Find the Colors in this Urban Afternoon Reflection
A chimney, breathing a little smoke.
The sun, I can’t see
making a bit of pink
I can’t quite see in the blue.
The pink of five tulips
at five p.m. on the day before March first.
The green of the tulip stems and leaves
like something I can’t remember,
finding a jack-in-the-pulpit
a long time ago and far away.
Why it was December then
and the sun was on the sea
by the temples we’d gone to see.
One green wave moved in the violet sea
like the UN Building on big evenings,
green and wet
while the sky turns violet.
A few almond trees
had a few flowers, like a few snowflakes
out of the blue looking pink in the light.
A gray hush
in which the boxy trucks roll up Second Avenue
into the sky. They’re just
going over the hill.
The green leaves of the tulips on my desk
like grass light on flesh,
and a green-copper steeple
and streaks of cloud beginning to glow.
I can’t get over
how it all works in together
like a woman who just came to her window
and stands there filling it
jogging her baby in her arms.
She’s so far off. Is it the light
that makes the baby pink?
I can see the little fists
and the rocking-horse motion of her breasts.
It’s getting grayer and gold and chilly.
Two dog-size lions face each other
at the corners of a roof.
It’s the yellow dust inside the tulips.
It’s the shape of a tulip.
It’s the water in the drinking glass the tulips are in.
It’s a day like any other.
Peter Gizzi reads this poem aloud and offers a commentary on what he sees here, observing a New York City scape through a wide angle lens, and then, contrasting all this with his micro-observation of the yellow “dust” inside one particular pink tulip.
The poet writes, apparently looking out of his window in New York City.
My view is different, but it’s still FE-BRRRR-UARY!
* * *
Mother sits with her lacquered straw, spring purse on her lap, Grandma with her black satchel, Mark sitting primly for the camera and Aunt Ruthie sporting her congenial teacher face. All gone now, but remain forever in memory as lovers of natural beauty.
(Referencing the first line of James Schuyler’s poem) An antique memento from our home on Anchor Road: incense burning within a “log cabin,” my father’s souvenir from his deer hunting days in a mountain lodge in northern Pennsylvania. The acrid smell from the stick of incense warmed our hearts and tickled our noses on cold winter evenings.
Thank you for sharing your impressions:
the poetry, the people, or the pictures