Paul Ilechko – Poem – 6


The Value of Color
by Paul Ilechko

Color vibrates like sound     the mixture of 
frequency   developing a resonance   

developing a taste     as the green of leaf 
envelops the white of root          food

should never be mediocre     the colors 
of harvest   coated with spice and herb   

a richness of earth tones   as delicate 
watercolors wash over the thickness of oil

soup or stew or salad   all was once seasonal     
a summer lightness   or the bone-heavy 

broths of winter     the animal that gave 
its blood   was salted and stored 

remembering the encampments of history     
the artist and her vials     the cook with his     

not rivals   but co-conspirators   in shamanic 
rituals     echoed by drone and rhythm   

the stampeding feet of dancers   
their faces tattooed with brilliance 

the earth is cut and churned     the colors 
extracted    of such was wealth once formed.


Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbooks Bartok in Winter (Flutter Press, 2018) and Graph of Life (Finishing Line Press, 2018). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Manhattanville Review, West Trade Review, River River, Otoliths and Indicia. He lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ.