"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Monday, February 1, 2010

July Blue

The excerpt, collage, and poem below are exploratory drafts for my first completed novel, July Blue--now in the editing stages. July Blue is about eleven-year-old Janelle and her three tent mates search for clues about her mother's mysterious disappearance, from the same Girl Scout camp, five years before. Along the way, quiet Janelle finds she has more courage than she ever expected and a voice to match: courage for outdoor adventures and new friendships, but will she confront the stranger with a secret about her family?

All summer long I thought “July blue” didn’t exist. I counted one pale, blue day after another. Each day just burned up until I doubted my memory. Maybe it isn't true; maybe it doesn't exist. Do you remember the story, the time she told us about July blue?

I know you’d say that it never happened or you’d pretend you didn’t remember. I mean mother’s been gone for a long time now, right? Maybe I dreamed up this fantasy story like I imagine everything else. But all summer I couldn’t help hoping. Each day I’d check the afternoon sky at noon and every hour or two afterwards but each blue sky was more wimpy than the last-- hardly even blue, almost white. I hardly realized what I was doing or why.

July Blue

The clouds were a lightning white calliope
I was blinded by blue

My feet followed Aspen steps
up a stair in its own green room
the road, my own Oregon Trail  

I am green with life
I am fire at night
I am hope at dawn’s wet dew
I am webbed at dusk’s final hue
I am the sound of a thousand stars singing
I am baked into a hard brown clay

Cicadas thrummed, the
sound deeper than bone
Crickets hummed, the
sound smoother than stone
Their music winging the secret
wheel of the world

trranga, rranga, thrraangaaaaa

each call trills a tamborine of sound
until they unzip the sun from the sky,
cut out each triangle,
and roll the heavens into a scroll.

I run through a rainbow of white air
my thoughts like butterflies against the wind.

I think in green
I dream in gold
I believe in July Blue


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