Blue is commonly associated with sadness yet I’ve noticed that many bloggers will respond to a photo of beautiful blue flowers by enthusiastically proclaiming that blue is their favourite colour!
Here is a stunning watercolour painting of blue irises recently posted on her blog by Jodi McKinney and used here with Jodi’s permission. Aren’t they beautiful? And note the first three lines of her post quoted below…
I had the watercolor “blues” this past weekend.
Not the sad blues, but the HAPPY French Ultramarine and Cerulean and Cobalt Teal blues with a punch of Crimson and Quinacridone Gold for more fun!
“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost
Quote shared with me by Ellen (“Gem”) in comments on a blog-post.
Today I’m going to share two very special poems…
Kay McKenzie Cooke currently lives in Dunedin, New Zealand. Kay spent her formative years in the small seaside town of Orepuki in Southland and at the age of ten moved to the Otama Valley near Gore. More at Kay’s “About” page
I am very honoured to have Kay’s permission to share this deeply personal poem which I first read in her book “made for weather” published 2007.
(for my daughter Ro)
— by Kay McKenzie Cooke
I never knew you
except intimately; you were
my own, my flesh. Then
I never knew you at all
except in thought.
Or imagination. Or as a dream
as real as a fact.
Your imprint, as faint as a star
out there somewhere;
a face I’d lost and looked for
often, only assuming
it to be beautiful. And I was right:
When you found me
I found you
were still a heart beating
under my own heart.
“It’s a poem dear to me as it expresses that feeling of never forgetting a baby that for reasons beyond your control at the time, you thought it better for them to be adopted into a loving family with two parents and siblings.
In my case, there was a happy ending and I feel extremely blessed.”
— Kay McKenzie Cooke
in an email to Liz 24 April 2019
This photo was taken by Nigel when we lived at Papatowai in the Catlins, South Otago. Below the moon a lone star faintly glows. I was keen to illustrate the star line from Kay’s poem and Nigel found this special photo in his archives — Liz
Click on the photo to enlarge
Damien B. Donnelly is Irish and currently lives in Paris, France. I’m equally honoured to have permission to share his poem about adoption, this time from the perspective of having been adopted since birth. I invited Damien to contribute some words about his background and decided to present his poem first followed by the story. Here are Damien’s photo and poem from his recent blog
The beautiful fountain is at the end of Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris.
Shades of Blue
— by Damien B. Donnelly
I hear you calling
in shades of blue
from within a distance
my arm’s reach can never cover.
I hear you calling
in shades of blue,
your concern comes in currents
across the continents,
in those cold corners
when I question creation
and my position within it.
I hear you calling
in shades of blue
only one born to know no origins
can truly discern
in these days
that demand ties
that have not been well tethered.
I always knew I was adopted, a precious bedtime story my mother told me; how I was chosen, how I was special. As a child I held this tale as truth. I went to school feeling more special than the rest, more than the teachers who looked away while the bullies tormented me. As a child it was fine to stand on a pillar above the rest, dealing with my own developing identity, sexuality. In Ireland, in the 80’s, coming to terms with being gay was my sole battle. Adoption wasn’t a question I had time to think about. However, as I grew older, it became colder on this pillar, far from everyone, pretending to be strong, helping everyone else and ignoring myself, ignoring my past; the origins that I really didn’t know at all. As much as I explored new lands, new friends, new loves, I finally realised I could never fully understand myself until I listened to the voices inside that had been calling, all along, that my identity lay in finding out how I came to be. I was viewed by everyone as a pillar of strength but had become a fragile feather being blown from one truth to another. But those truths had become fairy tales. When you’re adopted it comes with a whisper in the back of your mind that you have been given up, tossed aside, worthless. It took a panic attack on the top of a volcano in South Korea to wake me up, to drop me from the pillar. It is time to find my worth. I know there are voices in my head that tell me fiction, that whisper of worthless. But I know there are other voices, truer voices that whisper through the shades of blue of a hope, a woman’s sacrifice and my own freedom.
— Damien B. Donnelly
invited background story, received by Liz 25 April 2019
Dear Kay and Damien, thank you both for sharing your hearts in your poetry and writing, and for allowing me so much freedom in putting this blog together. Much love to you both!
Kay blogs at Cuttings
Her most recent post Puki Power includes photos of Orepuki where Kay spent her younger childhood years. The photos were taken recently when she returned there with her grandchildren and together they enjoyed the stunning local environment.
Damien blogs at Deuxiemepeau
Picturing poetry… many poems, photography – beautiful and surprising details from Paris and from his travels, occasional paintings and drawings, and short stories. He’s recently posted photos from his visit to the remarkable Vincent Van Gogh exhibition at Atelier des Lumieres, Paris
Posted by Liz; Exploring Colour (2019)