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Roger Burnett Art Blog

The Colour Black

by rogerburnett , April 11, 2013—12:00 AM

Topics: models, poetry

Here is a poem I wrote a couple of years in homage to Denise, my wife and model.



At a cursory glance

All shades are reduced to just that.

But to the painter, poet and lover

A hundred hues compete,

With the jet of her cane-row hair

And the pale saffron soles of her feet.


Put aside your tubes of Scarlet Lake,

And erase cloy similes of peach.

Look instead at freshly tilled earth

Or a wave-washed volcanic sand beach.


Cinnamon bark and breadfruit leaf,

Coffee beans in the warmth of the sun.

These tints her whole being encapsulates,

With nature's own colours, she's one.


From the dark areola of her breast

Brown madder and yellow ochre merge.

While sienna reds and blues subdued

In deep purple shadows converge.


Bold washes from her shoulders run

To trace the curve of her spine,

Elsewhere they accumulate

To hide a forested secret that's mine.


False mascara need not disguise

The warm sepia bloom of her cheek.

And applied loud rouge cannot improve

On rust-red coral - to her lips unique.


Just as her spirit cannot be bound,

To the pallid accepted norm.

Nor can the colours with which she abounds

Deny the race to which she was born.


Thus, to mellow tones my muse awakes

With shades of the islands beneath her feet.

With fervent passion I respond,

My sketch from life is complete.



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