Shades Thereof

you thought the color of the sky
was obvious, though if we go
back in time we find that men
only cared about colors associated
with power—black, white, red
yellow and eventually purple

the sky was only significant
when enriched by the sun or
made silver and prismatic by the moon
and the thoughtless stars
whose realm we cannot enter
……………………………………..though we try

what are the moods of the sky
weary whimsical somber tall fluffy
important forgiving reckless feckless
flagrant ominous bright and dreamy

I’m sure there are others, too

it took us a long time to notice
what was above us, aside from
the objects therein: birds lightning
planets rain
……………………the rest had no meaning
even when we went for air
it was local air. & so the sky went missing
for centuries until we had to paint it
as a surface separate from our bodies

what divided the land and the sky
hadn’t mattered until we started
to consider background
the wall of our common enclosure
and decided it all fell into a range of blue
or gray dark blue dark gray
depending on how washed out
it felt against the way we saw it

D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell's books include Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012) and Repast (Graywolf, 2014). He lives and teaches in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Matt Valentine)
D. A. Powell

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Author: D. A. Powell

D. A. Powell's books include Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012) and Repast (Graywolf, 2014). He lives and teaches in San Francisco. (Photo credit: Matt Valentine)