in response to colour

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{I joined a writing class a few months ago called Write & Shine  which proved a wonderful creative start to the morning and a great source of writing exercises. These are 2 small pieces which came out of the workshop. The 1st inspired by a particular shade of dusky pink. The second, about the artist Paul Gildea, was inspired by a brilliant poem by Frank O’ Hara.  They were both written in 10 minutes.}


Pantone 691 U

Soft. Slight. The first light on the horizon, the promise of dawn, your tiny nails, the underside of your sleeping palm, twitching slightly as you sleep.

A petal fallen from the last collection of roses, leaves mottled with a black spot. It always comes this time of year, when the pretence of summer is finally dropped, and the sunshade (matching-mottle-mildewed) is taken down, packed away.
Petals fall at night, lying silent like sea shells on the table cloth, waiting for you.
So still, so perfect (tiny nails, tiny hands) that you can barely stand to sweep them up and drop them out the window.
By noon though, they have withered, browning at the edges.

Finding you in the lane felt like intruding on something I wasn’t supposed to see. I smelt you first. A strange sweet smell that filled my nostrils and made my throat tighten a little. You weren’t perfect, stiffened already, so very dead, so very black. Like a Victorian toy, strange and polite, lying neatly alongside the muddy path.
Your little pink paws made me sad. I leant down and touched them, forgetting myself for a second. Naked, vulnerable, clean – their contrast from your black-bloomed fur nearly unreal. I wanted to pick you up and take you home. But knew you wouldn’t have liked that.



Paul has shut the door.
I did not slam it. I shut it. He barks.
A long dark streak of grey, dawn, darkness…
It’s a fucking pavement, don’t get clever,
This coffee is cold. Filmed scum brown.

The next day the door is open, a lean shaft of light dances
Joni croons on the radio, the strokes are soft, gentle pale pearl
For a second it’s perfect, there, just there, do you see it?
Yes? Good. Now move, I don’t want anyone getting in the light.

Night falls, the house tiptoes. Shadows have started to grow long.
Tap on the door. Knock on wood.
Are you superstitious? Oh you would be, wouldn’t you,
Women and their witchcraft ways! No, come in, come and look.
And there, through the dark, gold breaks like a rebellious grin,
Paul acknowledges your praise. Now fuck off.
He says, still smiling, light in his eyes.







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