Blue Quarry — John Grey

If it was just the blue of the sky
that would be one thing
but it’s the blue of the minerals in the soil,
and the eyes of the girl I took down there
when I was a teenager
and my heart when nothing came
of that would-be romantic frolic.

The water in the quarry
couldn’t be any more blue
if every dead blues singer
since Robert Johnson
was buried in it
or the Blue Man Group
bathed there
or the ancient Egyptians
knelt down at their banks,
rinsed the woad from
their fingers.

This is a blue so blue
that the rest of the optical spectrum
needn’t bother.
Even the wild blue yonder
has never been so focused,
so very near.
Stir, in a pot,
Mary’s celestial cloak,
a first place ribbon,
a nobleman’s blood,
and all the blue buildings
in the Brahman section
of the Indian city of Jodhpur
and the result would still
have to make its apologies.

Today, under clear sky,
the waters are like a canvas
sated cerulean, cyanean,
azurine and sapphire.
It reminds me of Picasso’s quarry period.


John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in
That, Dunes Review, Poetry East, and North Dakota Quarterly with work
upcoming in Qwerty, Thin Air, Dalhousie Review, and failbetter.