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In a former life, on a snowy day I sat across the table from a former marine. He was my friends father and we drank coffee and shared cigarettes in the wee hours of the morning. My friends were still asleep and his mother was making breakfast. I looked at the tattoo on his arm, a set of cherries, just a blurry blue outline. "The red," he said,"fades with time. But the blue, blue never fades."

Years later I would be looking at Picasso's The Old Guitarist and remembered the phrase.

From the shadows he emerges
Sickly skeleton, a shell of old age
And this time I thought
The blue never fades
He reminded me of a friend
Someone with no blood relation
Except the scar on his forearm
Seemed like centuries ago
That we became brothers
And now the man is me
Tenderly he played
And tenderly I sought the music
At one point we were green
Green fades with time
But blue never fades
And from shadows we emerged
We lived fearlessly
We lived with no tomorrow
The red years lasted with distinction
And the purple burnt with time
My head now hangs
And this time I thought
The blue never fades

"In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas, a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed."
William S. Burroughs

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The following comments are for "Blue Never Fades"
by KatHarlander

I am Blue!
I am Blue. I have friends who are Green and I have come to care for them. They have become my family. Most of the time we compete, we argue, we tend to irritate each other but, in the end we huddle up and fight the same fight. We know that we are all here for the same purpose... for the same cause.
Anyway, this is exeptionally good. And you are right Blue never fades. I am proud to be one. =)

cheers to you,

( Posted by: ruthpenn [Member] On: December 15, 2008 )

"blue never fades"
As your previous piece on which I commented, this poem has a mantra-like quality.

The tense shifts worked for me. Your topic is rooted in the past, yet viewed from a very in-the-moment perspective, so as to befit the spontaneous kinship.

Your vocabulary and imagery are disarmingly simple, yet hint at larger, deeper-lying complexities.

Another thing that grabbed me was the hint of androgyny ('And now the man is me') with which you have decorated this poem.

Thank you for this!


( Posted by: Ariana [Member] On: December 15, 2008 )

Reminded me of a WW 2 vet. that I saw, with a blue anchor on his forearm. It was faded and yet blue.

( Posted by: poewhit [Member] On: December 15, 2008 )

Ms. KatHarlander
Blue certainly seems to be the color of your past, doesn't it?


( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 16, 2008 )

I'm so in awe of you! Even your critiques and comments of poetry are . . . poetic.

How do you do it? The more I stick around this site, the more I feel like an amateur!

Ochani Lele

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 16, 2008 )

This is gorgeous and totally evokes that painting for me. Since I've sat in kitchens at that hour, I imagine it to be blue with early morning light. The mood of this poem feels like you wrote it sitting at that table, chilly, with cigarettes and background shuffle of breakfast pans, etc. It paints a picture.

( Posted by: Mandolin [Member] On: December 16, 2008 )

Singing the Blues
"From the shadows he emerges
Sickly skeleton, a shell of old age
And this time I thought
The blue never fades"

Every journey startswith a single step and the merging of this current journey (emerges) with life's journey(shell of old age) made one of the most powerful 'first steps' into a piece that I have seen in a long time.

Now colour the journey blue (with feeling and meaning) and and you hang the reader in anticipation of the journey through the past!

You certainly led us along this pathway of ups and downs with skill leaving us swimming in the blues...


( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: December 20, 2008 )

Thank you. It was written years ago but I just found it. Often when I write the events form themselves and come to live years later.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 20, 2008 )

Thank you Ruth. You are absolutely right in what you said. At the end of the day we all set aside our differences to be there for each other.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 20, 2008 )

Thank you for noticing the mantra quality. Many of my poems contain this. I often think of poetry as song so much of it has a certain rhythm and feel to it. I love your work and as Ochani Lele has stated your critiques are poetry themselves. Thank you.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

Every time I see a faded old tattoo I get the distinct taste of early morning coffee and cigarettes. Oh nostalgia.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

Ochani Lele
oddly enough this poem was written before I met him but as with most of my writings they tend to come true in time. I end up meeting my characters or living through their events.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

With your description of "Blue Never fades" you got it. Get out of my head woman! hahaha

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

Thank you Ivor. When I wrote this I wanted everyone to relate to it. It wasn't just for one specific type of person. As with the painting all can enjoy it and all have been on that journey. Also please keep me posted about updates on your book.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

What color is my parachute ?
That's so strange. The blue seems to fit this man perfectly...yet almost 81 (in January),
think of myself as being RED!

This has given me food for thought!


( Posted by: Beatrice Boyle [Member] On: December 21, 2008 )

I always consider myself red as well. Someone once told me that red was an angry color. I said, "no baby, red's passion."

Always remember it is the outline of the tattoo that never fades, the inside colors can change from year to year but but the outline of our history and where we've been always stays the same.

Thank you for reading and commenting. For some reason I feel like I already know you. Maybe a cosmic connection. :)

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 22, 2008 )

Don't worry about being late. I haven't even gotten to comment on half the things I want to.

Blue berries ARE delicious in pancakes. I made delicious ones just the other morning.

Blue is the color of my past and also a very dear friend. My favorite color is red and sometimes green and brown. But not all together.

Thank you for commenting.

I use blue black for my rinses but wear red lipstick.

Congratulations to your son.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 22, 2008 )

"Blue berries ARE delicious in pancakes. I made delicious ones just the other morning."

So it WAS rice-krispies for breakfast this morning. HA! Can't have pancakes every day, now can we?

Ochani (I'm so evil!)

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 22, 2008 )

KatHarlander (again)
When it comes to being late, it seems I am the king of that around these parts lately.

This forum moves so fast! I try really hard to read everything, but there just isn't enough time.

Everyone is so prolific. It makes me a bit envious, I'm afraid.


( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 22, 2008 )

Shaman & The Blue Never Fades...
"We lived fearlessly
We lived with no tomorrow"

Those were my two favorite lines, like your other piece (the spoken word) "Shaman", this one rings with a vibrations so strong and true it stays and penetrates deep into the very core of soul...

Like you mentioned to someone else, I have always seen red as a color of passion, mixed with black it becomes aggression by some religious beliefs and practices...power, passion!

A powerful and passionate woman who can create majick with words as you do is something to be proud of...strength is in you, it shows. I have always admired powerful and passionate women, being one myself with no shame in it. Petunia flower dresses, cupcakes and sugarplums are great, but grown woman are not about that...

(though it is fun never to lose the innocent little child within and be forever fearless...yes...that I get too)

I know what you mean about how the blue never fades, though I have not know your personal pain, I have know my own and that title, those words capture perfectly what cannot be said about what is felt so deeply...

yet you said it...

(off subject, but I have always worn black, since I was young adult, my favorite color, I learned through my first husband, he was a martial artist of various styles, that in some Asian beliefs BLACK it means purity, as white means purity in others. The black always appealed to me, I think because I was born in the north Atlantic Ridge island of the Azores called, Faial...and there all around me, the women, the widows all wore many widows..and I developed a taste for the black color dress, always thought it cool, long before the goths;-) then of course in witchcraft with Stuart, we wore our black robes which we witches made ourselves...heheheh, loved it...and black also, means being in a state of mourning to me, my whole life I have been mourning the lives of others some still here, some departed...some I have met, and some I have never known, not in this life anyway..still, I know and they do too, I give honor to thier lives wherever they are now, for we are all ONE in this quantum thought universe)

( Posted by: TheRealKarmaTseringLhamo [Member] On: December 22, 2008 )

Rice Krispies Morning
It sure was. Actually my R.K.M's are actually cupcake and coffee mornings.

You are definitely a child of Obatala, being so evil and all. :)

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 23, 2008 )

I've always loved wearing black as well. I don't think it has ever made me feel dark and heavy. I associate it with beat poets, dark rimmed eyes, and special memories from my past sipping exotic teas and wine and smoking Turkish cigarettes at an all night cafe in Boston.

Colors have always been something I could relate to. i work best in color and texture whether in writing or in art. They alway interweave.

P.S. Did you get my email? My gmail has been acting up and sending things to peoples spam. ugh. I'm spam.

( Posted by: KatHarlander [Member] On: December 23, 2008 )

@ Ms. Rice Krispies
I'm having a Quaker oatmeal morning myself. Looks like boring, bland Quaker oatmeal for a long, long time . . .

Ochani, the evil-Obatala child!

( Posted by: OchaniLele [Member] On: December 23, 2008 )

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