Meditation in Blue
Meditation In Blue
A chow has a blue tongue, a soft wide tongue that licks
the salt off you. Wittgenstein said colors are forms
of objects; what is the object blue? And when I close
my eyes I see shades from turquoise to teal to navy,
a spectrum of blues as if a sea where moving through
time-lapsed patterns of shifting light and changing
seasons. Spectral sea, invisible sea, steel-hammered sea.
Color of indefinite depths, of infinite heights, of breast
milk. The flower of the mandrake is blue, viper’s bugloss
and cloudberries are blue. German blau, French bleu.
If I knew how, I’d blow you a blue kiss. Blue Roses,
remember, from Williams’ play? No, no, it was pleurisy.
When Hephaestus made his great shield for Achilles,
he coated it in blue enamel, but Achilles did not drive
a blue chariot into battle. Color of illness and nobility;
her skin so pale, you can see in death she turned blue.
Veins are blue seen through skin. Larkin wrote of the “deep
blue air that shows Nothing, and nowhere, and is endless . . ”
I see shades of blue when I close my eyes. The robe
of the Virgin is blue because she is The Queen of Heaven.
So sad looking out high windows on a rain-soaked field.
In the garden, Love-in-a-Mist begins bluish, fades
to silver. Muscari are blue, although called grape hyacinth.
Did you think red?—brimstone burns blue. No one’s
ever grown a blue rose or a blue camellia. When Blake
saw “a heaven in a wild flower” he must have been looking
at bluebells, the way, at times, acres of them weave across
the forest and seeing them, you think of Paradise. O let
me vanish into this color when I die—it was a blue
uncertain stumbling buzz! I’ll come back as a blue flame
that will suggest a ghost. Rimbaud thought the color
of the vowel o was blue. How one puckers one’s mouth
to say the word and then must blow the kiss of it off
the lips. Yesterday I planted blue pansies in white pots,
and I would have an all-blue garden: blue forget-me-nots
and blue delphiniums, blue daisies, blue ferns. Six blue
Milk of Magnesia bottles sit on my windowsill so
their plumbago, phthalo, cobalt can toss tiny fishes
of light across my evening wall. The shiny blue buffalo
of Thailand walk across moon-blue cobblestones
when they walk through Thai villages at night. A supernatural
blue, a perfect blue. The stones of Stonehenge are bluestones.
My favorite poem of Transtromer’s is “The Blue House”
and my friend Judith painted her house blue because of it;
then she added a purple door. Windex blue, Ohio Blue
Tip Matches, varicose veins. Blue flag irises are poisonous,
still I’ll have them in my garden, along with chicory
and cornflowers and bluegrass spread out like quilts
between the beds. Here’s a toast to the blues of shadows,
of storm clouds, to rills in mountain streams, bluebirds
and bluejays and the blue of my daughter’s eyes (the clearest
blue I know). Pale blue, almost white, dark blue, almost black.
Black hair streaked with blue highlights is the ideal. Midnight
blue hair, midnight blue love, a forbidden love, a deep
descent to degradation, the dirt and blue disgrace of it.
Chinese emperors wore blue to worship the sky, and
Massachusetts means “the blue mountains.” In Paris,
le restaurant Bleu’s façade is azure, its walls light blue,
blue chairs, blue tables, bluefish la spécialité de la maison.
I kissed you once under a very blue Cape Cod sky, June
and the water frigid, still we ran in in our jeans and
chambray shirts. I dream sometimes of rushing through
a blue snowfall, that cold escape. The floures be small,
the botanist John Bernard wrote, describing woody
nightshade, “ . . . consisting of five little leaves apiece
of a perfect blew colour.” Add nightshade to my blue
garden. Blue cheese. Blue night. Mood Indigo.
The blues is not a particular tune but a chorus
structure of twelve bars continually repeated,
but Time on My Hands is my favorite blues song,
or perhaps, All Too Soon, yes, oh yes, all too soon
love leaves once restlessness returns to a cold heart.
From The Double Task
Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1998