General Poetry posted February 6, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
Answering a tricky question

Describe the colour red

by JT traveller

A winter afternoon, I clearly recall this is what he said,
"Medicine and clinical signs can be tricky.  So, describe the colour red."
After much deliberation and lost nights sleep, my answer, I confess
is now written before you, twenty-six years in the making nonetheless.
Red is fire, the flushed lips following a passionate embrace;
the burning cheeks of a recently deflowered virgin's face.
It is a blazing sunset, a sky full of flames,
the burning desire when he first states your name.
The intensity of unbridled passion.
A soliloquy of anger, regret and compassion.
A siren in the long forgotten night,
A lust emboldened, a traffic light.
I ask myself, is red love or rage?
The impotence felt by a bird in a cage?
A springtime blossom, a night-time terror?
The shame that follows a fool's error?
It is greed and lust, gluttony and wrath, envy and pride;
the cardinal sins that, at times, rampage inside.
It is a dewy spring bud on a glorious rose.
A powerful overture that took years to compose.
It can be a brief spark or a lengthy craving,
A passionate one night stand or a marriage worth saving.
It is East, it is West, it is everywhere and nowhere.
All consuming; at times it is loud, at others, a silent prayer.
For it is all and yet none of the above,
neither the flush of rage nor the tenderness of love.
To tell the truth, red is a complicated emotion,
conceived as both a tender kiss and a bloodied ocean.
The first wisp of Spring, a concertos first score,
A fiery embrace, a lover's yearning, or
Disfigured bodies, the victims of war.
Maniacal actions to settle a score.
Death and destruction,
Stealth and seduction.
Rampages, fighting, death in war zones,
Families torn apart by targetted drones.
It is heartache and tears,
Flesh wounds and fears.
Wreaths of roses on the coffins of the deceased.
The sorrow of siblings suffering, silent psalms now ceased.

Rhyming Poetry Contest contest entry


When I was at University studying medicine one of my professors asked me this very question. I have been pondering it's answer for twenty-six years.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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