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Sunday 6 November 2011

The Rainbow Boy

Josh had a thing about, a love of, rainbows.
Josh was simple. Everyone knew that.
"That's why he has this thing, it's all to do
with colours," they said, knowingly - as if
there might be something else in rainbows,
something hidden, that they couldn't see. Each day
Josh painted rainbows.

He knew the names and sequence of the hues,
but saw no need to stick to them.
He'd paint with either brush or fingers, mostly.
Just sometimes he'd use a knife. A single 
colour on occasions. Mostly two or three
or all of them. Whatever colours made 
him feel "electric" or "switched on" that day.

He painted, he would say, the rainbows
in his head, not those up in the sky.
Once he painted one all black - that being
how he felt that day, his 'lectric "sparking
out" on him. His "bows" were always wild arcs
swept across the page. Sometimes two or three
in the same frame, sometimes vertical
and sometimes crossing one another. Weird
at times, and always only them. Nothing
else to spoil the view. 

                        And then
the doctor said that Josh had "moments".
Join the club. And don't we all!
    The secrets that we almost grasp, know we are inches short of them but cannot quite see what we know... the hidden things that make us gasp... the place we thought we'd entered but were a shade away.
Josh had a moment like one of ours, a brush with the "thing" of his dreams: a rainbow whose secret he had heard. His science teacher triggered it. He told the class:-
    We can prove the Big Bang by the rainbow, the where and the why and the when. The secret of all that has happened is locked in the flimsiest thing.
Josh responded with a salvo of rainbows, twenty one full rainbows, closed into globes like a child's glass marbles with coloured straw rings. At the centre a blob of violet, then rings of blue, blue-green and all the colours out to red. His fondness was for purple - a mixture that of radiation from both ends. Bows broke the rules therefore. There were two-coloured ones: maroon and red, one white and yellow. So too, the bands were smudged, as always in his paintings. This time though, with movement blur, their tails curled back towards the centre of the page. The globes were flying out beyond the frame. And folk began to see his simpleness as something different, not simply something less.
I have entered this poem for the dVerse Poets colour prompt


Claudia said...

wow...just sitting here...stunned into silence dave...this was frickin' awesome story telling...and beyond...think this will stick with me like a rainbow for the rest of the day..

Jinksy said...

"The secrets that we almost grasp"

Rainbows, all of them...

Brian Miller said...

nice dave...great storytelling and finely layered as well...so playful "moments" dont we all...ha...but also a message of appreciating differences and perspectives...

Richard Theodore Beck said...

Lather --- Jefferson Airplane

the big question as we grow older, do we still have the courage to paint rainbows, lie nude in the sand, and who is it to stop us...ourselves

"The secrets that we almost grasp, know we are inches short of them but cannot quite see what we know... the hidden things that make us gasp... the place we thought we'd entered but were a shade away."

Anonymous said...

Very interesting story, an edge of mystery.

Scarlet said...

I enjoyed your lovely story... special children and people see and imagine things that are beyond us, beyond our understanding. I too love your ending message...thanks for sharing this beautiful rainbow story ~

Ravenblack said...

Very interesting. It sounds like Josh has insight that others do not. I like it that for him rainbows simply represent his moods and how he felt about things that day. Is this a true story?

somewhereamelody said...

"the place we thought we'd entered
but were a shade away."
"His fondness was
for purple - a mixture that of radiation
from both ends."

This was an amazing piece of poetic storytelling, unsentimental yet compassionate.

What I love about this poem is it's truth. The way it illustrates how simplicity often belies complexity.
Often it is those who are able to think outside the obvious parameters that notice something that the rest of us miss.

Anonymous said...

Double rainbow, so intense! ;-)

Sometimes the simplest is the most profound. Other times it's just simple. But either way, I'm all in favor of painting (or writing, or singing) whatever is in one's mind.

Laurie Kolp said...

Yes... great piece and powerful ending, Dave... conformity is not creativity.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

To be read and reread...marvellous final couplet.

Jenne' R. Andrews said...

A wonderful effort, Dave-- much attention to detail and texture here...xxxj

Windsmoke. said...

Very powerful and i enjoyed this very much its gotta be one of your finest :-).

Susie Clevenger said...

What a great story..I loved every word of it!! And folks began to see his simpleness as something different, not simply something less...that is so powerful

Old Kitty said...

What a way to find the such ethereal and profound secrets! Hoorah for Josh and his complex rainbows!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful life affirming poem! Take care

Unknown said...

Beautiful piece.

Mary said...

Depthfully intricate story, Dave. This story will stay with me!

kaykuala said...

This is amazing,Dave! Special people have special talents. If only these are tapped rightly!


Isabel Doyle said...

All the time reading this I could see your brush flinging colour ... I especially liked the rainbows in the marbles image.

Best wishes, Isabel x

Dave King said...

And wow from me! Many thanks for your kind words.

I guess they are at that!

Yeah, I did wonder about that "Don't we all". Still not sure. Thanks for yours.

A warm welcome to you, and you are absolutely right: it is only ourselves stop us in our tracks. Much appreciate your valuable comment.

Hi, thanks for coming and thanks, too, for the comment. Good to have your company.

Hi, welcome to my blog. Thank you for your comment. No, it's only a half-true story, I'm afraid. A lot of embroidery.

A very warm welcome to you. Thanks for visiting and for your comment, which was both generous and helpful.

Hi! Good to have your visit and your comment. Thank you so much for them. The feedback is always much appreciated.

Many thanks for the kind comment.

Thanks as always. Most useful.

Welcome, and thank you for visiting. The feedback is particularly valued.

Good of you to say so. Thank you.

Hi! Really good to have come along. Your comment, particularly, is much appreciated. Thank you so much.

Old Kitty
And thanks for sharing your kind and useful thoughts. Good to have you along.

Sideshows Carnival
Hi and welcome to you. Great to have your comment. Thank you for it.

Thanks a lot, Mary. Very much appreciated.

Spot on, never a truer word was spoken. Thanks.

That's good to hear. It is perhaps the passage that most satisfied me. Thanks for saying.

Lolamouse said...

What a wonderful story! It's humorous ("it's all to do with colours," they said, knowingly-as if there might be something else in rainbows..."), it's profound ("the secrets that we almost grasp...") Makes me wonder whether Josh isn't based on someone you know.

Maxwell Mead Williams Robinson Barry said...

the joy of living life and cherishing all colors in nature makes everything beautiful.

what a complete and brilliant story.
Way to go, Josh.

Happy November to you.

haricot said...

So nice...I cannot say anything but nice...who can take away his ability of simpleness and more inside of him. Rainbow knows him.

Victoria said...

OMG, this is pure genius, David. You wrote in a voice that made the reality you unfolded even more striking. Would that we all could be simple enough to see reality like him.

The Unknowngnome said...

A wonderful story from a master storyteller!

Anonymous said...