Friday, 4 November 2011

The rainbow challenge

Oh no, I hear you groan, not another bloody picture of a bloody rainbow - it's not even a good one, there's no colour to it even. Well it was the best I could do with my phone camera last night whilst having a breath of fresh air (cigarette) outside the pub, so stop moaning. It could have been another bloody candlestick, so think yourselves lucky.

I bet the woman in the red hat (no knickers) who stopped pushing her child to take a photo of it is probably saying the same thing to her followers today. She tried to point it out to some passing schoolgirls just before this pic was taken, but the girls just walked on by, and she gave me a shruggy look which just said, 'Kids of today, eh?'

It was a pretty spectacular one, though. It was the first time I can recall seeing high clouds actually passed in front of a rainbow, which gave it an almost astronomical, gigantic scale which would have been remembered by Rutger Hauer in his last moments as an android, had he seen it before he kicked the proverbial bucket into kingdom come with his bionic leg, way back in the 80s.

There are certain upward but terrestrial things which are considered legitimate targets by modern astronomers - noctiluscent clouds, the 'green flash', etc. - but I don't think rainbows are one of them.

Artists consider rainbows as legitimate targets, but I have only ever come across two who have done them anything like the justice they deserve - Turner and Her Indoors. In the days before synthetic pigments permeated every aspect of our otherwise drab lives, rainbows and flowers were probably much more widely appreciated for their intoxicating beauty than they are today. These days, schoolgirls don't even bother to look up at them.

I suspect poets also overuse rainbows in their lexicon too, but all the work has already been done for them by us. All they have to do is say the word 'rainbow' and the monochrome lines of the 'painting by numbers' imagery that they have plonked down in front of us has instantaneously been filled in - by us. The lazy bastards.

Ok, you lazy poets - describe a rainbow to someone who has been blind since birth, in no less than 500 words. I want it on my desk by no later than tomorrow morning.


  1. Tom is that a double rainbow? Am I seeing a second arc or is just old age and impending cataracts?

  2. Paint Me A Rainbow
    A tingling in the air.
    A vibrating
    flung across the sky.
    Every feeling of
    you ever felt
    hung like a banner.
    Soft notes rising
    in intensity
    in the middle
    fading again
    the end.
    The love in
    your heart
    mid air.

  3. ring Helen Keller
    she'll tell you

  4. I fear you will have a dearth of comments tonight Tom. Delores has outshone us all. (Beautiful work, thank you)

    HOWEVER! You have omitted the biblical thang about rainbows in your poets roundup. Surely, beyond beauty, is the promise that some almighty will never destroy on such a level, ever, ever again?

  5. Here is my poignant and emotional contribution to your request for poems about Rainbow :

    Zippy and Bungle were in the jungle
    Having a lot of fun.
    Zippy got silly and got out his willy
    But Bungle ?....he hasn't got one.

    I'm hoping for an A+ for this as I've spent a great deal of time on it today.

  6. Red and yellow and pink and green,
    orange and purple and blue.
    I can sing a rainbow,
    sing a rainbow,
    sing a rainbow too.

    Now that really dates me doesn't it (rather like your 'red hat and no knickers' Tom.

  7. All those moments will be lost, in time, like - tears - in - rain...

    ...time Gentlemen please!

  8. This is producing some of the best comments I have ever read - keep it running.

  9. Like tartan 'B' words across Chris's PJ's

  10. Any more of this Moll, and I'm going to allot you street-cred by hitting the 'report abuse' button.

  11. Oooo I know. You think you know somebody then she starts a bollock craze...

  12. Here's my entry:

    {To be read in my native, Somerset accent , but a Melvyn Bragg Lakes one will do at a pinch, punch, first of the month, mouth, north and south)

    Rainbow, rainbow,
    where he follows, I do go.
    He stands by me,
    I stands by him.
    They stands by I,
    I stands by them.
    They does not know
    what I do want,
    I thinks that he’s
    an utter c
    oh why oh why oh why oh why,
    do you, my rainbow
    live in the sky?

  13. No seriously - here's my real entry :-

    I turned my head, looked up and there it was!
    In the deep distant greyness of the sky,
    A faint arc beyond the hill.
    And then suddenly it became clearer, vibrant, stunning, beautiful.
    Closer. So close.
    And in that moment, I reached out my arms and touched a rainbow.

  14. I am not going to do any poetry as I can't even come close to those that have. I just want to say that, well, maybe you did not get the colors, but what you photographed was stunning. I think rainbows touch people's hearts, get deep inside of them, and make them feel that miracles can happen. In the darkest of days, a rainbow lifts people up and gives them hope and joy.

    Thanks Tom, your picture helped me today.