He said he only ever wrote in green because it is the colour of
This may sound completely arbitrary but, I assure you, it is not.
His words grow like tendrils in my mind, wild restless shoots
that spread their eager toes and fingers where they will,
planting images in the fertile valleys of my ribcage:
One. the telltale palms of my grandfather’s grapevines,
rough from the sun’s unabated kiss, from the labour of
drawing life from deep within the Earth and bearing it to fruit
as the taste of a star’s lips that are Chilean grapes. And let me
tell you, there is nothing sweeter than the children of a miner.
Two. the emerald glint of a seashell’s heart, because despite
what scientist’s will tell you, some molluscs wear their insides
on their sleeves. Three. the curiosity with which I picked one up
nd learned what sleeves are for. Four. the colour of the ground
the day I learnt I was not cut out for soccer. Five. the inebriated
breath of forest moss as it whispered the secrets of life: there is
no death. Six. the foamy laughter of a seastorm as it dances
to the music of the wind; the ocean is most beautiful when it’s
just about to burst.
His words first planted the seeds in my mind to write a tree of
poetry, because I could taste from their vegetable yield that
our roots intertwined far down into the earth, where dirt knows
little of time, people, flags, or pens.
So, yeah, I may still be a little green to be making statements
about the nature of life, but it is no coincidence I am full of hope.
Like an irrepressible artichoke, my heart is leafy with chlorophyll
ready to photosynthesize the caress of any radiant day into this
optimistic longing, this insatiable aquamarine fire that
like my grandmother’s hearth burns for the rainy days.
Like the timeless ticking of the kindling-boy’s horse-cart
on the cobblestones reminding me that I can always reach down
past the hours and hours of sand blown to glass on rugged
grandfather clock faces, delve down where dirt knows little
of time, people, flags or pens, and grasp the nutrients to feed
this fire. This never stop dreaming of greener grass fire.
This fire that taught me that the grass is always greener
on the inside. Because you can wait in the green room forever,
but the only cue, the only green light you’re gonna get is
its timid glow. And you don’t need a ring to be the Green Lantern
on the path of your life. So even though any Kermit will tell you,
It’s not that easy being green.
Let these words sow grapevines of aquamarine fire inside your chest,
no matter how many times someone eats your artichoke heart.
By Alberto Cristoffanini ©