All That Is Gold Does Not Glitter

My school published arts collections featuring student writing, painting and photography, and I was always keen to contribute. The theme for one collection was ‘Synaesthesia’, defined by as “The production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.” In layman’s terms, that is when senses are muddled and, for example, smells induce hearing particular sounds, or, in the case of this poem, sounds induce visions of colour.

I read this poem to a school hall of parents, teachers and other students. I was nervous, I faltered slightly, but afterwards the father of a peer told me that he had not truly understood the concept of synaesthesia until hearing my poem, so that’s something.


The doorbell rang
Red; harsh against the soft,
Green mist of the traffic outside.

She got up, her chair creaking
Violet in her ears, and walked to the door,
Her footsteps echoing in light silver.

She turned the yellow latch;
The door showed her the bright white screech of a mouse
And she beheld the deep blue voice facing her.

But there was something else:
A glorious gold she had never before heard:
The voice of God serenading her soul.

She felt herself lost as the gold washed over her,
Like music to her eyes, as she swam in it,

Reawakened by the deep blue of the man before her,
She gazed upon his voice intently
Lest she be ensnared once more.

At last, she acknowledged the man standing in her
White doorway, supporting under his arm the magnificent, whirring
Golden window as he spoke in blue:
“Could I interest you in a skylight?”


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