a tone poem

Red and yellow, this day, red and yellow...the red sun rises through yellow clouds, pasted, this particular dawn, on the horizon. A sound like thunder reverberates from cliff to cliff..scuttling along the beach sand...leaping from dune to dune. Everywhere the people stop in their activities and turn toward the perceived source of the sound...and for each person it is different.

Red and yellow are the colors of this day as the colors of night were silvery white, bronze and deepest black, tinged with luminescent blues.

On a cliff above the seashore...far above the carmine waves...a rust-colored  tree holds in its branches...sweetly...a yellow bird with bright orange beak and green rimmed eyes who puffs its breast and sings into the waves, the gathering clouds, and the growling wind, songs of previously unknown hues...colors that lay beyond violet and red...songs that enter into and transform the shadows with bell like depths of tone.. and below, as we sit and listen, before and about us visions hover and flit and dive and disappear among the waves of color and sound.

The sand on the beach, this morning, tinkles and chimes...the waves crash in great bass drum rolls...and, in the distance, the thunder is green against vermillion skies and amber clouds.

Before me I see a woman, eyes of sapphire lightning, hair of cinnamon fire, skin as warm as a lover's smile, movements as if aglow with saffron highlights -- a collage of motion and sensibility -- as she walks along the edge of the sea stopping here and there as if to sip from the ruby-red mists.

A storm appears beyond distant headlands...with lightning as sheets of steely grey fire... The hills, themselves, seem to lift to meet the thrust of wind, rain and icy hail... and subside once more in anticipation of the next thrust.

The woman and I have met again--with familiar smile and nod--for we have known each other from before even time itself. Were, in truth, at one time, we not one, as we are, now, other? Have we not, together, burst forth in the bonds of intimacy and, apart, shrunk in the wastelands of separation? Have we not, as one or as other, walked and talked and sat in cooling rain and burning sun, leaped and lain and laughed and loved and lost and loved again. And, though it seems the first time, we meet again.

On the beach, halfway between the two capes, at the base of the rock which protrudes from the shoreline into the crimson sea, a flower holds firm as a lover's embrace to the rock at the edge of the sand, and as we sit near it, we listen to the rich, bell tones of the bird cast into the driving wind--crystal melodies that rise as mist, stroke the eyes with cottony fingers, and penetrate the ears on languorous, liquid tongues of sheerest sensation and delight.

Red and yellow, this day, red and yellow..cherry and lemon...the day hangs from the clouds like an overripe fruit. Where I touch it, my fingers become damp and sticky. She takes them to her lips and, as she touches them, my eyes reach around her and draw her to me. We do not talk of the way the wind whips the sea into jasmine scented waves...yet we know it. She presses my shoulder now gently, now with increasing pressure, now with points of diamond-tipped fire streaking my back fiery red.

Now, as we are pressed together, the wind blows amber sparks from our hair while along our backs apricot flames flow--as we stand beside the great boulder at the edge of the darkening sea--and the lightning with ferocious energy strikes again and again all about us.

Now it is night. Just like that. Night. The colors of this night are lavender and luminescent yellow with hints of ginger and vanilla and undertones of violas and harpsichords. The people of the coastal highlands gather in their huts and homes, caves and castles, where there is fireside, lighthearted chatter, friendly contact.

But we, my long lost friend and I, still walk the sands, feeling on our skins the furry breeze, strolling along the lanes of lust, listening joyfully to the yipping of the dogs of desire, until in the warm, wet, soft, slow night we stop once more at the headland that juts out into the silver-flecked sea and hear, once more, the songs of solitude whose drifting tones caress and penetrate to stir the forms that sleep even within the depths of the sea while we sit head to head, shoulder to shoulder, arms enwrapt, minds and hearts entwined, breathing as one in the same rhythm the sea beats upon the that bird, small as a whisper, fills the night with a melody of simple notes and dreams of dear delight.

We do not await the will come with its own colors and flavors and tones and feelings...and we will once more be upon our solitary ways...though I shall carry, like a rose pressed in my mind, the memory and promise of a moment shared...small as a lifetime...long as a dream...petals of peach and red, hints of gold, alongside scarlet tipped thorns...moments shared in the infinite solitudes that stretch from horizon to horizon...the solitudes that fools and wise ones share when they are alone....and lovers share when they are one.

Written in Koh Samui, 1982
Refined in Oaxaca, 1984
Published in Tucson 2003
(c)2003 Allan Bazar

The Elements of the collage: