‘Colouring in’ by John Foggin

Colouring in

This is what I have learned
in the streets of my town which is made of stone.

There are thirty seven steps. At the foot,
in a cold iron pot, are flowers,
soft and velvet as the inside of my cat’s ear.

They tell me: these are blue.
They say: the sky is blue, the last house of the street
is blue and so is Mary the mother of God of the miracles.

My cat’s soft velvet ear is blue. The sky is soft,
also the last house, and the Mother of God.

The church is built of brick, which is rough-edged
straight-lined, sharp-angled. And this is yellow.
Yellow is the shape of bricks.

Birds clap from the tower where the bell is hung.
They sound like wet cloths on a line in a gust.
Laundry looks like birds. A line of washing
chatters and fratches. Sparrow laundry.

Pale grey is a roughness on my fingertips.
Green whispers and smells of rain.

On days like this warm day
the sky is a cat’s ear
and is listening me.
John Foggin lives in Ossett, West Yorkshire. He helps to organise The Puzzle Hall Poets in Sowerby Bridge, and writes a weekly poetry blog: the great fogginzo’s cobweb