Quest for the Right Shade of Blue


To me, you are Blue. (Not the mood, but the hue.) Have kindled a colour known for its chill; distilled a word so often stained in sadness with fresh meaning. I can’t be sure if it’s the clothes you wear or your aura that first decided this for me; only that since meeting you I suddenly recall Blue’s subtle ghost in so many of my favourite things. Pale milk and petals of the heroine’s bath in a TV film that moved me as a teenager. Clementine’s hair. Electric Light Orchestra’s sunshiney friend. The viagra flavoured ice cream I shared with my ex on a trip to Rome. More recently, decadent sponge of Queen Anne’s cake. The way an older woman’s veins wrap around her forearms like thick rope. Your overalls. My bedsheets when I first met you.

Have my eyes just now opened?

Voted most loved yet never ostentatious, I’ve been trying to find the right shade to encapsulate you but fall short. No chart is consistent.

Pantone: too broad
Crayola: too limited

and the rest, too exhaustive to list. Like Sky (a shade I almost settled on) I guess you’re an expanse that can’t be boxed by Dulux. Still, I’ve employed helpers. Turned into Veruca Salt’s father about this, have friends plunging wrist-deep into all manner of lazuli cavities searching for the Sapphire ticket. Hosted a dinner party - blue whale heart as the main to gorge on, midnight flavoured jelly flecked with gold stars for dessert. The guests were found covered in forget-me-not zebra-finch feathers - an avian pillow fight by the time taxis arrived. Even then, I was not satisfied. Steve from work phoned me at my desk last week and asked, hurriedly. “Are you busy? Run outside a moment and look up. I’ve found the colour of your friend!” This is what I mean when I call it Quest. That even our security guard knows. And he has come closest yet: Dusk. (Give the man a pay rise.)

We have spent nights Googling until blue in the face and that is when I realised the more swatches I check, the more there are to check and anyway, perhaps the only one worth searching is your denim eyes, how they move along the spectrum depending on how you feel that day; a pair of mood ring irises.

For when we found each other, I was depressed. Dragged myself from my Spring bed in search of a mentor to sign the paper promising me a new future. It didn’t have to be you but you were there. You signed it. It’s like I’d been blue for so long I manifested its personification that day - a diamond I did not expect. And you taught me, among other things, that I did not have to be happy to love. Instead you met me where I was, showing the beauty in every colour. Assuring me, just by existing, that I did not have to rush the rainbow climb but could be guided through it with presence and enjoy the view

Of entire sky and sea (you are).
As above, so below.

So be it Dusk, Indigo, Periwinkle,

all I know is when I think of blue
I don’t think of cold any more.



Fern Angel Beattie is a queer writer who specialises in what she considers her personal Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Women, Love, Sex & Death. Fern first discovered her gift for poetry when using alchemy on grief, and has since released two collections, The Trouble With Love (From Trouble, With Love) through Lapwing Publications and the self-published Pendulum, as well has producing poems in Belleville Park Pages, The Legendary and JUNGFTAK. Once a writer for Australian platform Your Friend's House, her spoken word piece for the short dance film by Sholtay, Shaping Scars was officially selected for LA Dance Short Film Festival, TIFF, Korea Film Festival, L Fest & Flatlands Dance Film Festival in 2017. Her influences range from Megan Falley and Olivia Gatwood to Michel Gondry and Nabokov.