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Ashvajit Mar 2012
I've never had trouble with blue;
Not the kind of trouble you'ld imagine, anyway.
Blue isn't sticky or hot,
It isn't painful, doesn't get in your way.
It might feel a bit weighty sometimes,
But no more than that.
I suppose if I was a criminal I'd be afraid of blue -
A big criminal, that is,
But being only a very small criminal, and friendly at that,
I find the blue a pretty friendly place.
And if ever I have to do an honest day's work,
Which isn't too often,
Then I find the blue
Is a good place to go afterwards to recover.
You might think that blue is difficult
To get hold of, difficult to see;
But I've never found that.
When I was very small, everything was blue,
Especially other people's eyes.
Where I lived as a boy,
The hills in springtime were covered with blue:
Millions of blue bells
Clothing the hills in glorious raiment,
Filling the woods with paeans of joy.
When I was six my mother took me
Over the hills surrounding our valley,
And suddenly, there, way down over the other side,
Very far below and a long way away,
Was the steel blue sea, vast, enormous, curved, beyond measure,
Echoing the enormity of the pale blue sky above.
There wasn't any lack
Of dark blue either in my childhood:
The night sky was pretty dark blue even though
There were a million stars.
I had no grey hairs when I discovered that blue
Lay in a kind of haze around grave stones;
It descended particularly thickly, like a kind of fog,
When my grandfather died.
Of course I assumed he'd just drifted off in it.
How I wanted to fly off into the blue myself;
But my body being much too heavy
I had to wait for dream-time,
And then there was no holding me back;
I was off into the blue like a shot.
At school, I met blue in the physics lab:
There were big fat blue sparks,
And incredible blues singing out of the spectroscope.
And when I looked through a telescope
There seemed to be an awful lot of dark blue
Between me and the moon,
Which is where I wanted to go.
We had a swimming pool at boarding school
And the water and the bottom and sides of that were blue.
I never had any problems diving into that blue pool,
Even into the end where the blue bottom
Seemed a long rippling way down.
When I got a bit older and began to notice girls,
Things got even bluer.
Especially when girls were around
But even the blue absence of girls was absorbing.
I soon found that all singers sing in blue,
And it all seemed too true.
Blue was the way things were,
The way things had to be.
What wasn't blue wasn't true.
The blue vanished for a while
When my first love showed up,
But I felt so strange without blue
That I brought her a big blue sapphire
Which dangled snugly where I had intended,
Reminding me and her
Where Truth sometimes lay
But not for long.
And when I first spent the night with a girl
I got yet another angle on blue.
When I got married, blue seemed to recede for a bit,
But after a while, blue came looking for me,
As if to say "Where have you been?"
Then I began to look at paintings,
And I noticed a lot of blue in them,
Especially in the Trés Riche Heures
Of the Duc de Berry.
The blue of those paintings
Seemed to be saying something -
Singing of freedom and joy;
This was a blue different
From the blue I'd been used to.
The blue I'd been used to was kind of blue blue;
It started somewhere in your guts
And shone right through you
And everything else, every other colour
Was kind of on top of that -
Less than blue, coming out of blue, returning to blue.
I painted in blue too.
I painted blue mountains, rank on rank,
Growing fainter and fainter into the distance
Until they disappeared into the distant blue sky
Out of which they materialized again.
It seemed to me perfectly obvious
That blue was the basic colour
Especially when one day I went up Mont Blanc
And saw that even rocks and ice and snow were blue.
One day, assisted by metal wings,
I took to the sky;
How wonderful to float in it -
To float in a vastness of pure blue
So vast that it dwarfed the broad earth;
So vast that it outstretched even the mountainous clouds
And the foam flecked blue-green sea.
I went to New Zealand to see
If the blue at the bottom of the world
Was the same as the blue at the top.
It was just the same,
But when they told me there
That I had a blue aura
I began to suspect
That I couldn't be objective about blue.
In any case, the Antipodean lasses
Made me feel as blue as I had ever felt.
Is blue really real, I thought to myself one day
As I ate a bowl full of Psilocybe mushrooms.
Half an hour later my eyes were fixed
On the blue door
And I knew it to be the doorway to Paradise.
I walked through it
And the sky outside was huge, grey-blue,
Crowded with dark blue elephants of heaven.
And standing proudly in the midst of space
Was the perfect arc of a rainbow,
And I knew that my old friend Akshobhya
Was not far away.
Even the car that we drove in was blue -
A rich, dark, velvety blue.
Years later I was in the Orient;
There the sky is a blue
Difficult to imagine
Until you have seen it.
On the island of Ceylon the blue is so blue
It seems to press down on and penetrate everything -
It's irresistible, adamantine blue.
But of course it's subtle too, that Ceylonese blue.
Sometimes it's pale, so pale that you wonder
Whether it's blue at all,
Or whether it's your own mind you're seeing.
But more often it's that rich, luminous, velvety blue
That baffles the eye and baffles the brain:
Where is the blue?
Is it near or far, inside or outside?
Now, in middle age, I have no real difficulty with blue.
My blue has become deeper and more pervasive.
It has filled my head, my lungs and my heart.
Turning towards a picture of the Buddha,
I feel the blue in and around me
Is continuous with the blue in and around Him.
Ashvajit Mar 2012
Every morning I rise and wash,
And dress and eat, and parents greet,
I talk with friends and teachers too,
Hoping always for something new.
I do what’s set, no duties shirk,
But what’s the point of all this work?
Day is done and dreams they come,
Then death, and all’s to do again.

— The End —