Into the blue. Out of the blue. Battered black and blue with bruises the colour of ripened plums. A white apparition rises out of suburbia’s deepest fears. I can still see blue velvet through my tears. What would you do if a naked woman appeared unexpectedly at your door? The Velvet Revolution was a phrase applied to the peaceful overthrow of communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989 under Vaclav Havel. A blue velvet curtain opens on the seedy side of life, dissolves into cerulean sky. Although synthetic, ciselé, commonly known as crushed velvet, has a smooth nap and shiny drape, which give it a luxurious look and feel. A Velveteen was an old nickname for a gamekeeper, from his once common velveteen jacket, velveteen being a sort of Fustian or twilled cotton with a pile. Blue baby. Baby blues. “Some sort of sadness, a mystery, something I don’t understand.” Like a flame burning brightly, a wig and velvet dress thrown askew. Screaming blue murder, the historical Bluebeard killed over 140 children. A ruthlessness, severity, or tyranny concealed by a polite and courteous manner is an iron hand in the velvet glove. Entangled by the sash of a blue velvet robe. Blue movie. Blue blood. To the little gentleman in velvet was a favourite Jacobite toast in the reign of Queen Anne.
In the wild blue
yonder Queen of
the blues sings
her large dark eyes
luminous and full
of tragic knowledge.
—One of three unranked Finalists in MacQ’s
is from Stourbridge in the UK. After teaching 16- to 19-year-olds for nearly three decades, she now works as a part-time consultant teacher trainer and private tutor. Her poems have been published in various webzines and journals, including Poetry Salzburg Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, and The Emma Press Anthology of Illness. Her first collection of poetry, The Quiet Spy, is forthcoming with Pindrop Press. She is excited to be writing cheribun for the first time. In addition to writing, Jane enjoys creating handmade collage art, handbound booklets, and cards, which she sells online and at craft fairs.