Beholder – A Poem

I don’t want you in my view

You who brought these lovely hues

These vibrant strokes now seem obscene

An eruption of all the shades between


I want the simple black and white

The easy way to know wrong from right

No questions formed by a grey muddle

All sharp divisions, there’s nothing subtle


But I remember your yellow shades

And the pops of red, how they invade

My mind so I had to stop and question

All my beliefs…click! Here’s my deflection


I want the simple black and white

The easy way to know wrong from right

My picture is stark, unyielding, that’s true

But I can’t be responsible, if I don’t have a clue

Image Credit- Pixabay- Ariadne-a-mazed
(For the visually challenged reader, the image shows a camera capturing the image of a woman in color, while the rest of the image is in black and white. The woman seems to be holding a sheer veil over her face. The wall behind the camera is covered in graffiti with a large rectangular niche directly in front of the camera and a table to the left of the niche. )

This poem was written for Sadje’s “What do you see?” Picture Prompt #36. I thought this was an excellent picture as there are so many interpretations as evidenced by the numerous writers and poets who submitted their verses for this prompt.

I originally started this poem and thought it would be about love, how love changes your life, adding color and vibrancy that would be gone once that love is gone. Basically, how it felt when Elvio told me was taking Sally to the 8th grade dance instead of me.

But as I wrote and edited and wrote some more…and as I read and thought about the 4th of July celebrations this weekend… another thought manifested itself into the poem.

Two articles in particular changed the meaning of this poem. The first was this article about “moral rebels”. The second article was about what the 4th of July means to different people, such as Black Americans, Indigenous Americans and immigrants.

There are people who would rather not know what is happening in the world – if it doesn’t affect them, it’s not on their radar. Sometimes they focus on other things in their life. Sometimes they think “ignorance is bliss.” Sometimes they know, yet still chose to ignore.

Our world is filled with so many different colors and shades and hues! We can chose to notice them and marvel at their beauty. Or we can chose to ignore them and live monochromatically. If we chose the latter, what would we be missing?

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein

Note; Apologies to any readers who may be color blind and who might have been hurt/insulted by this post. My metaphor above pertains to race/ethnicity and to nature. In no way do I mean to suggest that people without the physical capacity to see color perpetuate racism or that they are unable to experience the fullness life.

©️ 2020 iido

15 thoughts on “Beholder – A Poem

  1. This is powerfully profound Irma, nobody should be offended … you state the obvious that so many deny or avoid!

    I’ve read a few other entries to this prompt and your resonates deepest … just had a long chat with my neighbour whose husband is South American and she is a fascinating Asian blend 🙂 My brothers have interracial marriages.

    Personally I feel the more the merrier, I am both curious and fascinated by differences and always struggled to understand why others aren’t … take care precious

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very thought-provoking, Irma. What most resonates with me is my temptation to bury my head in the sand (the simple black and white) to hide from what’s going on out there in our crazy, scary world. I know I’ve been hiding behind by writing and by burying myself in books. Looking up is difficult just now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Chris, difficult and exhausting at times. I think it’s fine to rest and find your center so you can deal with current happenings in a way that works for you. Hiding only works for so long! Even ostriches need to come up for air! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for this validation, Punam! Yes, all the changes and upheaval can feel overwhelming, but we must move forward. As the saying goes, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” Hope you are staying safe and healthy, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Sharing responses to this week’s prompt, What do you see; Jenanita, Priya, Kristian and Irma – Keep it alive

  4. Pingback: What do you see # 36 – A roundup – Keep it alive

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