the rose vine – “The Color of Water”

“The Color of Water”

I coast through bands of muddy water,

a reddish swarm 



the instant motion ceased,

                                                            crossing both ends 

                                         of matter


movement isolated

in a drop of water,


                                                            animals naked

covering a space



water stained red


                                                ocean abounded

                                                with living



from the land

                                                narrow lines of water

            a bright red colour


            on              the discoloration

                                                                        of water spawn;


                                                the dark

and sinuous

                                    colour of being


a colour

the putrefying carcase


            no great distance


This is a found poem from Darwin’s The Voyage of The Beagle, which I don’t necessarily recommend reading, but if you want to you can here. That’s why color has a “u” in it. Also, if you want to try erasure poetry this is the site this poem originated from.

The Poetry Corner – 24 March 2021

[To read an introduction to this column, please see the first paragraph of the initial post here]


This week’s post is a little different from the last few. Featured is one of my favorite poems that for some reason embedded itself in my mind and has never left. I wrote a short essay analyzing the poem, and by sharing it I hope to give a small taste of how poems can work, even really short ones like this one. I hope you enjoy it!


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the rose vine – “I Go by She”

“I Go by She”

I wear sunflower dresses

and draw black triangles on my eyes.

I love the smell of vanilla and honey

and the sparkle of stars in the moonlight.

So how can I blame anyone for assuming

my apparent femininity equates to womanhood?

I refer to myself as she not out of identity but out of 

passivity. Of course I’m a woman, I look like one.


I’m not a man but I don’t think I would complain

if tomorrow I awoke in the body of one.

Rather I think I’d feel the same; a stark indifference

to the very concept of my identity would not be new.

Perhaps that is my identity, indifference.

Because man I don’t think I feel like a woman

but nonbinary is reserved for short hair and androgyny.


I wonder

If I cut my hair and wore loose clothes

threw out my dresses and stopped wearing makeup

would I feel comfortable identifying with the identity

that I feel comfortable with? Would I feel comfortable 

escaping the binary and asking to be called they?

Would shedding my identity allow me to be true to it?

But I love my hair, my tight clothes and flowing skirts.

I enjoy my femininity yet feel disconnected from womanhood.

So I don’t have a clue what my preferred pronouns are,

but I go by she.