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Lamp Black, Pewter and Zinc
Create the colours of my childhood.
Grainy and flickering,
Sliding and intermittent,
They depict the assassination of JFK
And the funeral of Churchill,
The first triumphs of the Beatles
And the first defeats of the Vietnam War,
Bobby Moore eternally holding the World Cup aloft
And Gene Pitney endlessly caught 24 hours from Tulsa.
Twiggy and Mao Tse Tung were black and white.
Christine Keller was black and white.
Even Segovia was black and white.
But Manitas de Plata played in colour,
The blood reds and arena yellows,
The flick-knife silvers and bougainvillea violets,
The midnight blues and the hot flesh pinks
Of his percussive, rippling flamenco guitar
Pouring into my monochrome world
With all the measureless grace
Of a matador’s tossed cape.

By Jonathan Steffen

First published in ‘The Colour of Love’, Acumen Publications 2011.

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