The desert is red
red soil
stained rust-red
saturated with the blood
of nations
this dry dust
like parched parted lips
consumes the blood
of brothers
the blood of brothers
cries out to God
from the ground
red, red
the list of transgressions
written in red ink
red, red
ink like blood on paper
red, coursing through
living arteries
with every beat
red, red
offering of wine
how it goes down
how it moves in the cup
like blood
red, red
the cup passed
and not passed over
spilled on the desert dust
which pulls it in
silencing the cries
with the pure
and quenching red
of atonement

I took a chance with this one…it’s just sort of a free-association poem on the color red. It turned out much darker than I had planned, I was actually in a pretty good mood when I wrote it so I’m not sure where that came from. I sometimes think about Israel and how such a small piece of land holds so much history, how some places just feel holy and how the history of a place does sometimes seem to cry out from the ground.

Poetry this Friday:

L.L. writes of Scarlet….unplanned and on the same morning! Maybe you’ll write a color poem, too?
The High Calling Blog’s RAP: Changing the World
Nancy’s Awaken
August Evening by Jim
Andy’s Would You Have Known Him

7 thoughts on “RAP: Red

  • February 20, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Okay, weird, I wrote a red poem today too! “Scarlet.”

    I love the drama of this poem. I guess it makes sense… red is the color of drama, is it not?

  • February 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    “the cup passed
    and not passed over
    spilled on the desert dust”

    I like those lines!

  • February 21, 2009 at 2:33 am

    “pure and quenching red of atonement” – so grateful for the atonement…enjoyed this very much.

  • February 21, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Yes, I was glad to hear you say “dark” because I am beginning to wonder about the way I am seeing the world lately! I think red-blood-just evokes that feeling.

    But your poem is quite beautiful, and so poignant. So many deeply moving images.


  • February 22, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I have to say it…I love dark poetry… and dark “red” poetry is as delightful as a dark chocolate covered, red raspberry filled Godiva truffle. My favorite line? “ink like blood on paper”

  • February 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm


    i am thinking today of the cup the saints are meant to be in this world and grieving for the ones that are passed over. a departure i know but that’s how mind goes.

    thankful for these words and you.


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