Red Teeth of Death

“Her nights are full of the red teeth of death”

–Jim Harrison, “Life,” Dead Men’s Float


Blue is the color of sky and sea,

green are the blades of grass in spring

when the world is born again, and new

shoots raise their heads to the golden sun

whose chariot flies till day is done.

But no less vital is the color red

that drips at birth and stops when we’re dead.

The color that men fear to see

afraid of its power—or destiny.

For though Death may arrive gentle and pale,

her teeth are like spikes, or the sharpest nails.

When she comes for you in the dark of night

she’ll smile–as if to say it’s all right,

but her teeth are scarlet within her grin,

and life is soon gone—after she slowly leans in.



Apparently, Death is a vampire. Who knew? Mysterious messages and some truths come from Jilly’s 28 Days of Unreason, based on the poetry of Jim Harrison. This is Day 6.

It is also the anniversary of D Day, June 6, 1944, and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy on June 6, 1968. I suppose blood and death is on my mind.



41 thoughts on “Red Teeth of Death

  1. The vampire association with the notion that ‘Death may arrive gentle and pale’ is an excellent association

  2. You had me at the symbolic use of color. The style of your lines gives this a gentle and calm feel which makes Death more surprising. I promise, not all of the prompts are this dark!

  3. For some reason I’m hearing Hall and Oates in the background, “Oh-oh, here she comes…!” Another dark and stormy response to the prompt. I love the catalog of colors and the rhyme. Very nice — er, dark!

  4. This has depth and I did think about RFK, Jr but forgot about D-DAY.
    The blood flowing seems to indicate melancholy. Red does seem to brown and fade, this keeps the memories alive. . .those lost in battle for civil rights and for freedom.

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