[red] (recoloured)


Seasonal ritual, the radar’s red [2]
inflames[3] the continent. Expect its pus[4]
to run and round into drops that will gush
from the dark peaks’ aerial watershed.[5]
But it hasn’t happened, the forecast lies:
there is a sun[6] it’s safe to sit down in
and let my lips and gums enstrawberize,[7]
although I have an issue with my skin[8] 
this weather thing is not a problem, guys,

until the off run turns into a sled[9]
launched at the wrong second, hoying[10] down
its muddy herd of water through the town,[11]
car-roofs a bobsleigh team of helmet heads[12] 
popping up like dots[13] across the radar-hard Med.[14] 

[1] Not my favourite colour. Change to ‘green’?
[2] Surely ‘radar’s emerald’?
[3] Replace ‘inflames’ with ‘blossoms’.
[4] Pus is green. Perhaps something like: ‘expect its pus / to snot up, slime then glop and gunk and gush’. Or change ‘pus’ to ‘sap’: ‘expect its sap / to run and round into drops that will lap…’
[5] ‘watershed’ – good!
[6] ‘mold’?
[7] ‘gums enstrawberize’? Come on! Surely a little green would help here: ‘and let my plants and shrubs photosynthesise’.
[8] ‘my skin’ is a tad anthropocentric: ‘this phloem’?
[9] ‘until the off run turns to flowerbed’ would be better.
[10] ‘hosing’?
[11] I think ‘muddy herd’ needs re-thinking. A greener tinge maybe: ‘its frogspawn swill of bilge runs through the brown’.
[12] ‘seed-rich heads’?
[13] ‘pips’?
[14] For ‘Med’ read ‘sea-green’.

Poem by Alistair Noon. Additional ‘footnotes’ by Chris Jones. Click here to read Alistair Noon’s original version. Click here to read Chris Jones’s ‘green’ poem reworked by Alistair Noon.

Listen to Alistair Noon reading this poem on location in Sheffield:

This is the fourth of six sonnets to be uploaded as part of The Rose of Temperaments