Shade of Blue and Other Poems by Michael H. Brownstein

Still Shining

Roll with the Sunday vibes that bring color and expression into your next week with Michael H. Brownstein! His work can help lead you to that right kind of relaxation, giving fuel for motivation.

Shade of Blue

A constellation of sky,
the continuum of well-lit light,
a great sparkle and burst–
everywhere a line converges
diverges, re configures,
digests, ingests, links its fingers
as if a ball of music can be so rich,
solemn, full of this much restraint:

Everywhere nothing is heard,
but crystals can form into orbs,
glitter can transform into healing,
the energy of the muse, sodalite
binds itself with arrows of kyanite
and the hidden universe
of galaxies sighs within its walls
a music of one finger caressing
the palm of another, a light touch–

the tickle of Antigua blue, indigo,
cobalt, cyan, the shadow of what
might have been purple–a silent
kora with broken strings
and no one, no thing,
hears anyone, anything, breath.


When the storm came
it did not come with rain or hail,
nor did it bring wind and snow.
It less loose a lack of possibility,
an understatement of what was to come.

That was the day we really needed toilet paper
and the building we were considering
fell to a structural fire. That day
bleach vanished as did flour,
all kinds of facial masks, eggs and cheese.

When we made it to the checkout,
the cashier did not ask if we found everything OK,
but remained stoic, accepted our money
with a tired sigh. and told us, I didn’t ask
because I knew that you didn’t.

The fire was put out in ten minutes,
but the building was lost to us,
its perfect commercial kitchen,
its room of antiques and its suit of armor,
the bright lit stained glass near the entrance.

We have a song we sing that always begins,
Everything is coming undone, and we sang it
not understanding its importance
until the lockdown was mandated
and businesses became essential of nonessential.

Everyday beyond that day we took one walk,
the air fresher and fresher, the sounds of spring,
flowers turning into hues of blue and white,
yellow and pink. We designed the game
Incoming, an obstacle course of avoidance.

Last might another storm reeled over our house,
let loose a thunder of rain and wind,
the mulberry tree held on, but the dogwood
let a branch crack and the Japanese plum
bowed a few feet closer to the ground.


How powerful to swim into your arms,
how steadfast and stubborn,
my fingers gathering yours
like the glorious crown of a tree
reaching beyond a fence of goldenrod
and silver dust to lay a hand of leaf
upon another branch of hope
and discover whatever wonder lives in the wind,
the brightest day, a cool evening,
the murmur of doves, squirrels at play.
a warmth that turns everything into faith.


Michael H. Brownstein’s latest volumes of poetry, A Slipknot to Somewhere Else (2018) and How Do We Create Love? (2019), were recently released (Cholla Needles Press).

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