Going Home
iii - Rainbow's Arch

A Poem by Alma A. Hromic


If you should chance to pass
under the rainbow,
so the ancient folk wisdom says,
you will change, and turn into
a man if you are a woman,
a woman if you are a man.

Some run to this choice. Some run from it,
and spend their lives with their back turned
to the arch that spans Earth and sky.

I think I passed under the rainbow, slowly,
lost in wonder,
long ago,
once in a distant dream.

But legend either spoke in ignorance or wreathed itself
knowingly in cheerful, colourful lies.
I changed, yes — but there was no sign of this
on the body that emerged
intact on the other side.

What did I find there? I cannot tell.
A part of me stayed behind, a shadow
to haunt and guard the old lands I'd left behind me.
And instead
I took traces
of red anger,
      orange alarm,
           yellow fear,
                green despair,
                     blue horror,
                          indigo moods of darkness,
                               violet sorrow —
and red rapture,
      orange mirth,
           yellow courage,
                green faith,
                     blue joy,
                          indigo depths of happiness,
                               violet content.

Sometimes, if you call my name and catch me by surprise,
you can see the colours of the arch prisming to blazing light in my eyes.


[Ed. Note: Third part of a 10-part poem to be published in its entirety over the next few renditions. « Beginning | « Previous | Next »]

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Alma Hromic, the author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire, was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. However she has lived outside her native country for much of her life: Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, the UK and New Zealand. Trained as a microbiologist, she spent some years running a scientific journal, and later worked as an editor for an international educational publisher. Her own publishing record includes her autobiography, Houses in Africa, The Dolphin's Daughter and Other Stories, a bestselling book of three fables published by Longman UK in 1995, as well as numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction. Her last novel, the first volume of a fantasy series, Changer of Days: The Oracle, was published in September 2001 by Harper Collins. Last January, Hromic won the much coveted BBC online short story competition. Her story, The Painting, was broadcast in the UK in the last week of January 2001.

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Letters to the Editor


Alma Hromic on Swans

Essays published in 2002 | 2001

On the Anniversary (September 2000)

Subject: Into Myth (September 2000)

Sadness in Novi Sad, Serbia (April 2000)


Published May 20, 2002
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