Blue Heart


“The heart is blue/it aches for its own fuel…” –Jeremy Nathan Marks


Blue as the sky on a day when the rain has run

Its course. Blue as the water beneath ice, cold and waiting

For spring to warm and melt. Blue as the jaybird

Perched among the lilacs fooling no one. We think


Of fuel as a motive force, a thing for dead machines

To use to rev and stutter to life. We think of fuel

As the gas in the stove, not the blue flame that warms

Our food, turns spices into vehicles of heat. We think


Of blue as a thing of ice and need, not the bringer of sun

And day. But the heart itself knows blue in all its shades,

From the jeans at the foot of the bed to the hydrangea

And morning glory out the window, from the dark distant


Mountains up to the pale sky framing clouds. Sorrow.

Loneliness. A loss for words. A lost friend. A lost love.

In one direction, purple like thistle in highland heather,

Reminder of battles lost and won. In the other, green


Like the spring’s first blades of grass, poking through

Snow, asserting the incipient end of winter, for now.

For now I will cling to blue as to peacock feathers, wild

Elaborate abundance, souvenir of past good fortune,


Blue as my eyes searching every other eye for a sign:

Is spring coming? Will the sun return to me? Will there be

Warm breezes, bees, robins, picnics, new love?

Are you the one to bring these things into being?


Image from Agents of SHIELD.

Grr. Arrgh.

So yesterday in my last day at MIT for the spring semester, I wrote a fairly brilliant little poem about blue based on two lines from a Jeremy Nathan Marks poem. I thought I had successfully emailed the file to myself, but no such luck. So I am going to have to go in to MIT to get it, because it is very cool and I want you to learn stuff about blue. Because blue is cool.

That is all.

Purple Poem


A while back I read something Georgia O’Keeffe said about how she stopped using color for a while and that it was a month before she found herself needing blue. I have written several poems about green for some reason, possibly because trees do this thing where all the leaves are a slightly different green. But I interacted with a purple flower recently and it made me think about that. So here we are.


There is a purple in the world–

Long ago only emperors

Were allowed to adorn themselves

With the rich, dark end

Of the rainbow–night coming on

With a light dew on the fields,

The stars blinking, the long yawn

Of the first full moon of spring:

That purple. Now even I could pluck such

A delicate flower, an emperor’s gift

And offer it to a perfect stranger.