The Colour of Flowers


Sometimes from far away
They sign to me;
A violet smiles from the dim verge of darkness,
A raindrop hangs beckoning on the eaves,
And once, in long wet grass,
A young bird looked at me.
Kathleen Raine, ‘Exile

19th May 2016
19th May 2016

The grasshopper acknowledges me in its attempt at stillness and in the green colour within which it seeks to hide. The violet acknowledges me by calling to me. Through its relation with creatures that have vision, it has evolved, as a call signal, a visible colour. The violet colour is not its; it is ours. It is the colour of relations.

The flower stands like a television broadcast tower, radiating a light frequency that is specially attuned to eyes that can receive this part of the spectrum. It doesn’t just give off colour, as a rock might, and it doesn’t exhibit the colour, as a self-conscious being might. It offers the colour that is violet.  That is the gift — the smile and the mystery — that is between us.


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