Poetry by Maureen Wilkinson

Seeing Yellow

Seeing YellowI think that most of us have experienced moments when our senses are so saturated and overwhelmed that we no-longer know where 'self' ends and the outside world begins.  This poem and its associated picture came in response to such an experience. One late spring an over-grazed and neglected small field on my neighbour's farm declined to grow grass and instead grew buttercups. The triangular patch, hedged with yellow flowering gorse, presented a spectacle of such unexpected brightness and beauty that passing motorists and walkers often stopped in their tracks to take a second look.
For a month or two this yellow splendour was one of the visual delights of a daily walk I took with our two dogs. Approaching the flowering field there came a sense of anticipation, as if the surrounding landscape was already lit with its shine, and I too would soon be similarly illuminated; and of course many of us will remember holding the reflective yellow of a buttercup to our face as a child to prove that 'we liked butter'. 
For this reason I have included three female figures in the picture (see it in the Pictures with Poems Gallery and click to enlarge), or more exactly the same figure repeated three times, with the central figure so filled with brightness that  she 'might break from so much yellow heat'.  Inevitably the third figure turns away with a backward glance, the yellow memory fading, the field appearing behind her like a golden wing.  This poem and picture clearly depict sequencing which sometimes occur in my work, as well as illustrating my occasional verbal and visual synesthesia.

This poem is included in my collection THE BLINDMAN GOES FROM A TO B published by Peterloo Poets. A signed copy may be PURCHASED HERE...

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It is a fanfare blazoned at the eye's
gate. It tastes of honey, and of brass.
Each flower is a glazed cup. Their up-shine makes
the sky reveal its canopy, as if
I'm seeing a child's drawing, with the high
blue delineated. Hills and trees
are shaded brown and green, but only this
one patch is overlaid with wax,
with shining yellow wax, and lights a world
where everyone loves butter.

This is my image standing in the lane
between a yellow oblong set in green,
and the steep purple valley. I am sketched
as a faint pencil ghost, but coloured in
with the same yellow wax, as if I'm lit
from inside, like a candle in a clay
cauldron. I might break
from so much yellow heat. Now I've walked on
and must be drawn again.

Now yellow is a single angel's wing
which flies behind my head. The sky's balloon
has burst, and troupes of yellow-bellied clouds
slither and grin through air's uncharted ocean.

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