painting the blues



painting the blues


for days I have been trying to paint

how I feel about the colour blue

five luscious jars smile a Mona Lisa smile

their contents liquid sky

congealed ocean

forget-me-not soup

sapphire custard

distilled midsummer midnight.

squirted on a plate the blues sing

scooped onto my brush they die

gasping for air, fish pulled from the seven seas

and yet

the blue walls of the Alentejo

brushed on each spring by the broad hand of some worker

slapping paint between smokes

pulled from the indigo depths of his dungarees

pulse and shimmer to a hidden beat

even the drips and splashes on the pavement

ring a rhythm

and then

a sudden rainstorm

washes the dust from the chicory flowers

steadies my hand

forms puddles at my feet and coaxes

the blues into bloom

softly, slowly, in a minor key