by Dale Sprowl

A color of aqua lives,
fantastically far from real;
Once I saw it behind Pablo Neruda’s house
in a dream,
a stripe of Chilean ocean, cool and green.
Another time,
though this one real,
I saw it at the beach on Aruba,
Blown with racing winds,
sea over shallow white sand
pale as a pool.
Once I found it in nature
as I stared down at ice floes on Greenland,
white chunks cut into black lake,
each framed by numinous liquid refreshment.

And another time I saw it.
Would you call it real or not?
In Vincent’s sky in “The White Orchard.”
When I saw it,
I wept,
until I saw it again in “The Plow”
and knew I was at home there.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dale Sprowl teaches writing at Biola University in La Mirada, California. During summers, she administrates and teaches at the Young Writer’s Project at UCI. Her work with the UCI Writing Project began in 1981, and she has contributed to the UCIWP texts on the teaching of writing. Her first chapbook of poems, The Colors of Water, published by Finishing Line Press in 2007, and her second chapbook, Moon Over Continent’s Edge (2009), have been nominated for a California Book Award. Her poems have also appeared in PEARL, Fire, A New Song, Ancient Paths, and Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places. She earned her bachelor’s degree in humanities and in history as well as a master’s degree in history from Pepperdine University. An Educator Associate for the American Psychoanalytic Association, she lives in Newport Beach, California, with her husband.

“Aqua Vita” and other poetry by Dale Sprowl appears in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology, a collection of poetry & prose from authors around the world — available at

Painting: “The White Orchard” by Vincent van Gogh (1888)