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Kelly Chang

Updated: Sun, 13 Mar 2022 12:35 pm

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I just want to keep my writing somewhere digital in case my house burns down and takes my book with it.

The Colours of Hungary (2019)

I wrote the bulk of this love letter while in Hungary as a teenage tourist from New Zealand. My family and I took a three-week trip during Easter and I was enamoured by all the sights and senses, frantically documenting all I could write and draw in my sketchbook. When I read the poem, I can't help but remember the rhythm, music and excitement behind my words. It isn't perfect, but it's very dear to my heart. Read this to be a tourist with me in a pre-covid Spring. The Colours of Hungary Checkered tablecloths, Polished marble floors, Roses, fine wines And exteriors of stores. Medieval silk, the history of battles, Dotted in gardens, sour cherry and candles. A spice of colour is paprika; it’s dusting my dinner in a soft reddish haze. It’s calling from rooftops and rusty old gates Red streaks across the flag of Hungary. Terracotta of the times, Evening skies, Brick walls, arches and doorways Wander at night To witness the light From buildings and bridges glowing so bright, Or follow the trails Gothic street lamps emit, Orange, the sign of civilisation. Served to my table Cheese and lemonade, Deliciously fresh - only just being made. Newly displayed Are pretzels and pastries; Busily racing Are bees, trams and taxies. Brightening scenery in gardens and buildings, An added beauty in gleaming gold gilding: Statues and art glimmering, Fine jewellery shimmering. Threading, dishes, and treasures galore Shining untarnished from centuries before. Find decorative yellow Adorning Hungary. From the youngest of leaves just beginning to show And walls hugged by ivy that's well overgrown, To the old weathered verdigris, Mould chomping metal, Is the telling of age All throughout the country. It renders the palm leaf In Liberty’s hand, The symbol of peace All throughout the land. It speeds along rails in the form of the trains It rolls along Buda’s hilly terrains It colours the Danube On clear sunny days Green too streaks across The flag of Hungary. A reward from above When no clouds are in view, Though sadly not quite The hue of the Danube. It travels by bus, Touches decorative glass, Easter ceramics, Then trains as they pass. Blue is the Wisdom And Peace of Hungary. Ever so subtle, The youth of the country. A touch of young life As it’s born in the Spring, Gracing the gardens And scenting the air. At night it then blooms To flavour the city: Modern, flashy light, It’s fun while it lasts. Purple: a break from history. Down falls the delicate Rain of springtime: The blossoms that tumble, Gently carried by wind. And tulips speak out With their luminous mouths, They open their petals And greet the sunshine. When the day starts to fade, The sky is one great flower; Pink renders the beautiful Preciousness of time. Bright is the haze of daytime in the city As is the light at nighttime striking buildings. Trails drawn by jet planes, Chalk lines in the sky. Sprinkled spring blossoms, A path where they lie. Rest your eyes on the beauties Carved out of stone: Kingdoms, buildings, And statues alone. Then look up once more, And standing tall White streaks across the flag of Hungary. A medieval overlay Swoops over today. Historical touches, The gnarled gothic edges, Of lamp posts, flag poles, Door handles and fences. As dark as the crows’ wings, Feathered shadows in flight, Black echoes the past Etched into today. Wafting from the market The air starts to sweeten- Gingerbread and chimney cake Wait to be eaten. Behold the grand oak trees And carts pulled by horses, And classical tunes Flowing on through the centuries. Don’t forget brown Bringing softly its pride. The dusty old palette For bodies of crows And foreshadowing rain That never once showed. For cobblestones spiralling down the lane Grey leads us the way To where Hungary awaits.

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Graham Sherwood

Sun 13th Mar 2022 12:40

Kelly, there is so much material in your 'Colours of Hungary' notes that they deserve working on into a really strong piece.

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