palette the flat surface an artist uses to mix his paints
Aotearoa the Maori name for New Zealand
exultantly with great joy
gossamer very fine, like a butterflies wing
CFC chlorofluorocarbon – used in many products that pollute the air
emanates comes from
eschew to avoid, shun, turn your back on
booze a slang term for alcohol
prozac brand name of an medication to stop depression
As colours slowly swell from black to blue
God’s palette in the sky above we see
From inky black to start the day anew
The morning star exultantly
Sees glory of the clouds sprinkled with gold
Hushed stillness lies around her dawning skirts
Then comes a day its story to unfold
For some great joy, for others, hearts that hurt.
Beneath the A-o-te-a-roa blue
Reposes softest greenest grassy beds
And oceans fingers who caress the sand
As sun burns bodies, arms and legs and heads
The ozone layer gossamer becomes
As CFC’s rise gracefully above
Great mountains raise their faces to the sun
The breeze caresses as a soft kid glove.
Beneath the sapphire blue Australian sky,
The earth is baked and dry and burnt and bare
Above I see a flock of parrots fly
In freedom glide, they have not any care
The kangaroo is lazy in the shade
Red belly poised to strike a careless mouse
The rancher’s life is to the seasons played
As massive ghost gums shade the stations house.
Not often are the skies in China blue
Gray misty cloud the sunshine can obscure
Pollution emanates from factories flue
Beijing and Shanghai’s air’s not very pure
But Xiamen has its share of clear blue sky
Dongguan Shenzhen and Guangzhou also do
When storm clouds for the best position vie
The rain will wash the air all clean and new.
The earth gives up its jewelled riches blue
Its Sapphires faces mirror brilliantly
A-qua-mar-ines and diamonds don’t eschew
My jewellery box is scattered carelessly
Brings mem’ries flooding back into my mind
Of anniversaries, gold and silver rings
Four corners of the globe give up its gems
From depths below great riches mining brings.
From bridal white to baby pink and blue
Or lives change yearly as our families grow
Five bonnie babies they have grow-en up now
Grandchildren boost the populations flow
Add tyres middle aged and floppy arms
As hearing dims and glasses must be worn
And cities overflow onto our farms
Colours of new generations born.
Young people should feel life for them is blue
Carefree and light, concerns and worries nil
‘Cause later on the hard times come on cue
Supported by some booze or Prozac pill
For others life’s an endless black and brown
While some have days of misty hazy grey
But later on a mellow peace is found
And life recedes, just gently slips away.
Questions for review.
- What is this poem saying?
- What are some of the blue objects mentions
- What countries are mentioned in this poem?
- What cities are mentioned?
- Why is the air not pure in Shanghai or Beijing
- What are CFC’s and how do they affect the air?
- Explain what the ozone layer is.
- How does this poem move through someone’s life?
- Why are booze and Prozac mentioned?
©Lana Kerr. www.englishstoriesforfun.com