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Ariel 1967 (California)

Salem thinks I exist in purple -
the multitude shades of it,
feminine soft lilac
bold, saucy plum
for I drape myself in them -
but i don’t …

I exist in the gray.

The middle ground, neither one or the other;
proud of not being pure but of being true.
Knowing in its different shades
I’m not lost in the dark,
not lost in unhealthy extremes.
Unlike newspaper, life is not black or white;
it is the two coexisting.
Note the early photographs -
how our past, our ancestors are exposed
in the mingle of light & dark,
their features, their angles, their shadows;
character defined within the grays.
There is despair there in the black,
stark severity in the white
But in the gray is their dreams, their fears -
There is hope there.

So don’t label me Republican
Tree hugger
Religious fanatic,
Don’t paint me with a broad brush,
don’t paint me with color -
for it will not capture the truth.
To see me, take my photograph
distill it down to the abstract , to the concrete;
I will be exposed where they merge.
No man on the street.
No soundbyte of the day.
My gray silhouette is my own.

About this poem

Published in Gold Man Review 2012

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Written on April 01, 2011

Submitted by Ariel on September 19, 2021

1:02 min read


Ariel is a full-time Pacific Northwest poet, often participating at Oregon Open Mics events. She has been published in Gold Man Review, AIM, The Widow’s Handbook, and most recently in Terra Incognita, On The Platform Waiting and Free From Monsters. Ariel often collaborates in many Willamette Valley poetry/art projects and is a member of Oregon Poetry Association, Mid-Valley Poets Association, Willamette Writers and Poet. Her website is poetariel.net. more…

All Ariel poems | Ariel Books

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    "Gray" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 20 Jan. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/109925/gray>.

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