December 2016 - Jane Searle

Jane Searle

Along with my passions for baking and reading and my whippet dogs, there has always been a love of poetry in my life.  I studied English Literature at Jordanstown Polytechnic in the 1980’s and did my final dissertation on Siegfried Sassoon. I write to relax and my favourite thing is observing the little things in day to day life. I lived for many years in Bradford and so visited the Hockney Gallery in Saltaire often. On wet miserable afternoons it’s glorious burst of colour offered my children and I a touch of joy. This poem is a thank you to Hockney for that!

BRADFORD for David Hockney

Colour is not absent here.
It lies hidden in the finest film of dust.
Along the streets of 
back-to-backs
and broken backs
are houses, tall and grey –
grouted in the grime.
Coal and smoke coat lungs
and TVs flicker black and white.

Yet, colour pushes through….

RED – that symphony of sound –
in bloody knees that spit out grit;
tomatoes sliced for Sunday tea;
an apple from the shop “down’t road”.

And GREEN? Where do you hide?
If not in mushy peas and
scratchy knitted jumpers –
or “good green grass – that delicate miracle”:
(Walt’s words, not mine).

BLUE is seldom seen,
except in Bridlington
where artists dream of different hues,
Picasso and Matisse
and swimming pools like glass.

And what of YELLOW?
Peaches swimming in Bird’s Custard;
boiled eggs glistening with salt;
Mother’s Marigolds in the sink.

And when they show “the documentary”-
(and they will) -
Remember you will not be
“pushing up the daisies”, 
but glorious sunflowers six feet tall,
and they will be YELLOW -  like the sun.

Jane Searle

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