Living in the Middle

By Peter Halstead

Set against the California blue
Of Solana Beach, umbrellas stretch
Tight yellow, pulse and beat
Sharper than the sun’s bright jewels,

So the patio explodes into a conflicted
Flood of heat. The eye is torn
Between the two opposing schools
Of dye, which etch a spool

Of blood across the layered
Mushroom sheen of sky: but even set above
The line of trees, screened
From the sea’s iridescent hazes,

The fires of the air
Still flash green,
No matter where
They light,

From the complementary
Blazes born inside our sight

November 23rd–25th, 2022
Marea, Carlsbad


Living in the Middle: Dichotomy

The heartbreaking gap between the umbrella colors in which we live, the pop or vibration between green and yellow and the blue sky of the umbrellas at Lofty Coffee in Solana Beach, the grief that comes from the gulf that creates such electric tension, such magnetism, and even

though the sun sets over trees rather than sea, in fact the green flash still happens, it’s created by the colors themselves in our minds, not the world around us. So we live with the grief of living in that divide, that gulf between reason and passion. So the pop, the tension between the umbrella and the sky is in our minds; we live with contradictions.