Black and White

For some people, winter is a time for looking back at kinder, happier, better, days, especially those who may find themselves alone at times like Christmas and other festive and/or religious occasions meant to be a time of coming together in a spirit of love and peace. Yet love-and-peace is neither seasonal nor an excuse for making out all is well with the world when it's not; it is an all year round perennial, no excuses, if we not but look for it be prepared to play our part in making it happen.

(Photo taken from the Internet)

The trick, so I'm told by wiser folks than me, is to draw on that same feeling  for love-and-peace that once inspired us, and let it inspire us into renewal;  just as spring always follows winter so, too, that springtime of the heart…if we but choose to let it go there. Sometimes, we don't need to colour things simply because - if we want it to be - the truth is plain to see in glorious black and white; colour it by all means, but we need to let our senses do that for us, and then, with a little help from whomsoever, well, who knows...?

Photo taken from the Internet)


The earth was white, sky black,
one midnight in mid-winter
when I looked out of my window
to see a heavy snow falling,
thought I heard an owl calling me
(No, mistaken, surely?)

Then I saw it, silvery bird gliding
phantom-like, summoning
images of a lace tablecloth gracing
our table, oh, so many years ago,
when love and peace was coloured

black and white

No family now, only a scattering
of memories like winter snow
piling on a branch by my window,
heaped higher even than regrets
these eyes glaring back at me deny
(or do they lie?)

Gone, the owl now, weary wings
but wistful, fleeting, moments
like characters in a classic movie
colouring themselves shades
of some broken rainbow to cover
for secrets and lies

The wind is up. A blizzard throws
an angry net over glaring traffic
on the night shift, testing the weary
and fainthearted, suggesting
an omnipresence if only to make up
any human shortfall

Will nature stand by and let owl die
or lend it such sanctuary as found
under a cosy duvet inviting us to close
the eyes, bury the face, leave owl
winging winter's black and white way
because that's how it is?

The heart, it yearns for the colours
of spring to bring it back to life,
recover perspectives long since flown,
comfort where there is but pain
for the way life was before its landscape
changed so...or.was it me?

Copyright R. N. Taber 2005; 2018

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears under the title 'Shot in Black and White'  Feeling for the Quickness of Time by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2005; rev. title 2018]

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