You Won’t Find Consolation

or. The deer, nearly
Color blind, see blue

Better than we do, more
Blue than we know, a blue

I am not consoled
Lives beyond me. Imagine

Their sky, saturated, how
Do they bear it, and

The alpine lake where
They drink in summer, glacier-

Fed, reflecting back it all back
Plus. Consider

The glacier, blue at heart deep-
Frozen for millennia, blue

Its core and vanishing
In your lifetime. A rush,

A trickle, this is how
It goes? Around the lake,

Boulders harden themselves. 
Green firs. And there, a perfect

Center, the lake’s clear,
Unreadable eye.


Copyright © 2019 by Katharine Coles. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 17, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“As so many of my poems do, this one began with a (to me) fascinating fact—that deer, with their dichromatic color vision, see more blues more intensely than we do—encountered while I was researching the eye for a completely different project. At the time, I was on an airplane, a space I find strangely conducive to writing poetry, and I had just been reading Lee Briccetti’s latest book, Blue Guide (Four Way Books, 2018), which had me thinking about the mountains and landscapes of the west. Though the title came as the first line, I didn’t know until the poem was done that it is an elegy for those landscapes and, indeed, for nature as we know it.”
Katharine Coles