On the fringe of grey
bring some blue
set above white and petal disks.
Green is a good addition.
Lay down black as tarmac.
Square everything in
Your life and love and happiness
Grey like silver
grey like gold
grey like suits
tales of old
grey like hats
grey, like pointer hounds
grey without you
I have written before about my habit of dating drafts and ramblings in my notebooks. The above are dated 1 August 2013. Grey, together with blue, is a colour that has featured much in my poetry. Grey is an ambiguous colour for beyond its melancholic associations, it is also an elegant colour with an aura of detachment and timelessness. In the urban and suburban environment it is the colour of utilitarian buildings, paving, transport shelters and waiting platforms. Since I was a child, it has fascinated me that the colour can be written with either an ‘e’ or an ‘a’. Like clouds, the word itself can change its internal dimensions. So many London mornings start with a sky cloaked in grey, so it has become a colour of origin for me and often features alongside blue to bring atmospheric or location transition into a poem.
Here are some other poems with grey in them:
On a rock amongst rocks – about the melancholy of a transient moment alongside grey sea
An Artist Works – the painter Constable captures clouds
Another Summer’s Day – also from 1 August 2013 (note subject matter and thematic resonances)
I was born of poetry – the grey of a cardboard box
Pavement Walker – commuters return home on a grey evening
Look At – documents a walk on a suburban London High Street
Conscripted – about rain
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness