‘Infinity of Red’ by Shanta Acharya

Infinity of Red

Lips       blushing cheeks
colour of magic       hennaed hands and feet
desire blazing like autumnal leaves

Fields of poppies       bouquet of roses
flowers of the gulmohur tree       flame of the forest
red hibiscus       fuchsia       roses & peonies
pomegranate seeds scattering like rubies

Red button in the Mandarin’s cap
ruby       coral       garnet       quartz       cornelian
red cap       revolutionist       bohemian
red tincture       philosopher’s stone
Judas’ red hair       Beefeater man
red herring       Red Sea       Red Indian

Red Cross for neutrality
blood bank       people dying of disease       war
red in heraldry       revolution       fortitude       magnanimity
red light       red flag       danger signal
red light district       brothel
caught red handed       red faced like a monkey

Shades of red in earth       sky       sunrise       sunset
cherries       carrots       chillies       tomatoes       beetroot
red blooded man       anaemic woman       haemoglobin
iron       menses       maternity ward       operation theatre
red rags       red capes       bullfights
countries in the red       secrets       red tape
red box of the Chancellor of the Exchequer

Mary in maroon-red and blue       The Annunciation
Marilyn Monroe       Niagara       Julia Roberts       Pretty Woman
red Ferraris       Benarasi silk saris       Indian weddings
red bangles       sankha       vermillion on the forehead
blood on the sheets       red letter day       blood on the streets
love letters written in blood       bruises       wounds
Christ on the Cross       prayer flags       communion
 
 
(published in Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry edited by Kwame Dawes, Peepal Tree Press, UK; 2010)
 
 
 
Shanta Acharya is the author of ten books. Her publications encompass fields as diverse as poetry, literary criticism, fiction and finance. She is the founder of Poetry in the House, a series of monthly poetry readings she began hosting in June 1996 at Lauderdale House, Highgate, in London. In addition to serving as a trustee of The Poetry School and on the development board of the Arvon Foundation, Shanta served twice on the board of trustees of the Poetry Society in the UK. An internationally published poet, her New & Selected Poems will appear in 2016.