On rainy days in school,

amongst the comics and games

of make a square from dots,

or consequences,

and jig saw puzzles,

and books, always piles of books,

there were the fat, mottled chunks

of wax crayon alongside the stubs of pencils

and the wide expanse of thin, creamy

coloured paper

waiting to be filled

with the dreams and jokes

of us kids incarcerated in

the noise and smell of the

dirty classroom on a rainy playtime.

I would sort and sift to find

the seven colours of my rainbow,

arcing happy line after happy line

of red, orange, yellow, green, blue,

then purple;

(no indigoes or violets

in this childish box of crayons,

and anyway, I didn’t know the

mnemonic at six, or seven,

or whenever time it was that

this memory relates to,

which is hard for me to say since

rainy playtimes

and my love for drawing rainbows stayed

with me for many years,

along with a love for covering them

with a last layer of the thickest black

wax my hand could muster until

the page was completely

disguised as night,

a deep and tangible black,

with subtle hints of all the other colours hid;

because the black crayons encrusted themselves

with particles of all the other colours they had

rubbed shoulders with).

After marvelling at the dense and subtle

screen for some time,

I would begin to scratch away the black

with a penny or a pin’s head,

slowly with delight revealing the submerged

beauty of the covered rainbow.

Flakes of scraped black wax would gather

and roll and sometimes stick to the arc

of the spectrum so that the ROYGBP

became scattered with tiny black atoms

and I loved their riotous infiltration

just as much as I delighted in

uncovering the jewelled rainbow.

There it was before me;

a bow of colours arching out of

a vast expanse of glittering black,

then returning into its eternity

of possibilities.

Moment of calm

in the classroom of chaos.

Image of peace



Throughout life.