Green is but a colour

Here sits a green man writing blue words on a piece of red paper, under the cold burning glow of a yellow vintage lamp. He is reporting an incident that reads like a story; he makes up all the little details along the way.

Outside, there is a song bellowing from the church: blue piano, red choir, dancers dressed in yellow feathers. He writes in tandem with the music, with a word for each note and a paragraph for each harmony.

It is difficult; the yellow rhythms are too slow for his green hands, and he much prefers rock or folk over hymns – but still, he endures. He goes on, for if he were to fall behind, they would realise his true colours. They’d burn him at the stake, ‘till his skin burned red hot. They’d plunge him in ice and turn him naught but blue. They’d shower him with cow piss and paint his face yellow. It is not bad, he thinks, to work at a primary pace and write the words of primary colours.

He knows not how much or how well he would write, if he were to write green words instead. Besides, red, blue and yellow look good together. They fit, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle.

Better to be good, than to be green and nothing else.

With that, the man keeps his head down – and fills the world’s pages.

Owned

The forest has branded him one of their own

It is by the light that weaves between evergreen leaves that he fights

For his people, the seeds of grain sown

He endures the breaking chill of endless bloody nights.

 

The miner’s girl has painted on his skin

It is for her skipping and singing that he bleeds

From the sabre in his thigh and the arrow in his shin

Pain, he drowns out with honourable creeds.

 

The farmer has him in his pen

He fights off wolves and conquerors from the south

Is maimed and broken for a piece of land

And the golden wheat to feed a hungry mouth.

 

The captain of the guards, she owns him too

He gives his sword hand to her justice and hers alone

“Is what he tells to everyone,” the black crows coo

But all the same his flesh is stripped to the bone.

 

The King has collared him indeed

He fights the man’s wars and gives his body to the throne

and licks his shoes clean and kisses his feet

Fills the silence of his chambers with pained moans.

 

He tells me he is fine when he visits the village well

I wonder from beneath the water’s surface: Is this the life a warrior craves?

Unlikely he is happy, my head knows and my heart can tell

For if I am a witch, then he is a slave.