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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Poem: 199 words
By Roy Beckemeyer

The Color of Blessings


Blessings can be the rich, warm 
yellow of gamboge, of the breasts 
of Baltimore Orioles, of the flesh 
of Central American mangos, although 
sometimes, blessings are the color 
of the jaunty bonnet worn 
by a coppery Caribbean girl walking 
heat-stricken sands under a molten 
sun, or of ripe just-peeled peaches 
dripping in the hands of a cream-
skinned Georgia belle. 

Blessings may be more orange 
than yellow, on occasion, especially 
when the recipient does not 
deem herself worthy; then they may glow 
like polished orange peel, a textured, 
deeper hue than the fresh-squeezed juice 
in the glass held by Miss Sun-Kist 1957 
as she swayed on the seatback of a gilded 
ochre Cadillac Seville convertible. 

Blessings can be ostentatious yellow, 
sun-dried apricot yellow, the shade 
of rayed Binney and Smith suns on third grade 
What I Did Last Summer drawings, the color 
backlit amberina vases become where amber 
glides and glistens into scarlet. 

But blessings are nearly always the color 
made when the sun, streaming through 
the garnet-stained glass of a rose 
window in a European cathedral tints 
a gold chalice being raised by an altar boy 
destined, two centuries in the future, 
for sainthood.

Roy Beckemeyer’s
Issue 5, October 2020

latest poetry collection is Mouth Brimming Over (Blue Cedar Press, 2019). Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018) won the 2019 Nelson Poetry Book Award. Amanuensis Angel (Spartan Press, 2018) comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels. His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net awards, and was selected for The Best Small Fictions 2019.

Beckemeyer serves on the editorial boards of Konza Journal and River City Poetry. A retired engineer and scientific journal editor, he is also a nature photographer who, in his spare time, researches the mechanics of insect flight and the Paleozoic insect fauna of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. He lives in Wichita, Kansas, where he and his wife will celebrate their 59th anniversary soon.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Featured Artist in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019); showcasing Beckemeyer’s poetry, prose poetry, and insect photography

Legacy’s Sunset, a climate-crisis photo-poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)

Words for Snow, a prose poem in KYSO Flash (Issue 9, Spring 2018), which was selected for reprinting in The Best Small Fictions 2019

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