Water isn’t blue

an elemental poem

Water isn’t blue.
It only appears blue in the distance —

— except when it has a high phosphorus content, making it look green, which leades people to name the bay Green and name a city after it and a football team…

But back to water.

Water isn’t blue at all.
Its surface reflects the color of the sky —

— which appears blue because nitrogen is the most prevalent element in Earth’s atmosphere and nitrogen appears blue when the sun’e rays reflect on its molecules

H two O.

Water can look clear
In a tub or shower. —

— The drops cling to the wall until they fall, sliding into one another and joining to puddle at my feet because the drain is clogged and I keep forgetting to treat it…

Oh. Yes. Water.

Water isn’t really blue.
It’s really colorless –.

— but its clarity can still hide micro-organisms that can make you sick even though you can’t see them in the apparently clear mountain spring…

Blue? Not water.

Water isn’t blue.
When a lake freezes, it looks white —

— from the gradually growing ice that spreads across the surface of the lake, insulating the water beneath to house fish and all other kinds of marine life, thickening to hold the shanties of ice fisherman who spear for the sturgeon, prehistoric beast, trophy for walls, provider of fine caviar…

No, water isn’t blue.

Shy Violet

Shy Violet was quiet,

more thoughtful than active.
Pale in appearance, her colorful side hidden to most,
The morning sun would show her loveliness
To those privileged to be allowed near.
Shy Violet had
Rainbows on the walls of her small room.
Only those who woke early enough
could enjoy an acquaintance with the inner beauty of
Shy Violet.
When I moved into my final dorm room my senior year in college, I found a small handwritten note in the desk that said “This room painted in Shy Violet.” The walls appeared white except in the day time sun, when the violet shade would deepen. This was strongest around noon in winter when the sun would shine through the leafless branches of the trees on the riverbank outside my window. Midday was the only time that my hanging crystal would get enough sun to make rainbows on the light purple walls.