happy and faded

In the florists I floated a hand
over the heads of the callas
like a cleric blessing the harvest
butter, gold and bumblebee
yet such associations are mere contrivance
we can never quite locate the adjective
where sight and sensation come together

in this instance perhaps the word is
Surprise!
he arriving all aglow with a pot of solar flares
telepathic, the same wavelength of yellow light
xanthous zantedeschia lilies
yelling birthday greetings from smooth, curled lips

and all that has gone now
another mid-summer memory yellowing
further and further still from youth
he is elsewhere, not far, but the callas stay on
in their blue bowl, brite lime now or chartreuse
or some such word for happy and faded

Planting this poem in the Imaginary Garden’s Mid Week prompt: Going, going gone

 

27 Comments on “happy and faded

  1. Lime or chartreuse or some such word for happy and faded…makes sense only in the context of yellow flowers, and I can see the flowers in my mind.

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  2. what a remarkable opening 3 lines – stunning for the startling idea – and I love it! This certainly paints a really clear image … I really like how you’ve taken this moment and transcribed it, – the idea of presiding over, like a cleric – and the sensuousness of Callas – it’s really amazing, and fascinating.

    And “he’s arriving all aglow with a pot of solar flares” – oh, this is most special …

    This is a wonderful piece, alive and vibrant, for the play of a scene, independent, and then the memories, and the meeting, and then, of course, the absence.

    Absolutely fresh perspective!

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  3. The opening lines are stunning, Laura. I know what you mean in the lines:
    ‘we can never quite locate the adjective
    where sight and sensation come together’.
    What struck me was the zing in the second stanza:
    ‘he arriving all aglow with a pot of solar flares
    telepathic, the same wavelength of yellow light
    xanthous zantedeschia lilies
    yelling birthday greetings from smooth, curled lips’
    which fades away in the final stanza:
    ‘another mid-summer memory yellowing’.

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    • thank you for your astute observations Kim I had not quite appreciated the zing of the 2nd verse (though was pleased to find xanthous) but now I see how much it contrasts and fades with the final verse – just as intended!

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  4. What a glorious write telling of the pain of years, clinging on to memories, while the years come and go.

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    • can be viewed that way allegorically though it was more prosaic being a recent birthday gift of yellow callas aka xanthous zantedeschia lilies. Bit of a mouthful that!

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  5. That hand hovering over the callas is so vivid. A pleasure to read this poem.

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    • many thanks Sherry for a very nice comment – the yellow of the callas was so glorious – could almost have warmed my hands on it

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    • Toni is an autumn lover – I pine for summer though less so now I’m much older – this was a recent passing moment

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  6. This sings to me of the passing of youth- once bright, now happy and faded. Truly stunning piece Laura.

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  7. “Exactly!” was what I thought when I read ‘we can never quite locate the adjective
    where sight and sensation come together’

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  8. A nice wrap up for this lovely poem.
    he is elsewhere, not far, but the callas stay on
    in their blue bowl, brite lime now or chartreuse
    or some such word for happy and faded

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