Apr '12 27
Okay, so today is day 27 of 30 days of writing a poem every day. Whew.

Today's piece came about because I was thinking about the colour purple - so many people's favourite colour - and wondering how purple came to be associated with royalty.

Usually only a sentence is devoted to this great yarn.

The story of purple

My trusty hound and I to beach did go
one feast day, time away from household tasks,
wrestling plenty on the whitened sands,

such a jester dog, he loves to lope
always hunting food, the starving brute
throwback to his ancient pedigree.

At our Levantine coast the ocean yields
plethora of trophies for my beast
wolf-like, ever scavenging the shore.

I whistled to him, capering he came
panting, drooling, happy to oblige
and nearly did I buckle with the stink;

he nudged his massive head against my robe
his shellfish binge had fleetingly appeased
his never-ending hunger, as he gazed

at me, a purplish haze spread out across
my tunic, virgin-white no more, but why?
close examination of his jaws

revealed brown hairs discoloured, purple-gashed,
purple teeth protruding from his mouth,
I touched his jaw: my digit, purple-stained.

From whence did come that colour? brilliant hue
never had I seen its like before
during all the expeditions I had made.

He wagged his tail, then led me over to
a stash of rotting whelks behind some rocks,
he munched, the source of purple thus revealed.

I marvelled at these spiny shells, so pale,
how did such colour out of pallor burst?
So vibrant on my tunic, as I gazed

I wondered if that colour could be claimed.
I decided to investigate
this purple colour by cerulean sea.

      ~   ~   ~

Fast forward months and see what has occurred
the precious colour milked or crushed from whelks:
twelve thousand yield a miniscule amount.

This colour by name Tyrian purple known
is worth its weight in silver coins alone
a purple robe my gift to noble King

Phoenix; he was captivated so
that he decreed that he and future kings
would wear this colour, symbol of royal blood.

      ~   ~   ~

From the mouth of Heracles comes this:
a purple dish, a hound, his master's wit.

Posted by Jennifer Liston

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  1. Natalie Tucker says:

    *Wow! This was so good, you had me wanting more x

  2. Jen says:

    *Aw thank you Natalie... there's probably a whole lot more that could be written, but I only have one day to churn these things out!

  3. Mike says:

    *Impressive feat Jen. That's almost a short story. Bit of research done there I presume, or at least enough to convince me. Certainly one that will survive April 30th.

  4. Jen says:

    *Thanks MH... yeah a bit, but it was really a one-liner about the dog and the shellfish, so I just went with it. Three to go! :-)

  5. Robert says:

    *There's always been something very special 'About the Colour Purple'! Now we know why! :-)

  6. Leila says:

    *Thanks, Jen, another brilliant effort - did you know purple's also the colour of the women's lib movement - whatever happened to that?

  7. Jen says:

    *Thanks Leila... and no, I didn't know that, which must mean I'm not a true women's libber! I just live it, which is the best (or at least easiest!) way to advocate it. ;-) xo

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