The Colour of Words & Poem to a Leaf, two poems by Josef Lesser

      Tell me the colour of words,
      the rainbow phrases
      splashed across the daily canvas,
      like when seagulls skate through lilac clouds
      and desert crabs hone their calligraphy skills
      across the burnt sienna sand.

      Tell me the colour of words,
      the colour of slavery,
      the canvas bondage
      stretched across the human frame,
      the blue of sleepless veins,raw red skin
      the black hole mind
      that once roamed free.
      The priest wears black,

        mourners dress the same

      candles burn a yellow flame.

      Observe the colours of drought,
      the ransacked land
      rust-red, grey revolving to white
      the aborted seed, bone scraps
      in the coffins of the parched streams
      faded greens of fading leaves.
      But what of thirst,
      tell me the colour of thirst,

        rainbow lips and tongue

      eyes devoid of hues.

      Tell me the colour of dreams,
      the faceless gathering a picnic

        in your own meandering mind,

      tints of every kind.

      Ripe tomatoes red, blue feathers blue.

      But what of truth,
      tell me the colour of truth,
      the colour of trust
      of love
      of pain
      of hope
      of touch
      of fear
      of prayer
      of wrong of right.

        Tell me the colour of words,

      the pigments of life
      in the dark and the light.

    poem to a leaf

    how do you write a poem to a leaf?
    same as you would compose one to the dead,

    start with the innocent green of youth
    then branch out from the family tree in the fall

    terminating with death and decay in the rain
    soaked earth, not unlike the young soldier

    face down in the mud tinting crimson grey fields
    once fresh with the innocent green of youth.

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Kate Clanchy