Simon Barraclough’s ‘The Open Road’

The Open Road
Simon Barraclough

 
What if colour film came first
and all these searing sunsets, curly copper mops,
pink-fringed parasols and gaudy frocks
were so much blah to an eye that thirsts
  
to watch an ashen rose unfurl,
see the charcoal sheen of a peacock’s tail,
a seascape rolling in drab grayscale,
dun smudges on the cheeks of girls;
  
dancing flames of heatless brume,
rockets spraying asterisks of chalk,
greybells blooming on pallid stalks,
the world’s flags starred and striped with gloom?
  
We wouldn’t dress our hearts in motley threads
and fix the world in greens and reds,
projecting all the loves we said
we’d never leave but left for dead,
  
and might not glimpse the widening seam
between the separating reds and greens
of everything we’d thought we’d seen
on our memory’s monitor or silver screen.
  
  
 
First published in Los Alamos Mon Amour (Salt Publishing, 2008).
  
Read about The Open Road, the 1926 British colour travelogue that inspired Simon’s poem, here.
  
Visit Simon’s Salt Publishing author page and read more about
Los Alamos Mon Amour here.
  
Check out Simon’s website.

One thought on “Simon Barraclough’s ‘The Open Road’

  1. Michelle Post author

    I forgot to mention Los Alamos Mon Amour was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection in the 2008 Forward Poetry Prizes.

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