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When Blue Was Green

18 April, 2019: When Blue Was Green


When Blue Was Green

by Helen Shepard
Now azure, then forest colors
Sometimes the clouds disappear
Into a clear and lucid thought
Of quiet love and poetry and peace
And calming sounds of blues

Then the greening of ages
Takes the heart to the jungles
With brooding voodoo eyes
Cursing stormy weather
And no sun up in the skies
And the moon leers at us
Whitening the darkness

It is the sound of the blues
The pretense to be green
Mixed together this combo
Is absolved into confusion
While hearts are bleeding
There is no instant karma
And we are all fools under
The sun and the moon
And the stars and with
Beat of savage drums
We fade from white to black

“When Blue Was Green” by Helen Shepard, from Awaiting Time. Crisis Chronicles Press, 2018. Used by permission of the author.
Helen Shepard of Oberlin taught for decades at Lorain Community College and retired as an associate professor of Spanish. For many years after, she continued giving courses for the college’s Center for Lifelong Learning. Shepard has lived all over, from American Samoa to Spain, and traveled extensively. Her previous publications include “Camilo Castelo Branco and the Portuguese Inquisition” in New Horizons in Sephardic Studies. She has presented poetry at “Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest,” the Cleveland Museum of Art and other noteworthy locations.


Write a four-line stanza, four-stanza poem about a topic, with each stanza being a subtopic. So, for example, “Bodies of Water” might include rivers, lakes, oceans, waterfalls or whirlpools. Some other possible topics: drums, headaches, boy/girlfriends, presidents or dogs.

N. K. Hasen
What Breed Of Dog Is Right For Me

They said get a small dog
Like a Maltese who will
Sit on your lap all day
They don’t require a lot of excise.

Maybe stubborn, independent dog is calling for you
Shiba Inu fit the bill with their foxy look
One minute they’re near you; next blow you off
They wouldn’t mind if you left them for hours.

Or how about the Great Pyrenees
Extra big, fluffy cotton balls of fluff
Who can weigh over 90lbs
As they could pull your arm out when walking.

Perhaps a friendly dog like Golden Retrievers
They’re sweet, gentle, kind and easy to train
But, hey they are too popular to own
So what breed of dog is right for me?
4/25/2019 8:01:35 PM

What if George was
Abe, and freed the
Slaves, before the
We went to war?

If popular won
There would be no
Bush, Trump, Hayes
or Harrison

Who's on the left?
Who's on the right?
Doesn't matter
Wealth controls it

Anymore I
Ask, is this the
Best we can do
4/20/2019 10:33:57 PM

READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.