Tuesday, 30 August 2011


“And Life is Colour and Warmth and Light and a striving evermore for these; and he is dead, who will not fight; and who dies fighting has increase.” - Julian Grenfell

I worked from home today and except for a 90 minute Skype meeting with people around the country, I had no interruptions and was able to get a lot done. I must finish a Teaching Handbook in time for our Academic retreat later this month in Brisbane, so today I did a great deal to break the back of the task.

The image above for this week’s Magpie Tales creative challenge, is now a pleasant diversion. A ripple in the calm still waters of my work-filled day and a dash of colour in the grayness of my intellectual pursuits of the day’s tasks.

A Red Umbrella

My life a silent movie:
Shades of gray,
Exaggeration of emotions – grimace-like,
Bad acting, jerky camera work,
A simple script and lines of text,
That punctuate its scenes with homespun homilies.

My street a colourless ghetto:
Gray crumbing walls,
Dirty sidewalks, litter dancing in the wind,
Concrete, asphalt, peeling paint, black graffiti,
An excess of signs full of warnings,
And quotes from council ordinance and by-law numbers.

My house a dark, dank cube:
Gray walls, gray furniture,
An empty, silent cage,
Full of melancholy routines,
And where each holiday
Adds a day more to my already long sentence.

My habits mirror my reality:
Work, eat and sleep full of gray dreams,
People I know who use and abuse me,
My friends distant, absent, silent,
A family I have chosen to disown,
And an ex-lover who still parasitises my heart.

My red umbrella today a bold decision:
To banish the grays of my existence,
To affirm my life’s worth,
To paint the pages of my life,
To exorcise the black past and colour my present.

A red umbrella and a red rose bouquet,
My gift to my new self.
An affirmation, a new life resolution,
A red umbrella to shelter my aquarelle dreams
So that their colours won’t run away.


  1. This pleasant diversion turned into something immense ~ not a ripple! I felt I knew this person quite well by the time I finished.
    Beautiful writing .....

  2. I did like the build up to the hopeful ending.

  3. I like the hope in this by the end. The red umbrella is a contrast to the drab.

    Like this line:

    And an ex-lover who still parasitises my heart.

  4. Very good. I like your use of red as a sign of hope.

  5. I really like this poem Nic!!!! It ends on a high note and is full of optimism....

  6. Dark but promising. All it takes is that little peep of colour.....chin up!

    I agree with Theresa, that is a cracking line......!

  7. Enjoy that red umbrella! We all a little color in our lives. Thanks for visiting my blog!

  8. We really have to be the masters of our own fate and drag ourselves out of our despondency. I like this life-affirming poem.

  9. Beautiful...we must give ourselves roses and kindness...if we don't, who will?

  10. From grey beginnings to a colourful, hopeful end. Lovely.

    Anna :o]