Issue 30 – Color Challenge
The results of this challenge are over two dozen ghazals by twenty-two poets, presented here in five different pages. There’s a wide variety of tone, rhythm, and imagery that make these results very satisfactory.
Look for a new challenge and a new design in a couple of weeks.
The Audible Spectrum
Proem: Rainbow Ghazal, by Elaine G. Schwartz
Vibrations of Light,
Vibrations of Sound
The word, “red,” is not the color to which it refers. Actually, color words refer to a range of experiences. “Red” isn’t simply red, it is many shades and variations. Different people will draw the line between red and orange differently. Some years ago, I used Water in the Lake, by Kenneth Maue, in writing classes. Water in the Lake is a collection of scripts for performance pieces, both individual and group. One piece is “Three Days of Red,” in which the performer writes down every red thing he or she sees over three days. Discussing results in class always brought out differences in what students call “red.” Keep this subjectivity in mind as you read these ghazals.
For years, we had a book in our freezer — one of the pieces in Water in the Lake has the performer wrap a book and put it in a freezer. Sadly, Water in the Lake is out of print; if you’re interested, though, you should be able to find a used copy. Perhaps I’ll put my copy in the freezer; then it would be frozen Water in the Lake.
The audible spectrum, the spoken, heard, written, read as distinct from the visible spectrum.
Elaine G. Schwartz
Death’s children ride merrily beneath the rainbow
Three score and ten warily beneath the rainbow
Red dust catches the moon’s frosty refrain
Seven ravens dip carefully beneath the rainbow
Blood circles the crown of shattered gold
Mad moonlit maids dance daringly beneath the rainbow
Time’s ancient prairies are coated in dust of bone
Night winds scream breathlessly beneath the rainbow
The devil’s dark drones dance across the sky
Drop phosphorescent terror gleefully beneath the rainbow
Seven score and more cross night’s golden frontier
Dark stench of death rises prayerfully beneath the rainbow
Where there is no bread, only dancing skeletons eat
Their music dies garishly beneath the rainbow
Lost children play hopscotch across glass shattered streets
As mushroom clouds burst poetically beneath the rainbow
Mother’s solace burns brightly in the braided bark of birch trees
Illumines the steady black rain falling gently beneath the rainbow