A Hobbit's Palette

- jan-u-wine
{a black-throated thistle-bird sang
in the tree hard by my window

the cold night I left Buckland.

Strange it was,
sad fluting notes
folding like fingers
into grey-hooded night....

strange
in the hard hollow of winter....}   


The colours of my childhood
race
 
and flutter
about me,
 
like leaves
caught by insistent wind.
 
Fierce,
yet clouded,
 
obscured by time and use
like dreams
suspended

between dark and light.

 
On a day deep with summer
I climb the brown-scarred stair
of the Hall,

gaze upon the eye of the great River,
glittering,

still'd,
below.

Green it is,
gold-green and quiet
in the hot yellow shift
of the day

Almost
I can hear

the heat
bruising the brown-grey
curtain of the willow
(whose long toes
curl along the bank....)

almost....
 
almost,

I imagine the moon,
heavy

and harvest-gold,
lying low
upon twilight blue-edged fields....

almost.....

almost.....

I hear the little frogs wake
to Spring,

green like sweet mint growing wild
and hidden
upon the bank,

green like the  
serene hedge of lilies
necklacing sweet,
snow-melt water....

Almost,

on days gentled
by the soft rose
of memory,

almost

I see it still.

__________________________

mere colour

How often of late
mere sound,
sight,

colour
pressed my mind
too sharply,

heeled me about,
filled me over-full
with the shock of life,

life,

busy,
continuing about me
even as mine stilled,
muted.

The dim quiet
of my study called me then,

my books,
soberly bound
in umber'd scholarly hues,

and
the friendly fire in the grate,
not fierce and crimson,

no,
not even in white-armed winter....


just

soft,
like mottled orange pumpkins,
hidden beneath thistled-hunter leaves....

How often I stilled the pain within
with small silences,
how often

rested within the plain comfort of
homely sights…..     

But now.

Now it retreats away before me,
the Shore a line of black thread
upon the hem of Home....

and I must look back upon it,
remember the colours,     
save them,

press them like flowers
between the pages of a book:

the Shire in Spring,
all life and laughter,
grass so sharp-green it might
pierce the sky with its brilliance…

plantlings and rootlings shy

and soft
lying like pearl'd buttons
upon the brown neck of earth....

the river, ent-eye dark,
laughing soft to itself
as it treads to the caged blue of the Sea....

summer,
the sky vast as the checker-boarded fields:

the hot yellow eye of the Sun
hanging

like the pendulum of a clock
in the shocking casement of the sky...

golden wheat heads,
bent westerly by a wind
which has long since sighed
and passed away,

falling silent beneath bronze-whetted sycthes....

 
 
What colours
will the shore which saw the first morning have?

A cold whiteness, so cold it seems like to heat,
steals through me,


white

so white
as to be without colour

yet

holding every hue
like a promise
cloaked
within itself.  

Are there colours,
even,

which I do not know?

Colours which sing
of rose
and carnelian,
shades
which smell

of amethyst
or

onyx?

Quill-dips which taste
of blue

and gold?

There are no colours, now,
only the gentling of dreams
walking soft within me

and song lifting me up
easing me
like a mother's lullaby
into the curtain.

I remember:

Gandalf said
it is
silver.