Red amongst a lot of Grey

The last thing you notice is taste.
That it’s gone, I mean.
You eat, and that’s hard work anyways,
But you complain about it not tasting as it did
At home. Home, well, a home now.
Then, after years of enduring this food
You realise you just don’t taste anything anymore.
Salt stays the longest. And … spicy, also. But even that goes
And food turns grey.

Also because you can’t see the colours anymore.
Or not so clearly anyways.
Glasses get thicker, then useless,
And after the magnifying glass there are
Just indistinct shapes. Yes, indistinct.
The colours go later. But they, too, fade.
Slowly but surely and by the time you notice
The world around you is edgeless and grey.
So the food tastes grey and the world looks grey.

And on TV everything is a blur.
You would think they’d forgotten how TV works.
But I’m told it is just different, nowadays.
I liked the one presenter, now what’s his name,
You know, the one with the hair, the beard, I mean,
He did this show about things. You know.
Or maybe you don’t, you’re too young to remember
And I’m too old to remember anything clearly.

No, no. Some things are clear. When I was young.
But remembering it in colours, in smells, in tastes,
Becomes difficult. To say nothing of sounds.
That’s been gone for so long I can’t remember
Much at all. Beethoven – loud, proud. Mozart playful.
My piano. Oh, how my fingers flitted over to keys.
This is clear now, and the piano was white,
No matter how often people tell me pianos come in black.
It was white and I wore a red shirt that day…

Red, yes, red is the best colour. I can still see it.
It is not strong but in all the greyness of this silent,
Tasteless world around me red means something.
It means red shirts, and red umbrellas for walks in the rain,
And the table cloth for Christmas, and the sky before nightfall.
A red balloon. Maybe, just maybe, the little girl
Who comes with her father and runs around outside.
Maybe she’ll have one when she comes next time.
Maybe tomorrow. Soon.

© jsmorgane (June 2012)


Peeta: to the Capitol

Scared, I’m scared.
So scared I cry and
Do not care the world
Is witness to my tears.

She. Sterner than usual, perhaps.
No tears, of course, no signs of weakness.
As if she’d always planned to take
Her sister’s place and make the battle hers.
Protecting her own like the shy creature of the forest
She has always seemed to me,
Fierce in defence. Invincible.

Now they are trying to take her down.
Take her out. The girl who sang.
Sang a song so clear and true
Only a mountain might crush that voice.
But the rocks did fall, and heavily,
On her family’s life, burying her smile
With her father deep down underground.

She keeps to herself, self-contained,
Thoughts turned inside, saving her strength
For… later, while I go to pieces because
I don’t stand a chance to win this thing.
But she can win. Her instincts sharpened by
Solitude, she’ll make it through, she knows
The wilderness on the forbidden side of the fence,
And – I think – the other kind as well.

No, I will not go down quietly.
I’ll help as best I can,
I’ll help her win.
She will not notice –
She’s never noticed me.
I’ll give her the last of
What I have of time
To lengthen hers.
For her I could be strong,
I might for her,
I will for her.

I’ll step in where she …
Has never needed to excel.
Where I can speak for her,
Can smile for her,
Give what is good in me
For her and maybe
She’ll forgive me then.
Forgive my fear, forgive the
Bread thrown in the mud,
When I might easily have
Stepped out in the rain and
Handed it to her.

I hand her now what little
I have left of my replaceable existence.
She’ll notice too late – I count on that –
That I’m the prey who seeks her out,
Comes willingly into her range,
And so fulfils its purpose.

© jsmorgane (April 2012)

Katniss: in the beginning

In the beginning there is silence.
I live in the present.
Every day is the same,
A routine giving me strength,
Succour and food for my family,
Sustenance from the forbidden forest.
Beyond the pale, in the wild,
I breathe in the unshakeable present,
A Now that gives me reason.
Not a new day, just the same day again,
Safely the same again.
Safe, when change can only mean
More struggle and more pain.

Then the unspeakable,
They call your name, they say the unthinkable,
They speak the word, and my present ends.
Time has a meaning, I have a future,
An expanse of time, bleak and empty.
My Now was you,
And you are being led to the altar
As sacrifice to other people’s vanities.
So I speak too, become an agent of time,
Set an end to this new thing, this future.
Now every second counts, counts down to
When my future ends. And soon.

© jsmorgane (April 2012)