Matt Riker


Green is the scent of the newly cut lawn
where we lay. It was June and the grass
was bleeding with life. Green were
our knees and our elbows
and backs. Green were our minds.
We were sated with dawn.

Blue is the private expanse
of a dream. In this dream I unfolded
my wings in a limitless space
still unclaimed, still open and
nameless and blank. I awoke
and knew I was chained to the ground.

Red is a word that I called you
one day. It was autumn, the leaves
were aflame. As the word spread
in ripples, as it echoed and failed
the leaves started falling and falling
till the branches were bare.

Yellow is the light that flooded
the room. The sun in the morning
one winter. The window was open,
the wind blowing in.
You lay there beside me
wrapped in a blanket of frost.

Violet is a memory. An evening alone
on the road in a forest. Miles until
sleep. You were there without warning,
mute in the glow of the dashboard.
I try to hold the image, but always
you elude me, slip back into the dark.

Matt lived in Switzerland, Sweden and England as a child, and grew up trilingual. While studying in Berne and Cape Town he also started writing poetry and has remained at it ever since. While a number of his poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies, a collection has yet to be published. Matt currently lives and teaches in Switzerland.