Rena Fleming

The Blues Between Two Yellows.

Because it is September,
I am replete with light.
It has soaked slowly in
to slake a thirst.
I know a brief satiety.
Because it is September,
the rocket plants
shoot sprays of bright, bright yellow
above the sinking grass.
Because it is September,
the colour of the light is changing.
It makes the paintings.
White, black and brown,
Uncomfortable on the walls.
They have had their season
of warm air and cool greens.
My brain will soon demand
their retirement to a place
Farther from my eye.
Because it is September,
the squares and stripes of warm colours
must come out to soften the room
and sit complacently with the hues outside,
russet of bracken,
golden ash, red blackberry leaves.
There is a shade in paint,
Somewhere between pink and sand
which aids endurance.
If there are paintings for within
they are the black of spent resources,
then the white of immanence- waiting.
Waiting for the needful colour 
in February,
which is yellow, deep daffodil yellow.
But it is September.
The feast of photons is ended.
Satiety anticipates depletion.


This is How He Looked.

He stood, in danger of buckling,
in front of the fire,
trying to tie a narrow tie.
His sister moved to help him.
He stepped away.
He was drunk,
preparing to go out drinking.

Tall and red haired,
years of alcohol and labouring
had worn him thin,
confined his conversational range,
kept his banter sharp.

He had been a young tear away.
A wild West Limerick cowboy.

Back in London
he worked and drank on weekdays.
He cooked for his mates at week’s end,
and drank.
He kept his family close
by being away,
at a distance sufficient
to lessen shame, soften disapproval,
preserve love,

And to make a life-
for half the length he should have had.

© Rena Fleming

Rena Fleming was born in Co.Limerick, on a farm near Ardpatrick, which she left at sixteen.  She has studied and worked in weaving and textile design, and in painting. She began to write a few years ago and has been writing a little poetry for two years, encouraged by the members of Martin Vernon’s  Friday Lunchtime Poetry on Zoom. She now lives in Connemara.

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