in the red

Neil Alexander explores light

in the red

you don’t think
it’s going to happen
until it actually does

 count to ten
 in the red
 don't get to mad
 it's in your head

take precautions
take a breath
listen and learn

 count to ten
 in the red
 don't get to mad
 it's in your head

walking to school
running to the store
what did you forget?

 count to ten
 in the red
 don't get to mad
 it's in your head

a kick here
a punch there
it won’t add up

 count to ten
 in the red
 don't get to mad
 it's in your head


A one stop poetry Sunday challenge.  Choose from the works of Photographer Neil Alexander.

About zongrik

For those of you who do not know the handle "zongrik," that would be Bat-Ami Gordin. Most people call me "Tammy." Bat-Ami means "daughter of my nation" in Hebrew. It's a heavy name to carry around. I answer to either name. I also answer to "mama." Some Basic Things about me: Animal lover, mom, poet/writer, dramatic soprano, photographer, teacher/tutor, CERT/Technician and, oh yeah, aerospace engineer. I consider myself "The Astro-Poet." To learn more about the origins of the word "zongrik" see whats-a-zongrik?

Posted on July 9, 2011, in One Stop Poetry, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. LOVE this! the repetition is very effective and it’s a great take on the prompt.

  2. “take precautions
    take a breath
    listen and learn”

    Thanks. Think I found my new mantra. Phrase “in the red” is packed with meaning and adds a multidimensional repetition. Like both the structure and message.

  3. I like the crossing of the worlds, soothing and stilling the lived life with a mantra that is not contrary but keeps the vision tuned to the great inside beyond, like a long-dead swami’s voice in the ear.

    • Very interesting comment, and great way of looking at it. Amazing how when I wrote it, I was not using your paradigm as a construct. However, it totally fits what is written.

  4. great write ….we have all had those moments so could really relate to this …thank you

  5. nice refrain…and yes so much to put us in the red if we let it…but we can control it…

  6. Hmmm…I wonder whether you meant ‘don’t get too mad?’ Otherwise, wouldn’t ‘don’t get mad’ do the same job with fewer words? English can be a very imprecise language when spelling varies…

    • No, This is how I wrote it. I looked at the picture.It was red. The people in the picture were in the red. “in the red” is an accounting term used when a business is losing money. when a business is losing money, it is because something is dysfunctional, ero, the characters (I’m a story writer) in the picture are dysfunctional. So I picked a few scenarios in which people are dysfunctional, and said they were in the red.

  7. I like the lesson, the memory, and the conversion, great expression of red and of five!

  8. oh i much like what you’ve done here with the splitting of the verses and the repetition works really, really well

    • It’s amazing how many people like the repetition. I usually, or hardly ever do that. I don’t write songs. And yet, for some reason, it just was the right thing here. Wow. All this experimentation on line is fun.

  9. this is fabulous — love how you take the adage of controlling your temper and repeat it throughout. Really nice!

    • And yet, it started with me seeing all this red, the people were in the red, and that’s an accounting term for a dysfunctional business. 🙂

  10. Excellent take on the picture!

  11. I like the repetition, and the associative word play on ‘in the red’ I’ve done some bookkeeping myself, so it resonates. I also like the way “mad” becomes a destination in the ambiguous way you use it, like you want to stop them getting to it from here, even though things do seem mad.

  12. Interesting inner dialogue – I could see the shadowy shapes of the image being the specters of this inner conversation, this line of temper and worry, parading through one’s mind. I know I’m beating an old drum here in saying the repetition works well, but it really does – drives the whole piece home to heart, and emphasizes its character. It makes it into a mantra. It’s a moment we can all relate to, to be sure, a turmoil that grips from time to time…

  13. Excellent “In the red”, conveys so many different meanings… and the controlling of anger is something easily identied with (the counting to ten). Enjoyed this piece!

  14. oops– meant to say “identified”

  15. I love this. Everyone should take this advice to heart.

  16. that was really good…what we all should do! makes you start thinking.

  17. I very much enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Thanks for this poem. I guess next time when absurdity tries to overcome me I will

    count to ten
    in the red
    don’t get to mad
    it’s in your head

  19. Ive read this over & over again and like it more each time i do .. it is fun only also serious in a way takes me back to feeling like a child too i like all the essence that is poured into this piece including your clever repetitions as children do when singing songs rhyme & taught to also of course to learn ..
    I could have done with this earlier when i was getting mad about twitter & its many bugs! lol really like this a lot .. always your work unique beez 🙂

  20. simple and unique and wonderful…Rasii

  21. Good lyrical poetry, has a strong message to share.

  22. love the repetition in this one! the message is spot on!

  23. Good blog! I truly love how its easy on my eyes and also the information are well written. I am wondering how I may be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

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