Longlisted Poem 2011

Natasha Harris

Peterborough School, Cambridgeshire


A copy of you
Spends her days in the attic,
Seeing the world
Through the sepia eyes
And the brown tinted lenses
Of a throw-away charity box.

Much too young to be captured
Without film or a digital flash,
I doubt you heard of Polaroids
Or pitch black rooms
With silver trays and crimson lights.

Yet every one of your pictures
Is a tribute to colourless days,
To a time when the camera
Was of the opinion that skies
Can’t be painted blue.

Simplicity is black and white –
I heard you once confess…
It’s how our lives would truly look
Without the tasteless shades
That we insist on colouring
The world around us.

You must be able to recall
Each hue of glowing light,
Of every single dying Sun
That ever kissed the Earth,
Until you learn to find me
Although I’m no longer there.

When looking back in time,
I can admit
I feared the monochrome…
Some nights I dreamt of waking up
And failing to believe
You had the brightest golden hair
And perfect ruby lips.

Now as I look for you in photos
That are brown and torn apart,
I ask a simple question
About the achromatic art:
Who is to blame for my forgetting
The colour of your eyes?
© Natasha Harris

Project Details

  • Date February 4, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems