Color of a Rose

Black Rose on a Pink and Purple Fence

Used with Permission of Resa Swork

Red Rose on a Pink and Purple Fence

Used with Permission of Resa Swork


When we say a heart is black,
we mean that anger has rooted
deep in sinews and marrow.
When we say skin is black,
how can we avoid comparing
with the phrase black heart?
Neither is any shade of black.
The heart is a red muscle,
slavishly beating, without rest.
People’s skin has every shade of
nature from flower petal to berry
to walnut to sand to rusty lichen
to cinnamon to coral to plum
and on until we have the rainbow,
every color but black and white.
As any painter knows,
none of us are white as swans;
none of us are black as tar.
Shadows are black not people.
I’m not white. I’m not black.
Whatever our skin color, our scarlet
hearts have potential to love,
to create art and craft poetry,
shaping ideas into kites.
Potential to make the world
a warmer, vibrant and more
welcoming place where a
crimson rose can love a walnut rose,
and a white swan can celebrate.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

White Swan painted on pink and purple fence

Used with Permission of Resa Swork

Notes: I have to thank photographer and artist Angelica Dass, whose Ted Talk (below) transformed me with its humanae project and its rainbow of skin colors. Also, I thank author and artist Gigi, who shared it on her site. For the lovely art (above), I thank photographer and blogger, Resa Swork, whose collection of street art at Graffitiluxandmurals is rainbow lovely. I collaborated with Resa twice before at Color on the Wind and A Grain of Sand. I also thank people the world over, whose hearts beat like mine, inside their color-wonderful skin.

Have a great weekend,


48 thoughts on “Color of a Rose

  1. Pingback: How can people say one skin is colored, | Friendly Fairy Tales
  2. I really liked the way you wrote this, chose to do this and agree with the concept: all of us are together. I wrote a post about Oneness, recently, in response to celebrating differences. Thank you for sharing so many people’s efforts here, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I got to see it now, it was a plugin that needed updating!! Excellent video, I really love some of those TED Talks. What an amazing family to come from, where colour could never be an issue!! My family has in the past been all white, but most of my cousins on my mothers side of the family married dark skin people (of varying colour) we have a whole new generation of children in the family who are all different skin tones. It’s amazing how a family line can quickly change from all white to beautiful browns. I really like the fact our family line has altered in that way – something most unexpected. And no-one would even think of being prejudice or discriminating in our family. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring talk! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Loving the street art, I wish my street was a bright as that! 🙂 Your poem gives a lot of food for thought! We love to give colours to aspects that have no colour. We humans are strangely colour crazy, in fact I think a lot of animals are too. It’s a strange thing the connection to colour. Just imagine living in a black and white world? Oh, but even that’s colour, black and white make up all the colours – we can’t escape! I came across a black guy (poet on SounCloud) saying “I’m not really black, and you’re more pink than white – I’m not black, I’m just me. I think he put it so well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The thread was getting skinny, so I’ve started anew.
    Everyone says so! I am so looking forward to working with him. LOL If I think of it, and the moment arises, I’ll say hi from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brenda, your heart beats like all roses and a swan at once! No wonder I want to send you pictures for poems. The poems are always so very beautiful, & I am always very honored to be fortunate enough to collaborate with you. GiGi is awesome, filled with life affirming concepts & kindness. How lucky am I? Very!!!! This poem & entire post rocks! _Resa ❤

    Liked by 3 people

Comments welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.