A Journal of Formal & Metrical Verse


He took her from the blazing yellow
field, slipping her in to the living dark
of his subterranean rooms. For love,
he said, and wrapped her in shadows as blue
as the skies she had left behind. Her heart –
did it wither underground, a trapped root,

as myth would have it? Or did love take root,
unfurling as slow as the shy, yellow-
whites of the sweet show-roses? Did her heart
thrill girlishly at the brute romance? Dark,
dark, and deeper dark, the gentian blue
of her eyes like stars in the dense gloom - love,

then. Her first. While above-ground, an old love
shrank and withered, cleanly pruned at the root.
The daughter blossoming. The mother blue
and wild as a weed, stitching the yellow
field with her body in light and in dark,
working the corn, looking for a sign, heart

walked flat in the split soles of her shoes, heart
pressed paper-thin, sore as a bruise. How love
will slave for its own self! But in the dark,
it ultimately strangles: no bud, root,
or green leaf, no quick river or yellow
sun. Gone, the new shoots, the bright season: blue

ice snaps its teeth at every nude branch, blue
ice shuts each lake like a tin-lid. The heart
of Winter, cold and slow. A sky, yellow
with unspent snow. An embargo on love
and no promise of thaw - and at the root
of it all, the grief that comes of loss. Dark

the gaping days and nights, dark the earth; dark
the otherworldly spread of vault and blue
grotto the girl ruled. Blind, white as a root,
her duty pulling the seams of her heart
tight, cinching it thin and hurting - how love
smothers! Mother, lover. Treacly yellow

amber gumming a dark bug to its heart.
Love brightened her blue mood. Love kept her. Love
felt like slow death, yellow, stanched at the root.

By Cheryl Pearson

Cheryl has been writing poetry for several years but has only recently started submitting her writing for publication. She has been published in Best of Manchester Poets (Puppywolf Press) and The Roundtable Review, and has also had a poem featured in the Guardian's monthly poetry workshop. She lives in the North of England.