by Bruce Morton
You do not have to be blind to see
That blue is the color of nothing,
The tincture of imagination.
The blue sky is not blue nor are
Lakes, rivers, and not the moon.
The songs are the hue of light shattering,
Shards scattering the color of throbbing
Balls in the throes of pain and lust
Codified by Sunday laws of privation;
Tempered by Monday prayers for redemption.
They be red-clay songs rooted in mud and dust
And cost. They are not seen. They are not
Even heard. They are felt, imbued with dolor,
Clear, bound in chords of experience hummed,
Strummed, sung by Blind Blake, Blind Boy
Fuller, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie
Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, the Reverend
Gary Davis. Each with a vision colored
By fast living or slow dying, stories told
Indigo steeped in leaves of woad.