I was down in New Amsterdam, staring at this yellow-haired girl.
There was miles of yellow tape, silhouette chalk lines.
A prophet stood on the street corner, behind a police barricade
Shouting at the crowd, “Heed the path that led you to that place, yellow desert stream.”
The night was steaming, driving everyone mad with the heat.
The salt air and yellow street lights cast a pall over the city.
I sit on the canal bridge, my legs dangling over the edge.
The water is so yellow, jaundice and bitter.
Burbling taunts, it cries out yellow light as it passes me by.
“Yellow bird, you are alone!”
Only I can hear the abuse, fear leaving me in a pool of yellow sweat.
And, follow the yellow brick road home.
*Cento, from the Latin meaning “patchwork,” is a form of poetry that uses lines from other poems. Hover over each highlighted “yellow” to see the artist and song where each line originated.
The title is taken from William Shakespeare, “Twelfth Night” –
“Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief…”