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Poetry

Hues

Micheal O’Siadhail

A dancing light, a surface's reflection
Pigment and douse the brain with shafts of colour,
As waves and rays reveal
Hues of a spectrum's schism,
Brilliance diffused in nature's showcase.

Delighting in frequencies of perfection,
Green and yellow peppers, arrays of colour,
Black skirts, a red sail,
The rainbow's liquid prism,
Joseph's coat in the common place.

How Irish and Japanese switch direction:
Our dathuil 'handsome' derives from colour
Iro can mean sex appeal,
Colour and eroticism
Blur this one semantic space.

I puzzled a while over this connection,
A drift along a scale of meaning from colour
To allure, a peacock's tail,
A shift of sense, a bowdlerism
In reverse I couldn't trace.

But 'hue' is Swedish hy for complexion
And Iceland's countenance has a word for colour.
Two meanings dovetail.
Our desire's rouge and chrism,
The glows and glories of a face.

Micheal O'Siadhail