22 May 2006

Rainbow (poem)

I had a couple of visitors yesterday. The smile's still with me.

Rainbow (for C.)

Red, orange, yellow, you said
uncurling a small finger for each
as I listened

you looked up
green, blue, and I held a breath
wondering whether you’d stumble
running out of fingers
the other hand occupied
a little fist closed around a colour
me unwilling to lend another

content to be tense
waiting for the word


you said then

your smile a rainbow
you at the end a small treasure
worth far more than
your weight in gold.

Photo and words © 2006 Pete McGregor


Mary said...


KiwiSoupGirl said...

Beautiful.....! *sigh*

Duncan said...

Yes, a nice one Pete.

zhoen said...


pohanginapete said...

Thanks all; nice to be able to share this with you :^)

adagio said...

strongly evocative. i can see the scene. nice pete. i'd feel very pleased if this were my work.

please, what is (o)??????????

pohanginapete said...

Thanks Adagio. The glyph (o) is a "stone"; Zhoen encourages readers to leave one when you can't think of anything else to say. It's a nice, low key way to say hi. I've used it occasionally, although I'm more inclined to just leave an appreciative smile :^)

Patry Francis said...

Thank you for prying that little fist open and releasing all that color...

pohanginapete said...

It was a pleasure, Patry. :^)

Peregrina said...

By coincidence - or perhaps not! (I've just read your 29.5.06 comment to Duncan) - last Saturday Paul Callaghan was talking to Kim Hill on National Radio about "Rainbows, Haloes and Glories". He mentioned that in our culture we recognise seven colours in the rainbow because they were so named (probably for religious reasons because of the significance of the number seven) by Isaac Newton. The Chinese rainbow has only five colours. Of course the colours of a rainbow are, he said, a continuum, a spectrum - and indigo is the one we tend not to distinguish. I know it's the one I have most difficulty with and I usually see just six colours.

I love the poem, Pete. The picture it brings to mind is so vivid. I've reread it a number of times and I'm sure that in future, when I see a rainbow, the image of a little child drawing, trying to remember what comes next and with one colour held tightly in the hand, will come to mind. (P.S. The letter "C" contains within it the arc of a rainbow, I notice. How appropriate!)

pohanginapete said...

Maybe it's not coincidence, Peregrina? Maybe it's closer to synchronicity? Whatever it is, thanks for pointing it out, and for relaying the info about rainbows (I hadn't heard the programme). Very pleased you enjoyed the poem: the occasion was delightful and the words arose, pretty much as you read them, from that delight.

Anonymous said...

I've just googled for a "rainbow poem" and this comes up. Perfect, love it!
Meredith from Mackay, Queensland, Australia.

pohanginapete said...

Meredith, sorry I missed your comment — blogger didn't email it to me. Anyway, although the response is way too late: thanks; glad you liked it :-)