Red

by Margaret Seymour

comes as a shock -
first blood
a spark among dried grass
the sun in a fever

red as weapon against the dark
the painted cave
ochred hands and bodies
magic of the bloodstone

red as token of power -
coral, garnet, ruby
chiselled, sawn, filed
with tools forged in fire

red which clothes in splendour
popes, kings, king’s men
with essence of insect, berry
stew of madder root

red recognised as warning -
a light, a line, a pencil
red glare in the sky
the sudden inflammation

red, the remembered surprise -
battlefield poppies
cherries in prison
a secret kiss, a rose.

Copyright © 2020 Margaret Seymour


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