Poetry: Chrome Yellow | clivejames.com
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Chrome Yellow

Your three brave sunflowers are ready to drop.
Standing in a jug of stale drink
they’ve all about reached a steepening patch
on the curve of decay. Their dark-eyed
flameheads raddle at the tips and close
then, lax as pulp or crape, they start to droop
on thick eyestalks. That mad Dutchman
who crammed his mouth with the chrome yellow
he used by the tubeful to paint them
made toxic lead his edible gold.
Their gold now lead, the sunflowers turn
towards the black sun of the earth.
Their time has gone. Their big leaves drape
and darken round them like a field of crows.

(From Ink Stone, 2003)